In critical situations, the vehicle uses all available means to try to prevent a collision. This is where so-called active safety comes into play, for example with the rear-end collision warning and city braking function, or the pedestrian detection function. Drivers are warned when pedestrians are detected. If the driver doesn’t react immediately, the vehicle brakes automatically. “In many cases, the accident can even be avoided entirely,” says Kompass.
If the crash is still imminent, passive safety and the optimal interaction between the vehicle’s deformation structure and restraint systems is crucial. “Even those are initially invisible; you can’t see the airbags. Only when the need arises do they come out in just a few thousandths of a second, unfold, and protect the occupants.”
BMW is also working to improve protection for vulnerable road users: “The new BMW iX3 has a flexible front structure and a front flap that goes up on impact, as an additional deformation element to protect pedestrians.”