Hyundai Motor Group will get ahead of more stringent Euro NCAP safety tests with the rollout of its centre side airbag that can prevent front occupants colliding in the event of a vehicle accident.
Fitted to the side of the driver’s seat, the centre side airbag is expected to lower head injuries caused by front occupant collisions by 80 per cent, according to the South Korean brand.
If, however, there is no front occupant, the new airbag is still designed to deploy and protect drivers from any incoming debris.
Developed with new patented technologies, the centre side airbag features an internal tether to main its shape and withstand the passenger’s weight, while the size and weight is also reduced compared to traditional airbags.
As such, Hyundai’s planning teams will have more flexibility and freedom in seat designs of future models.
Euro NCAP, and as by extension the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) is expected to adopt tougher crash-testing criteria next year, which will include a more comprehensive side impact assessment.
Though Hyundai did not reveal which model the airbag will make its debut, the new Sonata will roll-out to Australian showrooms later this year, while Santa Fe, Tucson and Kona could also be refreshed with the new safety gear.
Hyundai Motor Group research engineer Hyock In Kwon said: “The development of centre side airbag goes beyond adding an additional airbag.
“We will continue striving to further improve passenger safety by being ready for all kinds of accidents,” he said.