News Releases

Breakthrough TRW Seatbelt Technology Featured on Mercedes S-Class

Nov 5, 2002

TRW Automotive, a world leader in active and passive safety systems for the global automotive industry, today announced that the new Mercedes S-Class is fitted with its breakthrough Active Control Retractor (ACR) seatbelt technology. With the ACR, TRW introduces the first active seat belt system to the market.

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ACR is a valuable addition to today's passive restraint systems, and is a milestone in the convergence of active and passive safety technologies. By bringing together active and passive safety system features, ACR belts bring state-of-the-art technology to collision warning and driver protection. Using braking sensor and stability control sensor information, TRW's ACR seatbelts are equipped to react to potentially hazardous driving situations in split seconds. If the sensors detect a potential event, the seatbelt automatically tightens to improve the occupant's position. By pre-positioning the occupants, the ACR system can significantly enhance the overall performance of the vehicle restraint system. The system can also provide an attention signal that may allow the driver to take appropriate actions such as reducing the vehicle's speed.

Technical information

ACR works with a control algorithm that reads the sensor information and controls the retractor. When the algorithm detects potentially hazardous driving conditions, the ACR immediately reduces the seat belt slack, pulling the occupant into an upright and proper position. This generates significant advantages for the occupants. The driver receives feedback and warning about the road conditions and driving situation so that he can react accordingly. In case of a subsequent crash, pre-positioning reduces the probability of an "out-of-position" occupant, thereby allowing the Passive Restraint System to provide appropriate protection, and reducing the likelihood of injuries caused by the vehicle restraint system.

ACR is driven by a high dynamic, brushless DC motor, one of TRW's key competencies. TRW developed and produces the motor for this application.

John Plant, president and chief executive officer, TRW Automotive, said: "Mercedes' decision to fit its new S-Class models with TRW's ACR solutions emphasizes our technology leadership in passive and active safety systems. TRW is not just a manufacturer of seatbelts but we are strong across the whole range of safety technologies -- and that's what makes us exciting. We continue to work with our customers to develop systems which are changing the marketplace."

TRW Automotive is a leader in active and passive safety systems for the global automotive industry. Products include integrated vehicle control and driver assist systems, braking systems, steering systems, suspension systems, occupant safety systems, electronics, engine valves, fastening systems and aftermarket replacement parts. TRW Inc. (NYSE: TRW) provides advanced technology products and services to the automotive, aerospace and information technology markets. The company's 2001 sales were $16.4 billion (USD). TRW news is available on the Internet at .

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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, John Wilkerson, +1-734-266-3864, both of TRW USA, or Ilke Kaufmann of TRW Europe, +49-211-584-557

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