According to Hyundai, 30 per cent of all car crashes involve a follow-up impact after the initial smash. The company has developed a system to better protect occupants in those cases.
Hyundai has revealed the world's first multi-impact airbag, designed to protect drivers in collisions where the first collision isn't necessarily the most dangerous.
In scenarios where the airbags might not deploy after the first impact – say a car crashing into another car, below the main airbag trigger threshold – the Hyundai system is capable of detecting the occupants' positions, and firing faster than the initial airbag system.
Because passengers generally aren't in a conventional position after an impact, the airbags are able to fine-tune their deployment intensity and angle to compensate.
According to Hyundai, multi-impact accidents happen often, most commonly when cars drift into oncoming traffic, sending them careening towards traffic, barriers or things like trees.
"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 centre at Hyundai.
"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.”
There's no timeline on when the system might make production.