Smart Cars, a mini-car distributed in the U.S. by Mercedes-Benz USA, feature a compartment made of reinforced, high-strength steel called the tridion safety cell. The tridion safety cell, which is modeled after race car roll cages and withstands over 3 1/2 tons of pressure, is a standard safety feature on all models of Smart Cars.
Smart Cars respond to crashes with an automatic crash management system that quickly shuts off the engine, activates the flashers and unlocks the doors. An electronic stability program keeps the car stable on the road, even in bumpy conditions. This program regulates the engine speed and brakes the wheels in response to the threat of a swerve or skid, keeping the car in control. Full-size airbags are another safety feature in all models. The airbags are installed top-to-bottom, side-to-side and up-and-down to protect the passenger compartment from all directions. An anti-lock braking system is another safety feature that protects the wheels from locking up when braking, which improves steering and control of the vehicle. The first Smart Car was displayed in Germany at the 1997 Frankfurt Motor Show. In 1998, production of the cars began in Hambach, France. The first Smart car was sold in the U.S. in 2008, where over 45,000 of the cars have since been sold as of 2014.