A passenger detection system comprises an antenna electrode which is provided to the dashboard of a car, an oscillation circuit for generating a high frequency low voltage oscillation signal in order to generate a weak alternating electric field around the antenna electrode, a current detection section for detecting a transmission current which passes between the oscillation circuit and the antenna electrode depending on the weak alternating electric field which is generated around the antenna electrode, a phase difference detection section for detecting the phase difference between the oscillation signal supplied from the oscillation circuit and an output signal which is supplied to the antenna electrode, and a control circuit for judging the presence or absence of a passenger seated on the seat based on the detected phase difference and judging the distance between the passenger and the dashboard based on the detected transmission current. The passenger detection system is connected with an air bag unit, and the air bag unit is set at a `no deployment mode` if it is judged that no passenger is seated on the seat or the distance between the passenger and the dashboard is less than a minimum allowable distance, thereby the passenger who is close to the dashboard is protected from secondary injury due to strong deployment of the air bag.
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