General Motors will equip a number of its cars with the industry-first Front Center Air Bag from 2013.
This innovative safety features is designed to help protect drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes where the affected occupant is on the opposite, non-struck side of the vehicle.
The airbag deploys from the right side of the driver’s seat and positions itself between the front row seats near the center of the vehicle. The main function of this airbag is to act as an energy absorbing cushion between driver and front passenger in both driver- and passenger-side crashes. GM says it is also beneficial in rollovers, but it hasn’t been tested yet for that.
This feature is not required by federal regulation, but this option will definitely result in GMs products achieving Top Safety Picks in IIHS tests. The front center air bag will be introduced on the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Chevrolet Traverse midsize crossovers in the 2013 model year. This new safety feature will be standard on Acadia and Traverse with power seats and all Enclaves.
“While no restraint technology can address all body regions or all potential injuries, the front center air bag is designed to work with the other air bags and safety belts in the vehicles to collectively deliver an even more comprehensive occupant restraint system,” said Gay Kent, GM executive director of Vehicle Safety and Crashworthiness. “This technology is a further demonstration of GM’s above-and-beyond commitment to provide continuous occupant protection before, during and after a crash.”