The airbag is one of those hidden components of our cars, we wish we never have to see. However, unfortunate incidents can take place and this inflating safety feature has come a long way since it first started its journey. The newest development? Hyundai has announced the development and future commercialization of the world’s first multi-collision airbag system that improves airbag performance in multi-collision accidents. What’s a multi-collision accident? These are those in which the primary impact is followed by collisions with secondary objects, such as trees, electrical posts or other vehicles, which occurs in three out of every 10 accidents.
Current airbag systems do not offer secondary protection when the initial impact is insufficient to cause them to deploy. However, the multi-collision airbag system allows airbags to deploy effectively upon a secondary impact by calibrating the status of the vehicle and the occupants. Hyundai Motor Group analyzed multi-collision scenarios in multilateral ways to improve airbag performance and precision in secondary collisions.
The new technology detects occupant position in the cabin following an initial collision. When occupants are forced into unusual positions, the effectiveness of existing safety technology may be compromised. Multi-collision airbag systems are designed to deploy even faster when initial safety systems may not be effective, providing additional safety when drivers and passengers are most vulnerable.
By recalibrating the collision intensity required for deployment, the airbag system responds more promptly during the secondary impact, thereby improving the safety of multi-collision vehicle occupants. According to statistics by the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS), the leading type of multi-collision accidents involved cars crossing over the center line (30.8 percent), followed by collisions caused by a sudden stop at highway tollgates (13.5 percent), highway median strip collisions (8.0 percent), and sideswiping and collision with trees and electric poles (4.0 percent). Hyundai Motor Group will implement the system in new Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the near future.