Hyundai Motor Group (The Group), Kia Motors parent company, has developed a new centre side airbag, further enhancing the safety of its vehicles. The airbag works to separate the space between driver and passenger. The Group will roll out the technology in upcoming vehicles including Kia models.
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 (left side in right hand drive cars). 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 per cent. 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 per cent.
The Group has applied newly patented technology to maintain reliability but reduce the weight and size of the airbag.
The airbag has an internal component called tether which allows the airbag to maintain its form and withstand the passenger’s weight. Hyundai Motor Group has developed a new technology to simplify the design and reduce the weight of the component producing an airbag which is about 500g lighter than its competitors. 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 tests are expected to include side impact into its consideration from the beginning of 2020 and Hyundai Motor Group’s airbag is expected to work favourably in such evaluation.
“The development of centre side airbag goes beyond adding an additional airbag,” said Hyock In Kwon, 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”.