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TRW Tech Combines Active Seat Belt, Automatic Emergency Braking

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Photo courtesy TRW

Photo courtesy TRW

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Livonia-based TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW) Wednesday unveiled a new intelligent safety system designed to enhance the protection of occupants in challenging driving situations or mitigate the effects of a crash.

The system combines TRW’s Automatic Emergency Braking system with its Active Control Retractor seat belt technology to reinforce driver warning; improve occupant position in relation to the vehicle’s airbag restraint system; and provide automatic braking support.

Said Peter Lake, executive vice president for TRW sales and business development: “We continue to see an even greater market demand for intelligent or ‘cognitive’ safety systems. Our focus is on delivering solutions for the full range of vehicles from luxury models through to low cost cars in emerging markets. New legislation, such as the mandates for ABS and airbags in Brazil, ESC in Europe and North America, and automatic emergency braking systems on trucks in Europe, open up a wealth of possibilities for safety integration to deliver greater value for vehicle manufacturers and the consumer.  Our combination of AEB and ACR is just one example of how TRW is taking safety to the next level.”

Working in isolation, the two systems use data from environmental and vehicle dynamics sensors to offer automatic emergency braking support without driver intervention, or remove seat belt slack to help maintain the position of the driver or passenger in anticipation of airbag deployment.

Alois Seewald, global director for integrated active and passive safety technologies said: “By integrating the two systems we are able to realize a higher level of safety. The ACR can provide an additional warning to the driver when a critical situation is detected and pretension the seat belt a split second sooner than an ACR system working only based on vehicle dynamics sensors information. Although we’re talking about milliseconds, it can help to mitigate the impact of a crash.”

The integrated system uses a mid range radar in combination with a scalable video camera which independently gather data of the road and traffic situation in front of the host vehicle: the radar looks forward up to 150 meters, while the camera covers a closer, but wider field of view and helps to detect and classify objects in front.

If the sensors detect a critical situation, the driver is alerted to the potential danger (visual, audible or haptic feedback) and the ACR system pretensions the seat belt, which can provide an additional warning to the driver as well as remove seat belt slack to help maintain the position of the occupant prior to airbag deployment. Furthermore, a certain amount of brake pressure will be applied automatically.

If the sensors detect an unavoidable impact — and in the case of insufficient or no driver reaction — the ACR will be applied with maximum force prior to the impact, to minimize the forward displacement of the occupant. AEB is the final action as maximum brake pressure is applied — ensuring the highest speed reduction after the ‘point of no return.’

he system will be ready for production in 2013. TRW’s ACR system has been in production since 2002 and is currently available on a number of vehicles including Mercedes, Hyundai, Jaguar and Audi vehicles.

More at www.trw.com.

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