Australian-first side airbag for Cascadia

In News, June 2021, Freightliner2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 1, 2021

Freightliner Australia will introduce a head-protecting side airbag on the Cascadia heavy-duty truck late this year, making it the only manufacturer to offer a head-protecting side airbag in a bonneted truck in Australia. The Cascadia is still the only bonneted truck in Australia to be fitted with a steering wheel-mounted airbag.

“There is no good reason why conventional truck drivers in Australia should not be able to drive a truck fitted with the latest safety features,” said Daniel Whitehead, Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific President and CEO. “It doesn’t matter whether you are driving a truck with or without a bonnet, your safety is just as important.”

The Cascadia’s head-protecting side airbag has been specially developed for the Australian market with partner RollTek by IMMI to ensure it caters for local preferences. As a result, it can be used with standard Cascadia ISRI seats.

In the United States, the RollTek airbag system is seat-mounted, while the seatbelts are mounted to the truck’s B-pillar. Australian drivers prefer the belts to be tethered to the seat instead of the B-pillar, allowing the belts to move up and down with the seat and the driver, which is incompatible with the US seat-based airbag deployment system. RollTek instead developed an Australian head-protecting airbag that is mounted on the truck’s B-pillar.

Customers can order the new head-protecting side airbag late this year.