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Takata Combats Drowsy Driving with SafeTrak

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(credit: istock) Technology Report
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Pontiac-based TK Holdings Inc., the North American subsidiary of Japan’s Takata Corp., is addressing the roadway hazard of drowsy driving in the commercial trucking industry with its SafeTrak3 advanced electronic vision system. 

SafeTrak3 includes both lane departure and driver alertness warning systems, which give commercial truck drivers a warning if they are driving erratically within a lane or unintentionally departing from their lane. Both behaviors are prime indicators of driver drowsiness or fatigue.

Takata said it’s anticipated systems like these will soon be made available to consumers on a wide variety of passenger cars.

A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety noted that drowsy driving has been identified as a contributing factor in 16.5 percent of fatal crashes in the United States.  (http://www.aaafoundation.org/pdf/2010DrowsyDrivingReport.pdf ).  The new analysis is based on crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and estimates more than 5,000 annual roadway fatalities due to driver drowsiness.

“Drowsy or inattentive driving is a very serious issue on our roadways,” said Kirk Morris, TK Holdings Inc. vice president of business development and product management. “We believe the use of our SafeTrak products will help to reduce distracted driving in the commercial trucking industry. Soon automakers and consumers will also recognize the exceptional value of these safety systems.”

TK Holdings Inc. is a subsidiary of Takata Corp., the largest manufacturer of safety belts in the world, producing more than 80 million assemblies annually. Its customers include nearly every automotive manufacturer and several Tier One suppliers. Its technology features a strong emphasis on safety restraint systems, air bags, safety electronics, interior trim, and special fabrics and textile materials.

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