New airbag sensor recognizes the seriousness of a crash from the noise

Siemens VDO Automotive AG has developed a sensor that monitors the vibrations in the car’s chassis. Thus an accident is heard early on and the seriousness of the accident can be assessed in just a few milliseconds. The airbag control unit then triggers the seatbelt tensioner and the airbags in order to protect the passengers as well as possible.


Engineers exploit the fact that vehicle deformation depends on the seriousness and type of accident and leads to different impact sound waves. Together with the acceleration signals, these deformation noises produce a precise image of the accident and allow restraint systems to be triggered individually.

The Crash Impact Sound Sensor will be fitted for the first time in 2007. In the future, Siemens VDO will integrate the sensor in the airbag control unit so that the transmission of information within the vehicle and the installation of the safety system can progress even more quickly. The company is also working on enhancing the vision of the “seeing automobile� and thus preventing accidents in advance.

Via PhysOrg.