Hyundai Motor Group has announced news of an important development set to make life-saving airbag technology even better.
The Korean company has become the first in the world to build a multi-collision airbag system, which could assist in almost a third of car accidents.
A ‘multi-collision’ accident is defined as one where, following the primary collision, the vehicle is then involved in a secondary impact. With current airbags designed to react only to the the initial crash, this can leave drivers and passengers exposed to danger.
The importance of Hyundai’s work has been highlighted by statistical research undertaken by the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS).
As part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States, NASS-CDS undertook analysis of some 56,000 vehicle accidents between 2000 and 2012.
From that research, it was found that secondary collisions occurred in some 30 percent of the road traffic accidents studied.
Leading causes of multi-collision events included crossing the centre line of the road, colliding with tollgates, and also hitting trees and electrical poles.
Given the violent movement of vehicle occupants during a crash, Hyundai knew that the airbag system could not just simply be designed to deploy again.
Instead, the new multi-collision system uses numerous sensors to detect precisely where drivers and passengers are located in the cabin. The airbags can also deploy even more quickly for secondary impacts, ensuring that occupants are completely protected.
For now Hyundai is still working on the development of the multi-collision airbag system. However, it promises to offer it in new Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the future.
Taesoo Chi, head of Chassis Technology Centre at Hyundai said: “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.”