When we think of airbags, we figure that these systems are good for one severe impact. After an accident, they deploy to save the car’s occupants and are then rendered as useless as the vehicle that crashed. What happens though if there are multiple collisions in a crash? What if the car hit a post, had its airbags deploy, and then was subsequently hit by another car? A good number real-life incidents are comprised of multiple collisions, so what if an airbag can deploy multiple times during an accident?
Hyundai may just have the answer. Using systems that calibrate the vehicle’s status and occupant condition real-time during a collision, their new airbag tech allows for quick response whenever an occupant is placed in unusual positions in the cabin.
Supposedly this multi-collision airbag system is 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.
“By improving airbag performance in multi-collision scenarios, we expect to significantly improve the safety of our drivers and passengers,” said Taesoo Chi, head of Chassis Technology Center at Hyundai Motor Group. “We will continue our research on more diverse crash situations as part of our commitment to producing even safer vehicles that protect occupants and prevent injuries.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the U.S., about 30% of 56,000 vehicle accidents spanning the years from 2000 to 2012 in the North American region involved multi-collisions. Usually these multiple-collision accidents are caused by sudden stops 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).
With the way their development is going, Hyundai Motor Group is keen to implement their new airbag system onto Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the near future as a means to safeguard drivers and passengers.