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Hyundai develops new centrally positioned side airbag

21st Sep 2019 7:00 am

The centre-side airbag prevents the driver and front passenger from colliding into each other, in the event of an accident.

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The Hyundai Motor Group has developed a new, additional airbag that expands into the space between the driver and front passenger seat to preventing head injuries caused by the front seat occupants colliding into each other, in the event of an accident. If there is no one in the front passenger seat, the airbag will protect the driver from side collision coming from the passenger’s side. The centre-side airbag is installed inside the driver’s seat and will deploy once the impact is sensed. The Group will roll out the technology in upcoming vehicles.

The new centre-side airbag is expected to diminish head injuries (caused by passengers colliding with each other) by 80 percent. According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association’s statistics, the rate of secondary damage caused by these kinds of collisions or from hitting interior materials is about 45 percent.

Airbag that's 50 percent lighter than existing products

The Group has applied newly patented technology to maintain reliability but reduce the weight and size of the airbag. It has an internal component called ‘tether’ that allows the airbag to maintain its form and withstand the passenger’s weight.

Hyundai Motor Group says it has developed a new technology to simplify the design and reduce the weight of components to produce an airbag that is about 500g lighter than competing products. Thanks to the smaller size of the airbag, the Group’s design teams will have more flexibility in the type of seat design they envision for future products.

Upcoming Euro NCAP crash tests are expected to include side impact into their consideration, beginning year 2020, and Hyundai Motor Group’s airbag is expected to work favourably in such an evaluation.

The new centre-side airbag builds on the Group’s already strong safety reputation. Hyundai vehicles have been awarded 5-star overall safety ratings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the US Department Of Transportation, as well as 12 Top Safety Pick+ awards by the IIHS. Those vehicles include the Hyundai Kona, Santa Fe, Tucson and Nexo.

“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”

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