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Toyota has developed the first ever center airbag for the back seats that helps protect rear passengers from side impacts in the event of a crash.

The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) features a rear center console with an airbag that deploys between the rear passenger seats. The picture is a little deceiving as this demonstration rig shows a weird upper console which we guess represents a section of the roof. Perhaps Toyota built this into the demonstration rig as a point of reference to show the deployment area, but it gives the impression that the airbag is deploying from the roof.  A closer look at the photo indeed shows the airbag deploying from the upper center backrest area just above the dummy's right shoulder.

Toyota doesn't mention which model(s) will receive the new airbag. The press release simply states that the SRS will debut in "a Toyota model to be launched in Japan in the near future." But one should guess that more airbags are always good and that a center airbag can be effective so that when you're driving your parents-in-law home after Christmas dinner on a wet, slippery night they don't cluck their heads together when you end up crashing the car because of their incessant bickering.

Enjoy the unusual pic, yes. Crash test dummies are very creepy, no? Good idea for a horror movie.


Gallery: Toyota Develops World's First Rear-seat Center Airbag

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