One more added on the safety item list. General Motors is set to introduce the industry’s first front center airbag, which is an inflatable restraint designed to help protect drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes.

Designed to work collectively with the other airbags and safety belts in a vehicle, the front centre airbag deploys from the right side of the driver’s seat and positions itself between the front row seats near the centre of the vehicle.

Without, and with, the FCAB, single front occupant. Looks painful.

The tethered, tubular airbag is designed to provide restraint during passenger-side crashes, be it with a single or double front occupant scenario – the airbag acts as an energy absorbing cushion between driver and front passenger in both driver- and passenger-side crashes. It is also expected to provide benefit in rollovers.

GM and its technology supplier Takata developed the airbag over the course of three years, testing many design iterations to achieve packaging, cushioning, and restraint in a variety of crashes and occupant positions.

Without, and with, the FCAB, two front occupants. Definitely painful.

While the front centre airbag is not required by US federal regulations, it is expected to improve the safety performance measurements in such-equipped vehicles in terms of third-party crash test performance.

The front centre air bag will be introduced by GM on the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Chevrolet Traverse midsize crossovers in the 2013 model year, and will be standard fitment on Acadia and Traverse with power seats and all Enclave models.