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TRW Pedestrian Protection Systems Evolve To Meet Global Challenges

LIVONIA, Mich., July 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW) is announcing its next generation Pedestrian Protection System (PPS) - a robust and reliable system using a combination of acceleration and pressure sensing technologies to detect a pedestrian impact.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120730/DE48406 )

"While the auto industry continues its focus on reducing injuries in single and multiple vehicle crashes and reductions in deaths and injuries have been realized in developed markets, pedestrian fatalities continue to increase globally," said Peter Lake, executive vice president of Sales and Business Development for TRW.  "It is estimated that some 35% of global road fatalities involve pedestrians and other road users outside of a traditional four-wheel vehicle, and enhancing their protection is one of the next great frontiers for both active and passive safety systems.

"In addition, occupant fatality rates are falling faster in many developed markets than pedestrian fatalities, making pedestrians an increasingly larger percentage of overall road deaths and leading to an increasing industry focus on pedestrian protection," Lake added.

TRW's latest PPS utilizes pressure sensor satellite data measured via flexible tubing that runs the width of a vehicle's front bumper, in conjunction with up to three remote acceleration sensors to detect an impact and identify which side of the vehicle the pedestrian has impacted. The system will also help automakers maintain 5 star safety ratings in Europe, where pedestrian protection accounts for 20 percent of a vehicle's overall score.

TRW has been in production with its first generation pedestrian protection systems (PPS) since 2009 for Porsche and has since launched PPS with Chrysler. These systems comprise remote acceleration sensors and either a dedicated ECU or an airbag ECU which integrates the pedestrian protection system algorithm to detect a pedestrian impact, and hood lifters which can be deployed to increase the gap to the vehicle's engine and help cushion pedestrian impact. The sensors detect an impact and pyrotechnic actuators then raise the rear area of the vehicle's hood to increase pedestrian head protection. This helps to decrease the impact of the most drastic, and most common, cause of pedestrian injury and death.

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