Automotive supplier Bosch has developed an innovative system that aims to save lives in the event of an electric vehicle crashing.
What Bosch has done is design small controlled explosive charges on an EV’s battery that are able to isolate the power supply in the event of a crash. This is done by sensors that detect a crash and direct the pyrotechnical safety switch system to use controlled explosions that drive a wedge into the wiring between the high-voltage battery unit and the rest of the vehicle. This eliminates the risk of electric shock or a fire.
Car and Driver notes that the system is similar in philosophy to an inertia switch in a gas-powered vehicle that shuts off fuel flow following an accident. However, as the Bosch solution destroys the battery pack’s wiring, it is not reversible.
Bosch employs its CG912 integrated airbag system chips to detect when the vehicle is involved in a crash. These chips are smaller than a fingernail and populated with millions of transistors and are custom-designed to activate safety functions reliably within a fraction of a second.
The company says it has been supplying car manufactures with this system but hasn’t specified what hybrid and electric vehicles currently make use of it.
“Faced with the growing number of electric vehicles that could potentially be involved in collisions, such systems are absolutely essential if we are to fulfill our mission of helping and rescuing victims of road accidents as rapidly and safely as possible,” German firefighters association vice-president Karl-Heinz Knorr said of the technology.