The Genesis GV80 has an airbag between the front occupants

Genesis, the luxury arm of Hyundai, recently introduced its first SUV. The cleverly named GV80 is a large, three-row vehicle. And it looks great, even if the design feels somewhat influenced by the Mercedes-Benz GLS. Love or hate SUVs, the larger three-row is a great way to enter this market, as demonstrated by the Volvo XC90 some years ago.

With every new vehicle, an automaker will try to focus on some special feature that makes its vehicle standout from others. Genesis is certainly doing that, as the press release mentions a fancy HVAC system, screens, road-noise cancellation, fancy air seats, and of course, the latest in active safety features. And then there’s a casual mention of ten airbags.

One of these airbags is quite unique to the GV80. It’s located in the center console, as opposed to the circumference of the passenger area. This airbag is designed to prevent the driver from hitting the passenger, and vice-versa, during a side impact. Yes, seat belts are supposed to prevent such movement of occupants. But road car seat belts have only three points, which allow for comfort but also lateral movement of the upper body in a side impact. It’s possible for both front occupants to be properly seat-belted and still collide with each other during an impact.

That is a pretty ingenious safety feature. Head-butting your friend or loved one isn’t fun no matter what the circumstance. And this airbag aims to prevent that.

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11 responses to “The Genesis GV80 has an airbag between the front occupants”

  1. 0A5599 Avatar

    My old Government teacher used to tell the class about “COB turns” when he was young. You need a car with a very slick bench seat, and (back then) a spinner knob on the steering wheel. Make a quick right turn, and–“Come Over, Baby”–his date was in his lap.

    Not many vehicles with airbags are likely to have slick vinyl bench seats, but this would drive a wooden stake through the heart of that maneuver.

    1. Smaglik Avatar

      Ah…what used to pass for acceptable conduct from an instructor. My mentor at my university (we’re civil engineers) told me a story about something in his surveying class back in undergrad in Kansas in the late 60s. The instructor was talking about the importance of being precise with measurements, because 1/4″ can make a big difference in a surveying measurement. From the instructor, “If you don’t think 1/4″ is a big deal, think about an extra 1/4″ on the end of your d*ck.” All the male students nodded knowingly.

  2. danleym Avatar

    Been a firefighter for 7 years in a city of 500,000 people. Not the biggest in the country, but I’m not working in some podunk little town either.

    I’ve seen exactly 0 injuries that airbag would have prevented. There might be a reason no one else has done it yet.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Yeah, I am expecting a comment from Volvo, too, who has had a first responder/crash vehicle research group since the 70s. This seems like a very specific scenario, but it’s still positive that they are making safety an issue.

    2. Maymar Avatar

      Cynically, I’m a little shocked no one else has tried it before for the extra accident repair costs.

    3. David C Avatar
      David C

      Heres an article of accident where that center airbag would have been useful.

      Lawsuit Filed Against Porsche Following Fatal Crash

  3. Wayne Moyer Avatar
    Wayne Moyer

    Oh thank God now my mugs in the cup holders will be safe in an accident.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      Depends on how the airbag deploys, it just may throw the hot coffee all over you.

      1. Wayne Moyer Avatar
        Wayne Moyer

        Now I can sue and pay for the vehicle! Thank the Takata Gods for innovation.

    1. 09GT Avatar

      Honestly, would it kill people to do the tiniest bit of research before publishing a post based on an erroneous assumption?

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