DETROIT – The auto industry has taken the same basic approach to managing crash energy in the passenger compartment for many years. The 3-point safety belt has been on the market for 43 years, and the airbag has been standard in U.S. cars for nearly a decade. Granted, improvements such as pretensioners and dual-stage inflators have increased the effectiveness and safety of seatbelts and air bags, but these improvements have been incremental rather than revolutionary. The companies behind ...

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