In order to increase the safety of occupants in its vehicles, Hyundai Motor Group has developed a new centre side airbag. This new airbag technology, which will start featuring in new Hyundai vehicles, separates the driver and passenger from hitting each other in case of an accident. The new airbag inflates in the space between the driver and the front passenger and prevents head injuries. In case there is no passenger on board, the airbag will provide additional protection to the driver if the impact occurs from the right-hand side of the vehicle and is installed inside the driver's seat.
Hyundai says that its new centre side airbag is going to reduce head injuries caused by passengers hitting each other in case of an accident by 80 per cent. The rate of secondary damage caused in case of passengers hitting each other, or hitting the vehicle's interior panels in 45 per cent, according to European Automobile Manufacturers' Association’s statistics. Hyundai has applied for a patent for the technology which is being used in order to make this new airbag set-up light and compact yet offer increased reliability. The new technology has a simplified design and hence, it is 500kgs lighter in comparison to similar products. Furthermore, the compact design will allow flexibility for the design teams when it comes to designing the type of seat in which this technology will be used.
In order to support the weight of the passenger, in case of an accident, this new centre side airbag comes with an internal component called tether. Hyundai expects that the new centre side airbag is going to enhance the safety quotient of its products and benefit them in the upcoming Euro NCAP regulations which also take side-impact into consideration.
“The development of centre side airbag goes beyond adding an additional airbag,” said Hyock In Kwon, a research engineer from Crash Safety System Engineering Design Team of Hyundai Motor Group. “We will continue striving to further improve passenger safety by being ready for all kinds of accidents”.