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Car ejection seats

Escape accidents completely.
  (+3, -10)(+3, -10)
(+3, -10)
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Military airplanes have ejection seats for the pilots to leave their aircraft in an emergency. Why not give automobiles the same protection? The driver's seat could be mounted to the floor in one place, via a magnetic locking system. Located just to the left of the steering wheel would be a large handle for the ejection seat.

When the handle was pulled, the seat would disconnect from the car floor. Small explosive charges around a panel in the roof over the seat would detonate and blow the panel away, providing a clear route up. Pressurized air canisters underneath the seat would shoot the seat (and driver) 300 feet out of the car. A parachute device on the back of the seat would then guide the driver to a safe landing. There could even be an inflatable airbag-type device also underneath the seat to further cushion the impact. This could save lives in collisions where a driver has one or two seconds to react, such as skidding on ice towards a cliff.

However, the driver would have to be buckled or ejecting would result in death when the driver detaches from the seat in mid-air. Also, this would add a lot of cost to the automobile. Maybe for the next luxury car?

michael257, Jan 27 2002

attach seat to personal jet pack http://www.pushback...g/FAQ/jet-pack.html
jet pack as in James Bond film (which one, have not a clue) [po, Jan 27 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

James Bond's Aston Martin http://www.klast.net/bond/db5.html#nando
Goldfinger, he's the man with the golden ejection seat... [mighty_cheese, Jan 27 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Why this all seems familiar. http://www.halfbake...om/idea/Submarining
Car ejector seats mentioned by Wes in an annotation. Consequences of overpasses noted by PotatoStew [st3f, Jan 28 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Overpasses are why cars don't have ejection seats.
phoenix, Jan 27 2002

       Nonsense. If there's been another car ejection seat idea at all, it escaped my notice. There's been at least one other ejection seat idea though, most notably from helicopters, and _that_ is an old joke; the other commonly suggested security device I can think of is the personal airbag.   

       [Yes, I know both exist, but the people who post them usually don't. Please let's not all rehash it here?]
jutta, Jan 27 2002

       hehehehe Believe it or not, helicopter ejection seats exist.
phoenix, Jan 27 2002

       Yeah, they jettison the rotor blades first. A couple Russian attack helicoptors are equipped with an ejection system. It uses a tractor rocket to pull the crew out after explosive bolts jettison the rotors. It can be used at zero altitude. I imagine it's not very fun.
bristolz, Jan 27 2002

       This features in James Bond films on a regular basis.
Aristotle, Jan 27 2002

       I remember there being a car ejection seat idea too...   

       Minor problem with this particular idea is that some idiot would pull it then sue the company. Or someone's brat would.   

       Major problem is, as mentioned in the original idea, the need to have time to do it...
StarChaser, Jan 27 2002

       Hey, UB, "Soundtrack For Your Life" was my sixth or seventh idea! (and don't bother looking for my version, I deleted it due to it's over halfbakedness long ago)   

       But, on track with the idea, I don't think that a parachute would have time to open with such a small drop. Even if it did I would not want to eject into four lane highway trafic.
NeverDie, Jan 28 2002

       why won't it eject for oldsters and youngsters?
thumbwax, Jan 28 2002

       I think you misread that annotation, thumbwax. Fat people won't get ejected because probably the mechanism won't be strong enough; For old people and youngsters, the strong jerk of the motion required for ejection would probably prove fatal.   

       Or probably it was I who misread it . . .   

       forget it, anyway. Fish.
neelandan, Jan 28 2002

       'I don't think that a parachute would have time to open with such a small drop.' ([NeverDie], Jan 27th)
I heard, from someone whose word I trust, that he witnessed someone ejecting from a Sea Harrier as it was leaving the take-off ramp of an aircraft carrier. The pilot landed safely on the deck, having claimed the record for the Royal Navy's lowest-altitude ejection ever (nine feet). Meanwhile, several million pounds worth of aircraft fell into the Atlantic. (The guy who told me this story also recounted his instructor's wise words: "If I say 'Eject', don't ask why because you'll be talking to yourself.")
angel, Jan 28 2002

       Not worth the trouble! Ejection seats only matter when it costs hundreds of thousands to train the pilots and they are worth saving. Who cares when any joe blow can get a driver's license?
kschang, Jan 29 2002

       There should be a law against using this with the Steering-wheel spike. further down on the list
English Pete, Jun 10 2002

       I think if a driver had controll over this it might be over used in a small accident or something of the sort of it could even be used in criminal acts or by teens with nothing to do..... just a though
Half-Life, Sep 03 2002

       I think if a driver had controll over this it might be over used in a small accident or something of the sort of it could even be used in criminal acts or by teens with nothing to do..... just a thought
Half-Life, Sep 03 2002

       Generally your safer inside the roll cage of a car in any type of crash then if you were to leave the vehicle durring the crash. one problem would be what if the vehicle suddenly rolled over... your dead... also, what if there were power lines overhead... your also dead... and if you landed in the middle of a highway... you will probably get hit, especally if you have a huge parachute to slow you down so you couldn't run off of the highway fast enough to avoid getting hit. Vehicle collisions have way too many variables and the general public is stupid and wouldn't have the training required to know when and/or where to use the ejector seat. Fighter pilots do however have some training in that regard... however that would be a last ditch attempt for them to save their lives. In an airplane you dont have much choice when its about to explode, you either die, or try to save yourself by leaving the plane, which is extremely dangerous in itself (and doesn't always save the pilots life). In a car your safer sitting there trapped in your vehicle and waiting for the fire department to extricate you then being abruptly ejected into the unknown.   

       plus, you think replacing an airbag would be expensive.... imagine replacing a ejector seat system.
Roadwolf611, Nov 11 2003

       One of the main problems raised by annos is accidental activation of the ejection seat. I think an automated ejection seat might be safer and more effective. The ejection seat would activate when a radar based system sensed a collision was imminent and unavoidable (Volvo is releasing a car with an automated braking system based on radar).   

       Also I think concerns about perils of the passenger after deployment are overstated. Firstly, the ejection seat would only have to eject a few meters into the air; just enough to clear a truck. Secondly, a parachute would not work; the seat would just need a few large airbags to cushion the fall to Earth. Thirdly, the seat could include a roll-cage to protect the passenger as they fall.   

       I also wonder if the seat could have variably angled ejection that ejects in the opposite direction of the collision.
xaviergisz, Aug 06 2009

       In addition to all the issues detailed above:   

       Virtually all car designs have the driver and front seat passengers legs under the dashboard, which is a substantial bit of structure designed to brace the A pillars in a rollover among other things.   

       An ejection would remove the legs above the knees, so obviating the need for leg restraints and reducing the weight to be propelled upward and controlled through descent by parachute.   

       So long as this were widely known, the incidence of unessaccery ejections would be substantially reduced.
Twizz, Aug 06 2009


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