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While the spotlight has been shining on automatic systems to avoid car crashes, something interesting has been happening in the shadows: new technologies that let you survive a crash you don't avoid. We may enter the era of "peak survivability," when autonomy soon starts to reduce accidents. Audi's Pre Sense Side uses side radar sensors that are part of the car's overall collision detection package to sense a T-bone impact right before it happens and lift the entire car 3 inches in half a second. That puts more of the impact force on the big, strong horizontal floor pan and sill beams rather than the soft doors. Mercedes Pre-Safe Impulse Side system inflates a side seat bolster right befo... Full story

13 March