Since the early 1980s when airbags started to be installed in cabin, millions of people have benefitted from the extra protection and experienced reduced injuries during accidents. The contribution of airbags to saving lives cannot be understated and as new technology has been developed, the effectiveness of airbags has increased.
Preventing head injuries
Now the Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) has developed a new centre side airbag, further enhancing the safety of its vehicles’ occupants. This airbag works to separate the space between driver and front passenger by expanding into the space between the front seats to prevent head injuries of the two occupants.
If there is no one in the front passenger seat, the airbag will protect the driver from the effects of a side collision coming from the opposite side. The centre side airbag is installed inside the driver’s seat and will deploy once the impact is sensed.
The new centre 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%.
Lighter and simpler
The airbag has an internal component called a tether which allows the airbag to maintain its form and withstand the passenger’s weight. HMG has developed a new technology to simplify the design and reduce the weight of components to produce an airbag which is about 500 gms lighter than the competing products. Thanks to the smaller size of the airbag, the design teams will have more flexibility in the type of seat design they envision for future products.
HMG has applied newly patented technology to maintain reliability but reduce the weight and size of the airbag which will be offered in selected models to be introduced in future. Upcoming Euro NCAP assessments are expected to include side impact into its consideration beginning from 2020 and HMG’s airbag is expected to work favourably in such evaluation.