One new system being developed by Continental Tyres offers an interesting solution in that it doesn’t attempt to prevent a collision from occurring, but it does aim to prevent a secondary collision from happening immediately afterwards.
According to the German automobile club ADAC Accident Research, around 25% of car accidents that involve personal injuries involve multiple collisions — such as a car striking a central reservation barrier and then careering into another vehicle.
The problem seems to be that after an initial collision, the driver is no longer able to bring their vehicle to a halt, often because they’re incapacitated in some way.
Continental Tyres’ ContiGuard post-crash braking system remedies this by using a car’s airbag sensors to identify an initial collision, after which the brakes are automatically applied.
Daniel Förster, Head of System Design ContiGuard in the Systems & Technology department of Continental's Chassis & Safety Division, said: “In high-speed collisions in particular, drivers often lose control over their vehicles. This is where our Post Crash Braking Technology can help; it quickly reduces vehicle speed, removing as much kinetic energy as possible and bringing the vehicle more rapidly to a stop.”
Crucially, the driver can still retake control of the vehicle at any time by pressing the accelerator or brake pedal.
There’s no news yet on when the system might make its way into a production vehicle, but since Continental Tyres has developed it in conjunction with an ‘unnamed’ German car manufacturer, it’s likely to be available before too long.