A major European research project, which involved several automobile manufacturers, is about to launch a new safety system that automatically boosts the side protection strength of cars that are about to collide with other vehicles.
The European Union put up Euro 29 million of tax payers’ money to fund the Advanced Protection Systems (APROSYS) project, which, said the European Commission, “will soon find its way to showrooms”.
The system is based on a multi-directional camera monitor system surveying 20 meters around the car, and can identify a side collision risk 200 milliseconds before impact.
The on-board computer heats a ‘shape memory’ alloy, triggering a spring pushing steel bolts fixed within the occupants’ seats towards car doors, where metal boxes also automatically fall into place.
“The system of the bolt and the metal box stabilises the car door and absorbs energy on collision,” said project manager Björn Seipel of the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability.