Auto Tech

Hyundai developed airbags that can handle multiple collisions

Not all accidents involve just a single collision, after all.

Given how long airbags have been around, it's a little surprising it took someone until 2019 to figure out a multiple-collision solution.

Hyundai

According to Hyundai, three out of every 10 collisions involve secondary collisions with other objects. So Hyundai developed an airbag system that hopes to protect you beyond the first hit.

Hyundai announced on Monday that it has developed and intends to commercialize a multi-collision airbag system, which the automaker claims is the first of its kind. In essence, it acts like a normal airbag, inflating to prevent injuries during a collision, but it's unique in the sense that some airbags will deploy upon a second collision, as well.

The tech depends on detecting movement of the occupants during and following the first collision. It can change the deployment strength of different airbags based on a person's position, attempting to mitigate any potential injuries incurred in secondary crashes.

"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 Hyundai Motor Group's Chassis Technology Center, in a statement. "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 Hyundai's research, cars crossing the center line create the greatest opportunity for multi-stage collisions, followed by sudden stops at toll gates and sideswiping. The automaker didn't say when this tech would reach production, only that it would eventually end up in both Hyundai and Kia vehicles, since the tech is too potentially important to relegate to a single half of Hyundai Motor Group.