Hyundai Motor Group (The Group) has developed a new center side airbag that works to separate the space between driver and passenger. The Group will introduce the technology in upcoming vehicles.
This new, additional airbag expands into the space between driver and passenger seats to prevent head injuries of passengers in the front row. If there is no one in the front passenger seat, the airbag will protect the driver from side collision coming from the right side. The center side airbag is installed inside the driver’s seat and will deploy once the impact is sensed.
The new center side airbag is expected to diminish head injuries caused by passengers colliding with each other by 80%. 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%.
The Group has applied newly patented technology to maintain reliability but to reduce the weight and size of the airbag.
The airbag has an internal component called a “tether” which allows the airbag to maintain its form and withstand the passenger’s weight. Hyundai Motor Group developed a new technology to simplify the design and reduce the weight of component to produce an airbag which is about 500g lighter than the 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 is expected to include side impact into its consideration beginning year 2020; Hyundai Motor Group expects its airbag to work favorably in such evaluations.