Toyota has said that it has developed what it called the world's first rear-seat center airbag to better protect rear-seat passengers from a side-on collision.

The new Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbag is fitted in a large, fixed, rear-seat centre console and will feature in particular Toyota models to be released in the near future.

When the vehicle is hit side-on, the airbag deploys from the top of the console to act as a barrier that helps lessen injuries caused by passengers colliding with each other or into the console.

Toyota said the airbag will be available from a model to be launched in Japan in the near future.