The front-center airbag—available on the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave—inflates over the vehicle’s center console.

More and more, airbags are protecting occupants from contacting the perimeter of a vehicle’s interior in the event of a collision. Now GM is taking that a step further with a front-center airbag that’s available in the updated 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave. How Center Airbags Work.

This additional airbag is mounted on the inboard side of the driver’s bucket seat. When triggered, it inflates to fill the area between the front seats and runs roughly from the top of the center console to just below the inside surface of the roof.

Its purpose is to protect a front passenger in a side impact when a collision occurs on the opposite side of the vehicle from where he or she is seated. It also helps protect front-seat occupants from striking each other in side impacts. GM developed this new airbag in cooperation with supplier Takata; it is not in response to a federal government safety mandate.

The front-center airbag is optional on the base Chevrolet Traverse LS and standard on all LT and LTZ models. At GMC, the front-center airbag is standard on Acadia SLE-2, SLT-1, SLT-2, and Denali; it is not available on the base SLE-1. Buick makes the front-center airbag standard on all 2013 Enclaves.

The front-center airbag is mounted on the inboard side of the driver’s seat.

When the only front-seat occupant is the driver, the front-center airbag offers additional protection in collisions in which the passenger side of the vehicle is struck.

When there are two front passengers, the front-center airbag acts as a cushion between the occupants if the vehicle is struck on either side.