Researchers in Germany are working on A car that will anticipate cars that are on a collision coarse with the vehicle. The researchers main goal would be to help with side-impact crashes. These kind of crashes make the passengers extremely vulnerable since there is next to no crush zone and there is less energy absorbed before the passenger compartment is crushed.
Cameras and Radar are used together to gather information for the on-board computer. With the information the computer calculates the chances of an impact. If the computer decides that impact is imminent an electric current will run through the side door, activating a shape-memory alloy to heat and swell. This makes a stronger connection with the car’s frame causing the energy of the impact to spread out around the car, reducing the risk to anyone in the car.
They are hoping to put the cars into production and run crash tests by next year, which could in turn save many lives.
Source: New Scientist Tech