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CEO of Volvo Cars Hakan Samuelsson (L) and CEO of Autoliv Jan Carlson. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/AFP/Getty Images

It's fun to imagine lounging in our cars once they start driving themselves, but safety engineers are worried about how to make sure we'll still be protected if there's a crash.

Why it matters: A dashboard-mounted airbag could land like a sucker punch in the back of the head if we've swiveled our chair around to talk to rear-seat passengers.

What's happening: Autoliv, a major supplier of airbags, seatbelts and steering wheels, has developed a new "life cell" airbag, which provides protection regardless of how a driver or passenger is seated.

  • When activated, the airbag resembles a protective cocoon.
  • Autoliv is working with seat manufacturers to integrate it into the seat frame, allowing for flexible seating configurations.
  • The cocoon could help shield the passenger from free-flying objects, including unbuckled backseat occupants or loose items in the vehicle.
  • Autoliv is showcasing its airbag this week at AutoMobili-D, the technology exhibition at the Detroit auto show.

Go deeper: The great auto disruption

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.