News Releases

TRW Multi-Axis Acceleration Sensors Offer Performance Advantages to Help Meet Advanced Safety Regulation

Oct 19, 2011

LIVONIA, Mich., Oct. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW), the global leader in automotive safety systems, is developing remote acceleration sensors (RAS) offering improved crash sensing performance by detecting impacts from more than one direction simultaneously.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111019/DE89601)

Traditional accelerometers used in crash sensing measure acceleration data in one dimension, either longitudinal acceleration (X axis) for front impact detection or lateral acceleration (Y-axis) for side impact detection. Multi-axis sensors add additional single axis sensors in the same housing or use multi-axis sensors to measure acceleration in more than one dimension simultaneously.

This can significantly improve crash sensing performance in newly required FMVSS214 regulatory oblique side pole impact, and upcoming/proposed NCAP and IIHS rating tests such as the front small overlap impacts and front pole impact. Dual-axis sensors mounted in the B-Pillar can potentially offer this enhanced sensing capability without the necessity of additional pressure or acceleration satellite sensor in the door cavities for FMVSS214, and for the upcoming/proposed front small overlap impacts.

"In some frontal accident scenarios - such as pole impacts near the center of the vehicle - impact may not be rapidly detected by traditional chassis-rail-mounted RAS single-axis sensors due to the relative lack of rigidity in this area of the vehicle," said Martin Thoone, vice president, Global Electronics Engineering. "Front dual-axis RAS with Y-axis sensing can detect the lateral deformation of the vehicle sheet-metal around the pole and more quickly sense that an impact has taken place." In addition, front dual-axis RAS may also offer enhanced sensing capability to deploy side curtain-bags in front oblique and offset deformable barrier impacts; resulting in improved occupant protection.

Another potential application for B-Pillar dual-axis RAS sensors is for frontal crash detection in Europe, where front crash sensors are not compulsory to meet the regulation. Depending on the design of the vehicle front crash structure, in some cases longitudinal acceleration sensors in the airbag control unit are sufficient to meet the regulation requirements. However some vehicles require a higher level of sensing performance and may need dedicated front crash sensors and associated wiring to meet the regulation requirements, adding significant cost and weight. Dual-axis side-impact sensors mounted on the B-Pillar can provide an intermediate level of crash sensing performance that may be sufficient for some vehicles to meet European safety regulations without requiring additional front-mounted sensors.

Rollover sensing is another potentially important use of multi-axis sensing for passenger cars. In this case, measurement of vertical (Z axis) acceleration by the side impact (Y axis) sensors can help enable the prediction of rollover events for passenger cars by analyzing the lateral and vertical acceleration data, without requiring a dedicated roll gyro, offering potential cost savings.

TRW's dual and multi-axis sensing technologies will be available for use in vehicles by the 2012 model year.

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 reports on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarters ended April 1 and July 1, 2011, , such as: any developments related to antitrust investigations adversely affecting our results, cash flows, financial condition or reputation; 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; any shortage of supplies causing a production disruption; 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, including economic and political uncertainty in some regions, 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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