News Releases

TRW Automotive Introduces New Smart Airbag and Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

Aug 6, 2003

TRW Automotive, the global leader in automotive safety systems, will launch its new occupant weight- sensing system and its first direct tire pressure monitoring system for the 2004 model year.

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  Smart Airbag System Uses Strain Gauge Technology

TRW will launch its new occupant weight sensing system on a major automaker's 2004 sport utility vehicle, the first of many applications over the next several model years.

This system uses strain gauges at each corner of the front passenger seat frame to directly measure the occupant's seating weight, which is, in turn, used to classify occupants as infants, children or adults. This classification is then used to determine the appropriate air bag deployment for the occupant, ranging from a full deployment for larger adults to a gentler deployment for small adults and larger children, to no deployment for infants, small children and some small stature adults. The system provides highly reliable performance from a direct weight measurement and eliminates the need for calibration at the seat or in the vehicle assembly plant.

"This system has been developed in conjunction with our customer's engineering counterparts with the intent of better protecting occupants and meeting the intent of new FMVSS 208 requirements that go into effect for the 2004 model year," said Doug Campbell, vice president, engineering for Occupant Safety Systems. "This weight sensing solution is designed to provide highly reliable occupant classification data that will lead to enhanced protection by providing a more appropriate airbag deployment for each passenger type and by helping to reduce the number of inappropriate deployments."

Direct Tire Pressure Monitoring System Debuts

TRW is also introducing its second generation direct Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) for a major Japanese vehicle manufacturer on a 2004 model year application.

TRW, in cooperation with Michelin, has developed the "EnTire Solution," an advanced direct TPMS. The system delivers accurate readouts, has the ability to indicate what tire is under-inflated, front or rear, left or right, and offers other major benefits to the driver.

Using predictive algorithms, the driver can be warned that there will be a low-pressure tire problem in the near future. This warning can alert the driver to take action before getting on a long stretch of highway.

False alarms are another concern that can cause a true low-pressure warning to be ignored even by the most conscientious driver. TRW Automotive and Michelin have incorporated such advanced monitoring algorithms into the EnTire Solution TPMS that detect slow leaks, yet also account for driver habits and environmental conditions to reduce the occurrence of false warnings.

"Generally, the benefits of tire pressure monitoring and correct tire pressure include improved vehicle dynamics behavior, fuel saving, longer tire life and a significant reduction in the number of tire blowouts," said Alain Charlois, director of product planning for Occupant Safety Systems. "We are pleased to offer a system that will help enhance safety and reduce potentially dangerous situations on the roadway."

About TRW

With sales of $10.6 billion in 2002, TRW Automotive Inc. ranks among the top 10 suppliers in the world. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, USA, the company employs approximately 63,000 people in 22 countries. Its products include integrated vehicle control and driver assist systems, braking systems, steering systems, suspension systems, occupant safety systems (seat belts and airbags), electronics, engine valves, fastening systems and aftermarket replacement parts and services. TRW Automotive news is available on the Internet at .

Photo: NewsCom: AP Archive: PRN Photo Desk, +1-888-776-6555 or +1-212-782-2840 SOURCE: TRW Automotive

CONTACT: Manley Ford, +1-734-266-2616, or John Wilkerson, +1-734-266-3864, both of TRW; or Amy Popp or Jim Bianchi of Bianchi PR, +1-248-269-1122, for TRW Automotive

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