Continental Sensor Technology Delivers Crash Data at the Speed of Sound
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Nov. 24, 2010 /PRNewswire/ —
- Crash Impact Sound Sensing detects structure-borne noise, allowing for earlier detection of crash severity and 50 percent faster deployment of airbags in frontal collisions.
- New clipSAT pressure satellite design makes for quicker and more affordable installation of side-impact sensors.
The latest passive safety innovations from Continental continue to improve occupant protection in frontal and side-impact collisions. Continental’s new Crash Impact Sound Sensing technology is changing the way airbags deploy in frontal collisions – where occupant safety is measured in milliseconds – by using structure-borne noise as the determining factor, while the new clipSAT pressure satellites offer both time and cost advantages in installations for automakers.
Whereas today’s impact sensors measure changes in acceleration or air pressure, Continental’s new technology, called Crash Impact Sound Sensing, features a revolutionary new sensing principle. Currently in production on a high-volume European platform, Crash Impact Sound Sensing measures the structure-borne noise generated in a collision.
Continental estimates that a Crash Impact Sound Sensor can transmit critical information about crash severity to a vehicle’s restraints control module three times faster than an acceleration sensor.
“Our goal is to get as much data about a crash event to a vehicle’s restraints module as quickly as possible so that the airbags and pre-tensioners can be fired with the right force at precisely the right time,” said Dean McConnell, head of business development for Continental’s North American Passive Safety Active Driver Assistance (PSAD) Business Unit. “Every millisecond counts when it comes to optimizing crash protection.”
With the Crash Impact Sound Sensor speed advantage, data can be received by the restraints control module up to 15 milliseconds faster, which is significant considering that the firing decision must be made within 10-40 milliseconds in a front-impact collision.
“Just like a seismograph that measures vibrations when layers of the earth move in an earthquake, Crash Impact Sound Sensing measures sound waves,” McConnell said. “Then the collision is analyzed and evaluated within just a few milliseconds using specially developed algorithms and a complex signal analysis, deciding what measures to initiate in order to mitigate the accident’s severity. That’s critical information when it comes to deploying restraint systems. Better information leads to better decisions.”
In addition to its safety performance, Crash Impact Sound Sensing can provide a cost savings to automakers in markets outside of the United States where safety regulations can be met without using acceleration-based sensors. Initial testing shows that we may be able to replace two acceleration sensors with one Crash Impact Sound Sensor, reducing cost and complexity.
Another way Continental is helping OEMs improve the manufacturing process efficiency is through its new clipSAT sensor-mounting technology.
ClipSAT is a side-mounted impact pressure sensor with a new mechanical design that makes installation faster and easier – without the need for tools or additional fasteners. ClipSAT is simply pressed into place within the side door panel in a single motion, improving installation speed and manufacturing cost in the process.
Side-mounted pressure sensors (pSAT) detect the change of pressure within the door cavity and quickly react. Because the sensor uses the entire side door as a sensing area and does not rely on acceleration values of rigid structures within a crash, it can deliver excellent results, especially when side impacts with narrow obstacles occur.
With more than 250 million safety sensors on the road today, Continental is recognized as a global industry leader in occupant safety.
With targeted annual sales of EUR 25 billion for 2010, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently employs approximately 146,000 people in 46 countries.