TRW Automotive CEO John Plant at SAE 2003 World Congress: Integration of Technologies and Cooperation Needed to Drive Safety Revolution
Mar 6, 2003
The automotive industry is well on its way to combining passive and active safety systems, thanks to companies such as TRW Automotive. By the end of this decade, these integrated safety and driver-assist technologies will begin to drive dramatic improvements in vehicle safety, comfort and convenience, according to John C. Plant, president and chief executive officer for TRW Automotive.
Plant's comments came in a keynote speech -- titled: "The Safety Revolution: Bringing It All Together"-- given today in the SAE Technology Theater during the SAE 2003 World Congress at Cobo Center in Detroit.
By linking active safety systems that can help prevent accidents -- such as active roll control, vehicle stability control and brake assist -- with passive systems that help to protect occupants during accidents -- such as seat belt retractors, air bags and rollover canopies -- automakers and their safety system suppliers can drive a safety revolution in the next several years, according to Plant. But, he said, making this vision a reality requires a coordinated effort among the suppliers, vehicle manufacturers, government and the buying public.
All these constituencies need to work together in the spirit of cooperation, focusing on the largest safety issues, to drive vehicle safety to the next level, Plant said.
Plant said that each participant in the safety equation has a role to play:
* Suppliers are called to ensure that new safety technologies are effective, reliable, high quality and, most importantly, affordable;
* Vehicle manufacturers, who already face tremendous pricing pressure, will likely add new safety system content in large volumes only when consumers place value in such systems;
* The buying public needs a greater awareness of what safety systems are -- or will be -- available, what the benefits will be and, in many cases, how to use the systems; and
* Government officials need more education regarding these safety systems, the societal issues that can help to drive safety legislation and the actual root causes of many traffic fatalities and injuries.
While the adoption of new technologies can have a significant impact on safety, it is just as important to address the two biggest automotive safety issues: seat belt usage and driver impairment, Plant said.
"TRW and others in the industry have developed, and continue to work on, technologies that can help mitigate collisions and rollover propensity, as well as enhance occupant protection," Plant said. "But no matter how much technology you give the driver to assist with vehicle control, or how much passive protection you give the occupant, unless they properly use the equipment in a safe and sober manner, we will continue to fight an uphill battle."
"In the end, the safety and welfare of anyone who steps into a vehicle anywhere on the world's roadways is something we all can -- and must -- agree upon," he said.
TRW Automotive's sales place it eighth largest among the world's automotive suppliers. Now the seventh largest firm headquartered in the Detroit Metropolitan area, the company employs approximately 64,000 people in 22 countries.
TRW Automotive is headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, USA. 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. TRW Automotive news is available on the Internet at www.trwauto.com .Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010824/TRWLOGO AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/ 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 USA; or Ilke Kaufmann of TRW Europe, +49-211-584-557
Web site: http://www.trwauto.com/