Shifting Consumer and Legislative Requirements Drive Demand For Lear Safety Innovations
Injuries from traffic accidents are among the most serious public health problems globally -- estimates show that whiplash injuries alone make up about 35% of all vehicle collision injuries and cost about $20 billion annually in North America and Europe.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration predicts U.S. traffic fatalities and injuries will increase 50% by 2020 because of population growth, aging baby boomers, an increase in young drivers and more congestion. Millions of drivers have daily commutes of 90 minutes or more each way. As they spend more time in their vehicles, their expectations for safe and comfortable vehicle interiors are also increasing.
Studies show that in their next vehicle purchase, consumers would most likely buy safety-related technologies, such as Lear's IntelliTire(R) Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Lear Advanced Front Light System (AFS) and ProTec(TM) PluS, Lear's second-generation self-aligning head restraint.
"Lear has a long history of safety innovations," said Douglas DelGrosso, Lear's president and chief operating officer. "Today's consumers are looking for more safety technology and they have also indicated a willingness to pay for these features."
Following nearly a decade of successful experience with integrating active head restraints, Lear has participated with the global community in developing new injury criteria proposals and test methods. This leads to the new development of ProTec PluS -- Lear's second-generation self-aligning head restraint that offers increased protection from whiplash injuries.
The PluS system utilizes the pelvis, lumbar and shoulders to extend the activation time to improve head support. In addition to increased protection, ProTec PluS is able to pass the FMVSS 202A dynamic seat test option. It supports the head of a 50th percentile occupant even if the head restraint has not been adjusted and offers significantly improved passenger comfort and rearward vision.
IntelliTire alerts the driver when tire pressure or temperature is outside proper operating limits. The system offers high and stable output power regardless of wheel rim material, as well as outstanding overall performance based on an optimized system design using either rim or valve mounted sensors. IntelliTire is offered in basic and high-end systems to meet the needs of all vehicle segments.
Lear Active Frontlight System offers a highly improved illumination of the roadway by aligning headlamp light beams with road curve progression. The flexible and modular design allows a cost-efficient application of AFS across different vehicle platforms. Because a single box can cover automatic headlamp leveling and AFS combined, a maximum use of common parts is guaranteed to further enhance economies of scale. Whatever option a consumer orders, connectors and wire harness stay the same, reducing the complexity of the vehicle lighting system. Additionally, the enhanced bus-based concept ensures if one box is damaged, the headlamp on the opposite corner works unaffected.
Lear Corporation (NYSE:LEA) is one of the world's largest suppliers of automotive interior systems and components. Lear provides complete seat systems, electronic products and electrical distribution systems and other interior products. With annual net sales of $17.1 billion, Lear ranks #127 among the Fortune 500. The company's world-class products are designed, engineered and manufactured by a diverse team of 115,000 employees at 282 locations in 34 countries. Lear's headquarters are in Southfield, Michigan, and Lear is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol [LEA]. Further information about Lear is available on the Internet at http://www.lear.com/ .