Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Tiny explosions in an EV could save lives in a crash

The electric effect is now in full force; like it or not, but electric cars are the future. While EVs have several advantages, they also pose new risks. In the event of a car crash, the damaged wiring could cause the current to leak from the vehicles’ battery into the metallic portions. This could be dangerous to occupants and first responders.

The safety system in electric vehicle (EV) activates to protect the occupant, but to go a step further, Bosch has built an explosive device that automatically cuts off high-voltage batteries. According to the company, the specially designed microchips deactivate the electrical circuits of the vehicle in a fraction of a second. This ensures that rescue workers and vehicle occupants remain safe.

Bosch devices prevent electric shock when electric vehicles are involved in accidents
Bosch devices prevent electric shock when electric vehicles are involved in accidents. Credit: Bosch

Bosch is supplying computer-controlled semiconductor chips to vehicle manufacturers to incorporate them into special systems that safely disconnect the battery in case of collision. It didn’t say which automakers are using these systems.

The semiconductor devices are part of a pyrotechnic safety switch system, or pyro-fuse, which sets off a series of small explosions. These small explosions introduce a wedge into the high voltage cable between the battery unit and the power electronics, disconnecting the two. By quickly and effectively cutting the flow of current in this way, the risk of electric shock or fire is eliminated.

CG912 integrated restraint system IC from Bosch
CG912 integrated restraint system IC from Bosch. Credit: Bosch

Bosch’s CG912 is an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), which measure no more than ten by ten millimeters and weighs only a few grams. It is used here to operate those pyro-fuses.

It’s still possible to get shocked or have an electric vehicle catch fire even with these Bosch safety systems onboard. But these systems could definitely reduce the risk of these incidents occurring.