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Hyundai, Kia develop center side airbags for future cars

Sept 19,2019
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Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors said Wednesday that they developed center side airbags and will mount them on their future cars.

The center side airbags will be installed on the right-hand side of the drivers’ seat, so they inflate between the driver and passenger. The automakers said the airbags will prevent the two people sitting in the front from colliding with each other in the case of an accident.

The carmakers added that even when a driver is alone inside a car, the center side airbag can protect the driver from fragmented glass or shock in the case of a broadside collision.

According to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, roughly 45 percent of passengers are subject to secondary damage during car accidents due to collision between passengers or damage from collisions with fragmented interior materials, such as glass.

“With center side airbags, we can reduce chances of head damage from collisions between passengers by roughly 80 percent,” Hyundai said in a statement.

While Hyundai and Kia are not the first companies to develop center side airbags, their product is smaller and lighter than existing products, the companies said. Such technology was developed to meet tightening safety assessment standards by the European New Car Assessment Programme, to be in effect from 2020.

By Kim Jee-hee