Kia Showcases Multi-Collision ADAS in Sorento

Kia has installed its first multi-collision ADAS system in its new European specification Sorento SUV to showcase technology claiming protection during a typical high speed accident.

Often on large multi-lane carriageways, when an accident occurs, a vehicle will strike, or be struck by, more than one other vehicle or crash into stationary objects such steel barriers or trees. While existing impact technologies may handle the initial impact, there is little protection left for ensuing collisions.

I have personal experience of this during a motorway head-on collision in the UK where the Lexus RX300’s airbag, air-curtain and crumple zones coped superbly with the first impact. However, it left the car spinning out of control and open to further shock, damage and a few personal injuries during the second and third impacts when it was struck by following vehicles unable to stop and then the steel barrier it finally ended up against.

Now Kia says its Multi-Collision Brake (MCB) system, can stop passengers from being involved in secondary collisions after an initial impact. It is designed to help prevent or mitigate the severity of a secondary collision, which may occur after initial impact as the vehicle continues to a stop, often out of the driver’s control.

The system is activated by the deployment of the vehicle’s airbags and, once activated, the system measures vehicle speed and any changes of direction, applying the appropriate level of braking force to bring the car to a controlled stop. It monitors the position of the pedals to check if the driver is attempting to accelerate or brake. If the MCB system detects little or no driver intervention, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) mechanism intervenes to apply the appropriate amount of braking for the car’s level of momentum. The system is not active at speeds exceeding 110mph, because brake intervention at high speeds can cause other severe impacts.

MCB’s effectiveness in preventing secondary accidents has already been acknowledged by Europe’s car safety assessment body, the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP). The program awarded an additional safety point to cars equipped with the MCB system for adult-passenger protection. Empirical testing of the system has indicated that a car with MCB showed an 8% decrease in fatalities and a four per cent decrease in severe injuries compared to the same car without MCB. Kia will roll out MCB to other models in line with planned model updates during the coming year.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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