Seoul - You might think the modern car was already much cushier in a crash than those of yesteryear, given the gradual proliferation of airbags, with many (but sadly not all) now coming with front, side and curtain bags, and some even offering one for the driver’s knees.

But there is still one weak spot that none of the car companies have addressed until now - how do you prevent occupants colliding with each other in a side impact?

Hyundai is answering this question with a new centre side airbag, which works to separate the space between the driver and front seat passenger in order to prevent head injuries.

The new central airbag, which is installed inside the driver’s seat, is expected to reduce head injuries caused by passengers colliding with each other by up to 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. 

Furthermore, if the passenger seat is unoccupied, the inflatable cushion can still help shield the driver from side collisions occuring on the other side of the vehicle.

“The development of center side airbag goes beyond adding an additional airbag,” said Hyundai research engineer Hyock In Kwon.

“We will continue striving to further improve passenger safety by being ready for all kinds of accidents”.

Hyundai says the new central side airbag will be fitted to future products, but the company has not specified any particular models as yet.

IOL Motoring