General Motors and the Takata Corporation have worked together to bring to production a new, industry first technology called the Front Center Airbag which is being implemented on General Motors' 2013 Midsize Crossover Vehicles. This paper reviews field data, describes the hardware, and presents occupant test data to demonstrate in-position performance in far side impacts.
The Front Center Airbag is an airbag that mounts to the inboard side of the driver front seat. It has a tubular cushion structure, and it deploys between the front seating positions in far side impacts, near side impacts and rollovers, with the cushion positioning itself adjacent the driver occupant's head and torso. This paper includes pictures of the technology along with a basic description of the design.
In-position occupant performance is also described and illustrated with several examples. Single occupant and two front occupant far side impact test data are included, both with and without the airbag present. Resulting performance differences are discussed leading to the following test observations: a) In a far side impact with a single driver occupant present, the deployed airbag functions as a restraint to help keep the occupant away from the intruded passenger compartment structure. b) When two occupants are present, the deployed airbag functions as a cushion between the front occupants.
In addition, field data from the Fatal Analysis Reporting System and National Automotive Sampling System - Crashworthiness Data System are initially presented to illustrate the challenges that this technology attempts to address.