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TRW Outlines Next Stages of Value Through Integration

Sep 15, 2009

FRANKFURT, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW) will demonstrate how it can offer customers greater value through sensor integration and simplifying electronics architecture within vehicles at the 2009 IAA Exhibition.

Martin Thoone, vice president engineering, Electronics said: "Integration is a core part of TRW's strategy and we are continually working to develop smarter products which will help to reduce complexity, installation effort, weight, packaging and ultimately cost for our customers - in addition to improving functionality in some instances. With the broadest portfolio of active and passive safety products in the industry, TRW is well placed to maximize all integration opportunities.

"Today's electronic architecture is highly distributed and complexity is ever increasing with up to 70 ECUs in some vehicles. The industry needs to find smarter ways to further integrate active and passive systems and add value to vehicle manufacturers as the rate of electronics growth continues to accelerate."

The Company is highlighting a number of new technologies that support its integration strategy within three paths: Airbag Control Unit (ACU)-centric, Electronic Stability Control (ESC)-centric integration and Data Fusion. These concepts can be extended with driver assistance sensors, such as radar and cameras, to augment both performance and functionality.

ACU Integration

TRW has launched its next generation integrated ACU, which allows for the integration of the inertial sensors in addition to frontal, side and rollover airbag sensors. This technology is due to start production with a major vehicle manufacturer in 2012.

Hans-Gerd Krekels, global portfolio director, TRW Integrated Electronics added: "Traditionally, ESC systems have been introduced with stand alone inertial sensing units. To enhance value, our integrated ACU product presents a viable way to reduce the number of ECUs in the vehicle while retaining the performance of the ESC system."

In addition, TRW has also developed a value line version of its second generation active seatbelt retractor product, 'Active Control Retractor 2 Basic' (ACR2 Basic). ACR2 Basic offers a simplified electronic architecture due to its integration with the ACU.

Finally, within its ACU integration strategy, TRW is developing its 'initial Safety Domain ECU' (i-SDE) concept which is based on TRW's next airbag platform - designed with maximum flexibility to allow for the integration of a range of electronic control functions for active and passive safety.

Krekels added: "The i-SDE acts as a chassis and safety control center - housing crash algorithms and vehicle dynamics arbitration software to optimize the interaction between active systems such as ESC and EPS, as well as passive systems such as airbags and seatbelts."

ESC Integration

TRW has developed a new slip control unit with integrated inertial sensors which mitigates many of the interface and organizational issues of integrating signals from stand alone inertial sensor modules. This approach eliminates many components and can thereby realize significant cost savings.

A further example is TRW's recently announced integrated Electric Park Brake (EPBi) system, which also eliminates the need for a separate ECU due to its integration with the ESC system. In addition to realizing cost savings, EPBi also offers enhanced functionality, as it can seamlessly integrate the functionality of an electric park brake with a hydraulic service brake in order to optimize features such as drive away assist and hill hold.

Data Fusion

Finally, TRW is a leading expert on data fusion. The integration of active and passive systems offers significant potential to enhance safety and optimize functionality while working toward a single safety domain ECU.

Krekels continued: "Combining data provided through various sensors (radar, camera, digital map) situated around the vehicle can provide an enhanced picture of the environment and potentially mitigate the severity of an impact when a collision is unavoidable. For instance, combining camera and radar with ESC can provide Automatic Emergency Braking. Furthermore, fusing input from radar sensors with Pressure Satellites or Remote Acceleration Sensors located at the sides of the vehicle can significantly enhance the performance of airbags (time to fire) and potentially lessen the severity of a crash.

"TRW's detailed knowledge of advanced sensor electronics combined with its solid experience of actuation - vehicle control systems and occupant protection systems -positions us well to support our customers in the area of intelligent safety. These are ideal examples of Cognitive Safety Systems that are constantly sensing the environment, analyzing the situation and acting in the most appropriate way to help keep drivers and passengers safer."

About TRW

With 2008 sales of $15.0 billion, TRW Automotive ranks among the world's leading automotive suppliers. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, USA, the Company, through its subsidiaries, operates in 26 countries and employs approximately 60,000 people worldwide. TRW Automotive products include integrated vehicle control and driver assist systems, braking systems, steering systems, suspension systems, occupant safety systems (seat belts and airbags), electronics, engine components, fastening systems and aftermarket replacement parts and services. All references to "TRW Automotive", "TRW" or the "Company" in this press release refer to TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. and its subsidiaries, unless otherwise indicated. TRW Automotive news is available on the internet at

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains statements that are not statements of historical fact, but instead are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties which can cause our actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements, including those set forth in our Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008 (our "Form 10-K") and in our Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended April 3, 2009 and July 3, 2009, such as: any prolonged contraction in automotive sales and production adversely affecting our results, liquidity or the viability of our supply base; the financial condition of OEMs, particularly the Detroit Three, adversely affecting us or the viability of our supply base; disruptions in the financial markets adversely impacting the availability and cost of credit negatively affecting our business; our substantial debt and resulting vulnerability to economic or industry downturns and to rising interest rates; escalating pricing pressures from our customers; commodity inflationary pressures adversely affecting our profitability and supply base; our dependence on our largest customers; costs of product liability, warranty and recall claims and efforts by customers to adversely alter terms and conditions concerning warranty and recall participation; strengthening of the U.S. dollar and other foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacting our results; any increase in the expense and funding requirements of our pension and other postretirement benefits; risks associated with non-U.S. operations, including economic uncertainty in some regions; work stoppages or other labor issues at our facilities or at the facilities of our customers or suppliers; assertions by or against us relating to intellectual property rights; the possibility that our largest stockholder's interests will conflict with ours or our other stockholders' interests; and other risks and uncertainties set forth in our Form 10-K and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revision to any of these forward-looking statements.

SOURCE TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.

SOURCE: TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.

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