Hyundai Leads Development of Multi-Collision Airbags

Hyundai Testing New Airbag System

Hyundai Testing New Multi-Collision Airbag System

Hyundai Motor Group is leading the research and development of what they are calling – the world’s first multi-collision airbags. Hyundai safety engineers have invented this innovative technology designed to protect people from multiple collisions. Three out of every 10 accidents involve multiple collisions and this new system will significantly improve all-around safety.

The future availability of these multi-collision airbags is intended for all of its Hyundai and Kia cars. As the name suggests, multi-collision accidents are those where the primary impact is followed by collisions with secondary objects including trees, electrical posts or other vehicles.

Current airbag systems lack the technology to offer secondary protection when the initial impact is not enough to deploy them. With multi-collision airbags, the system calibrates the status of the vehicle and the occupants allowing airbags to deploy effectively in the event of a secondary impact.

The Korean automaker claims that the new technology automatically calibrates the device to deploy when a vehicle is seriously hit followed by an initial, less-serious impact that does not trigger deployment. In many instances in current vehicle safety technology, the airbags won’t deploy after registering an initial impact.

According to Taesoo Chi, head of HMG’s Chassis Technology Centre, “By improving airbag performance in multi-collision scenarios, we expect to significantly improve the safety of our drivers and passengers.”

How Do Multi-Collision Airbags Work?

The new airbag technology will first detect the occupant’s position in the cabin after an initial collision. When the first impact forces occupants into unusual positions, the current effectiveness of most safety technologies may not be sufficient. With the new system, airbags are deployed in such a way that it takes into account the relative position of vehicle occupants at the time of secondary impacts as well as the intensity thereof.

Multi-collision airbags are designed to deploy even faster when the initial safety systems proved ineffective providing more safety when drivers and passengers are at their most vulnerable. Because the system calibrates the required collision intensity for deployment, the airbags respond much faster during the secondary impact which significantly improves driver and passenger safety in the event of multi-collision accidents.

According to statistics from 2000 to 2012 by the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS), an office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in America, approximately 30% of 56,000 vehicle accidents in North America involved multi-collisions.

In light of the statistics, the leading type of multi-collision accidents involve the following scenarios:

  • cars crossing over the centre line (30.8%)
  • collisions caused by a sudden stop at tollgates (13.5%)
  • accidents on highway median strips (8.0%)
  • sideswiping and collision with trees and electric poles (4.0%)

Hyundai Motor Group analysed multi-collision scenarios in a number of ways to improve airbag performance and precision in the event of secondary collisions. Taesoo Chi added that “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.”

As mentioned earlier, all future Hyundai and Kia models will be equipped with multi-collision airbags adding to the already impressive list of safety features. We will continue to bring you all the latest developments from around the world and you can keep up to date by following our blog and joining us on Facebook.

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