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Airbag Ignition Cutoff

When the airbag deploys, the engine turns off.
  [vote for,

AO, Jul 17 2003

Time Traveler's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations http://hitchhikers....01_Tense_Formations
(will be) (is) (was) by Dr. Dan Streetmentioner [8th of 7, Aug 22 2014]

Deutschland Über Alles ... http://blog.kwsuspe...2010-audi-tt-rs.jpg
... as the Germans still like to imply. [8th of 7, Aug 22 2014]

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       Courtesy of the random button I found this incredibly simple smart idea that apparently no one ever looked at.   

       One time I witnessed a crash. A large sedan going probably 40 - 50 mph ran straight into the back of a stopped minivan, pushing that into a pickup truck in front of it. I stopped and went to check on the driver of the car that rear-ended the other. The airbag had deployed and saved his life (no seatbelt!), but he was unconscious and engine was revving. Before I did anything else I reached around rather awkwardly to turn off the ignition, since having a revving engine seemed rather dangerous in that situation. It would have been nice (and safer for everyone) if it had turned off automatically.   

       The driver woke up a few seconds later and seemed to think he was uninjured. He was going to climb out of the car to assess the damage, but based on how hard he hit and his somewhat advanced age I encouraged him to stay seated until help arrived. I assured him that there wasn't much point in looking a the car since it was a total loss.
scad mientist, Aug 21 2014

       Interesting. [AO]'s user page has this data on it   

       [Mar 25 2004, last modified Jun 10 2005]   

       but this idea predates that. Is this an artifact of the crash, or is [AO] a time traveler?
normzone, Aug 22 2014

       [AO] was not a time traveler at nowwhen, but he will have been eftsoons.
baconbrain, Aug 22 2014

       // is //   

       [norm], you clearly (will) (had) require(d) a copy of <link>
8th of 7, Aug 22 2014

       Due to recent news regarding deaths caused by unintended ignition shutoff due to design crime, I am going to have to decline to have this option on any of my vehicles. There's too many unavoidable ways to lose power while under way without adding an avoidable one.
normzone, Aug 22 2014

       Shirley the way to decide upon this is to get a handle on how many deaths are caused by the ignition being off when it shouldn't and how many are caused by the engine continuing to run after a collision.   

       I can certainly see how a running engine, possibly with a destroyed radiator, could cause a fire.
bs0u0155, Aug 22 2014

       Yeah, generally spilled gas and electricity are nervous making. My training was to shut the key off first thing.   

       Even while the accident is in process, if you're just waiting for the tumbling automobile to come to rest and have nothing else to do.
normzone, Aug 22 2014

       Stop using gasoline? diesel is tough to ignite.
bs0u0155, Aug 22 2014

       Rally cars rarely crash and burn - that is, they often crash, but they rarely burn.   

       That's because they're properly designed and equipped.   

       Flexible, puncture-resistant fuel cell within the tank. No airbags; proper multi-point harnesss. Relay-controlled electrical circuits. Automatic extinguishers in the engine bay. Battery master switches. Reinforced bodyshell with roll cage.   

       Or you can just have the off the shelf junk touted by the big manufacturers because it's got a nice stereo and is painted a pretty colour and looks good. Your choice.
8th of 7, Aug 22 2014

       As I understand it, the GM deaths were blamed on the failure of the airbag to deploy when the ignition turned off during an accident, not accidents caused by the engine turning off. Obviously the shutoff should be designed robustly to avoid nuisance shut-downs. I'd also like to see this designed so that the engine can be restarted after the event simply by twisting the key to the start position. You could have a mechanical breaker that is reset mechanically as the key turns. Or computerize it, so it won't restart unless the computer can pass basic diagnostics.
scad mientist, Aug 22 2014

       //Or you can just have the off the shelf junk touted by the big manufacturers because it's got a nice stereo and is painted a pretty colour and looks good. Your choice.//   

       I'll take the one with the windows and cup-holders.   

       And what, may I enquire, does the borg drive at the moment?
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 22 2014

       Amongst other things, something rather like <link> ...
8th of 7, Aug 22 2014

       How like?
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 22 2014

       Cosmetically, rather less garish. Mechanically, almost identical. (Full rally spec, but road-legal - just).
8th of 7, Aug 22 2014

       //Mechanically, almost identical//   

       The front offside wheel's off the ground. I had a table like that. When you get sick of wedging folded beer mats under it, you should consider taking a mm or two off the other legs with a belt sander.
bs0u0155, Aug 24 2014

       We noticed that too ... when we stopped to check, tho, it was touching the road again. Must be bigger on one side than the other.
8th of 7, Aug 25 2014

       I had a go in a Rally-spec Nissan Micra. Total hoot. Cars are much more fun when the results of a crash are a new donor shell for a couple of hundred quid and some component swapping.
bs0u0155, Aug 25 2014

       The only situation I can see where a power loss after airbag deployment is a bad thing is the incident happens in such a way that the vehicle is still moving at speed (which should be relatively rare anyway), as the loss of power brakes becomes a problem. The loss of power steering is less of a concern, because someone who has just had an airbag to the face probably won't be able to see well enough to steer.   

       Therefore it's simply enough to add functionality to the cutoff such that it doesn't engage unless the vehicle is stopped. It wouldn't be much more complex to add the functionality that brings the vehicle to a halt and then kills the engine, but, while a good idea, it does involve an extra positive acting system and the resultant added complexity.
MechE, Aug 25 2014


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