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GM Introduces World’s First Front-Center Airbag

New system should reduce side-impact crash deaths, injuries.

by on Sep.29, 2011

Crash dummies demonstrte General Motors' new front-center air bag during a side impact collision .

General Motors will introduce the world’s first front-center airbag, a technology the maker claims can help reduce injuries and fatalities in side-impact crashes.

There was a time when manufacturers played a numbers game with cupholders, but these days, it seems, they’re focused on a more significant bit of math: how many airbags they can squeeze into a vehicle.

While this may be a bit of one-upsmanship, it clearly does deliver benefits that go beyond the ability to have two cups of coffee readily at hand at any moment.  A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, for example, lists the expanded use of airbags as one of the reasons why the number of deaths in crashes involving a car and a SUV have dropped by as much as two-thirds over the last decade.  (For more on that story, Click Here.)

“The front center airbag has real potential to save lives in side crashes,” said Adrian Lund, president of the insurance Institute for Highway Safety, during a joint news conference with General Motors.