- Hyundai Mobis has successfully developed the world’s first panorama sunroof airbag system, which reduces injuries by preventing passengers from being thrown out of the car roof during an accident.
Hyundai Mobis was established in 1977 and is a global tier-1 automotive supplier, and based in Seoul, Korea. In 2002, the company began mass-producing car airbags, and since then the company has showcased cutting-edge airbag technologies, including the fourth-generation advanced airbag and inter-passenger airbag. The panorama sunroof airbag system is significant as it is the first time Hyundai Mobis has acquired a mass-production airbag technology ahead of its competitors.
How does the panorama sunroof airbag work?
The panorama sunroof airbag is a convenience feature that enables passengers in the rear of the car to enjoy an open view. It is made from special tempered glass which expands the openness of the existing sunroof. The panorama sunroof airbag is installed inside the sunroof, and deployed forward from the rear of the car. It resembles the curtain airbag that is deployed alongside the windows of the vehicle in a broadside collision. If the turning angle of the vehicle is changed due to a rollover accident, the sensor detects it, and the inflator deploys the airbag. Its cushion is inflated by gas and covers the entire roof surface of the vehicle in just 0.08 seconds to protect the passengers.
In the event of a rollover, the panorama sunroof airbag system prevents passengers from spilling from the car, and can reduce the risk of them sustaining serious injuries. During the development process, the airbag was deployed in a road test using dummies and prevented the passenger from being flung out of the car and cushioned the impact on the head. Therefore, serious injuries likely to result in the death of the passenger were reduced to minor injuries.
The panorama sunroof airbag is structurally complex
The Hyundai Mobis panorama sunroof airbag system is more complex compared to ordinary airbags, and features more technological difficulty. During its development, engineers identified that it was important to secure enough space for stable airbag deployment when making the sunroof. The airbag must also be deployed safely in a way that fits the situation, such as when the sunroof screen is open or closed in an accident. Therefore, if the car is overturned when the sunroof is closed, the airbag is deployed across between the sunroof glass and the sun shield.
During the process of developing the panorama sunroof airbag, Hyundai Mobis applied 11 patents, which allowed the company to gain a competitive advantage over its rivals to further develop this technology.