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In World War II, tank crews would cover their vehicles in sandbags, logs and even concrete. None of these add-ons would completely stop or deflect an incoming shell, but the idea was that the more material you have to soak up an impact, the less the explosive force would penetrate into the cabin.
This principle would also be useful, if impractical, during collisions between civilian cars. And a German auto supplier called ZF Friedrichshafen AG believes they've found a way to make it practical: Install airbags on the outside of a car.
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This video takes a look at how ZF's external airbag would work, with the obvious challenge being that it must deploy prior to an impact, unlike a traditional airbag. We also get a look at a Volvo variant installed around the windshield:
I found the factoid at the end of the video both surprising and, after reflection, logical. Airbags are expensive to replace, so of course they'd lead to a rise in cars considered "totaled" by the insurance industry. Since cars are still easier to replace than human beings, we'll take that deal.