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TRW Offers Enhanced Functions Through Electric Power Steering Software Upgrades

Jun 21, 2011

LIVONIA, Mich., June 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW), today announced a range of advanced steering features which can be programmed within the software of an Electrically Powered Steering (EPS) system to assist the driver. Any number of the functions can be selected by vehicle manufacturers to help enhance driver safety or mitigate vehicle 'error states'.

Frank Lubischer, vice president, TRW steering engineering commented: "With the given mechanical and hydraulic constraints of traditional hydraulic steering systems, there are limits to what can be achieved – compromising the ability to implement functions and steering feel characteristics beyond conventional physical boundaries.

"One of the beauties of electric steering is that these functions are controlled through software – and can be programmed quickly to allow for the desired outcome. For example, the amount of power steering assist can easily be varied – full assist at slower speeds for tight turning maneuvers such as parking, or a stiffer, sportier response at high speeds such as highway driving, and these modes can be chosen by the driver. Likewise, the electric steering system can be programmed to respond intelligently to varying vehicle and environmental conditions - such as different tire types, payloads, or road surfaces."

Electric steering safety enhancements are also achievable through integration with other systems. When combined with driver assist technologies, such as camera-based systems for example, electric power steering can help assist the driver in staying in the intended lane by providing a torque through the steering wheel that guides the driver back toward the center of the lane. A full lane guide system can actively assist in keeping the vehicle in the center of the lane.

TRW's range of advanced steering functions includes:

  • Pull Drift Compensation (PDC) - can detect if the vehicle is drifting to one side (through a suspension error or from a side wind or cambered road), and will make automatic adjustments
  • Active Disturbance and Road Shake Compensation - helps reduce vibration in the steering wheel caused by uneven road conditions and imbalanced torque at the wheels.
  • Torque Steer Compensation – correcting the tendency in some front-wheel-drive vehicles to pull to one side under the influence of high engine torque.
  • Semi Automatic Parking – when linked to proximity sensors EPS can 'automate' the sometimes challenging task of parallel parking.
  • Personalization – enables the driver to switch between a different tuning of the steering system such as 'city mode' which would require less steering effort, or a standard mode for faster driving conditions requiring a stiffer steering feel.
  • Arbitration and Limitation – a centralized function which arbitrates between feature requests and limits the sum of torque requests. If one system becomes active for example, another feature would be deactivated in order to avoid negative impacts.
  • Variable Ratio – a feature which can help the vehicle to be more responsive in different driving situations.
  • Driver Steer Recommendation – provides an interface to the braking system in order to request an additional driver torque overlay to the steering system.

About TRW

With 2010 sales of $14.4 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 over 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 www.trw.com.

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 U.S. 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 could 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, 2010 (our "Form 10-K") and our report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended April 1, 2011, such as: any shortage of supplies causing a production disruption due to the events in Japan or otherwise; tighter financial markets adversely impacting the availability and cost of credit negatively affecting our business; a material contraction in automotive sales and production adversely affecting our results or the viability of our supply base; commodity inflationary pressures adversely affecting our profitability or supply base; strengthening of the U.S. dollar and other foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacting our results; pricing pressures from our customers adversely affecting our profitability; increasing costs negatively impacting our profitability; the loss of any of our largest customers materially adversely affecting us; costs of product liability, warranty and recall claims and efforts by customers to adversely alter contract terms and conditions concerning warranty and recall participation; costs or liabilities relating to environmental, health and safety regulations adversely affecting our results; risks associated with non-U.S. operations adversely affecting our business, results or financial condition; any inability to protect our intellectual property rights adversely affecting our business or our competitive position; any increase in the expense of our pension and other postretirement benefits or the funding requirements of our pension plans reducing our profitability; work stoppages or other labor issues at our facilities or at the facilities of our customers or suppliers adversely affecting our operations; volatility in our annual effective tax rate resulting from a change in our valuation allowances position or other factors;   and other risks and uncertainties set forth in our Form 10-K and in our other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not undertake any obligation to release publicly any update or revision to any of the forward-looking statements.

SOURCE TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.


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