Airbag 2012 — TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW) is exhibiting a range of technologies and concepts which aim to enhance the protection of occupants in the event of a collision. In addition to presenting advanced occupant restraint technology for frontal and side impact protection, the Company is using Airbag 2012 as a platform to inform its audience about opportunities to improve rear seat safety.
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Dirk Schultz, engineering director, TRW Inflatable Restraint Systems said: “Occupant protection for drivers and passengers has improved significantly in previous years – mainly as a result of regulatory changes and greater demands from New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) ratings. However, the level and sophistication of available features on front and rear seats can differ on many vehicles.
“With Euro NCAP planning to introduce a new ratings scheme in 2015 that focuses more stringently on rear seat safety for a wider range of occupant sizes, this situation is about to change. From 2015, tests will focus on older and larger children who use booster seats (Q6 and Q10 child dummies), as well as smaller and lighter adults (HIII 5% dummies).
“To maintain a five star rating, vehicle manufacturers will have to meet the more stringent standards set for rear seat occupants. As a leader in the development and manufacture of airbags and seat belts, TRW is well placed to support its customers in offering best in class rear seat safety.”
At the show, TRW is exhibiting several innovative solutions including its Active Buckle Lifter (ABL) seat belt system which can help occupants to fasten their seat belts by raising the buckle, as well as helping to remove some slack in certain dynamic and critical driving situations. This technology is due to start production on rear seats in 2013 with a major European vehicle manufacturer.
The Company will also be showing its roof airbag as a rear seat concept as part of its acrylic car display. This new airbag system is also due to start production in 2014 (in a front seat configuration); TRW is exploring how this technology could enhance the protection of rear seat passengers. Furthermore, it is investigating airbag modules that can be implemented at other locations, such as in the back of the front seat.
TRW also offers a range of load limiting solutions to help manage occupant energy during a crash including its ‘Dynamic Locking Tongue’ (DLT) seat belt innovation which can help to reduce loads on the occupant’s chest by clamping the webbing. Such systems could help to meet future NCAP requirements for rear seats.
Schultz concluded: “We have several advanced Occupant Safety System (OSS) technologies already in development and production that can support our customers in fitting the right technology – be it in front or rear seating positions – to help maintain their desired star rating.”
With 2011 sales of $16.2 billion, TRW Automotive ranks among the world’s leading automotive suppliers. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, USA, the Company, through its subsidiaries, operates in 26 countries and employs over 60,000 people worldwide. TRW Automotive products include integrated vehicle control and driver assist systems, braking systems, steering systems, suspension systems, occupant safety systems (seat belts and airbags), electronics, engine components, fastening systems and aftermarket replacement parts and services. All references to “TRW Automotive”, “TRW” or the “Company” in this press release refer to TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. and its subsidiaries, unless otherwise indicated. TRW Automotive news is available on the internet at www.trw.com.