According to GM, the bag not only acts as a cushion between the driver and the passenger in the event of a side collision, but also works to decelerate the passenger’s body and keep it properly restrained. With Ford debuting an inflatable seatbelt on the 2012 Explorer, it seems like the two companies are ready to extend their historic rivalry to an airbag race.

Left: Side impact with no front center airbag and two passengers; Right: Impact with a front center airbag

Left: Side impact with no front center airbag and a driver only; Right: Impact with a front center airbag

By Alexander Stoklosa