Hyundai Motor Group has developed the world’s first airbag that can protect drivers from multiple collisions.
The company announced on Jan. 21 that it has developed an airbag system that can protect drivers from additional collisions that follow the first collision. This new airbag system complements the current one, which only recognizes all collisions as an independent first collision in the event of an accident.
A multi-collision refers to a collision with another vehicle or facility following the first collision in an accident. Multi-collisions occurred frequently to the point of accounting for about 30 percent of the 56,000 traffic accidents that took place between 2000 and 2012 in North America.
The newly developed multi-collision airbag system precisely calculates various conditions, such as the posture of the driver and speed of the car, when the airbag does not deploy in the first collision due to weak impact. The airbag is designed to deploy more easily and promptly in the subsequent collision by lowering the reference impact strength or adjusting the deployment point.
According to the U.S. National Automobile Sampling System (NASS) and Crashworthiness Data System (CDS), multi-collisions occur most frequently in accidents where vehicles cross over the center line on a national highway (30.8 percent), followed by those caused by cars making a sudden stop at an expressway tollgate (13.5 percent), vehicles crashing into median strips on expressways (8 percent), and crashes into street trees and utility poles (4 percent).
Hyundai Motor Group patterned vehicle movements and passenger positions in the four cases through numerous analytical simulations and collision tests and applied it to the multi-collision airbag system.
The first car to be equipped with the new airbag system is Kia's Soul Booster, which will be launched on Jan. 23. Soul is sold in both domestic and overseas markets, and the new airbag system will also be applied to electric vehicles. The company is planning to apply the multi-collision airbag system to other Hyundai and Kia brand vehicles in due time. The group is filing domestic and foreign patent applications for the new airbag system.