Press Release Summary:
Active Buckle Lifter (ABL) facilitates seat belt fastening by raising buckle 100 mm to put it within reach of occupants when their vehicle door opens. While intended to assist elderly and people with mobility challenges, it also helps reduce belt slack in dynamic driving situations. Dynamic Support function retracts buckle by up to 60 mm in situations such as cornering and braking maneuvers to reduce belt slack across pelvis and chest and enhance coupling of occupant to vehicle.
Original Press Release:
TRW'S Active Buckle Lifter Makes Seat Belts Easier to Use
ALFDORF, Germany, Sept. 4 -- TRW Automotive GmbH, a subsidiary of TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE:TRW), has developed the Active Buckle Lifter (ABL) to make fastening seat belts easier. The feature is particularly intended to assist the elderly and people with mobility challenges, and also can help reduce belt slack in dynamic driving situations.
The Active Buckle Lifter raises the buckle to make it easier for the occupant to locate and fasten the belt and -- if required -- can retract the buckle helping to reduce belt slack on the occupant in situations of high dynamics such as a hard braking maneuver. At all other times it remains in the normal position like any other buckle.
Uwe Class, senior engineering manager, active restraint systems, said: "The Active Buckle Lifter can help make fastening seat belts easier for virtually all passengers. It also is designed to help those with mobility difficulties, and to prompt those who do not usually use their seatbelts to buckle up."
"The Active Buckle Lifter can increase the comfort of the occupants when fastening their seat belts before the ride. In addition, in dynamic driving situations the retract movement of the buckle reduces belt slack around the pelvis and chest leading to an enhanced coupling of the occupant to the vehicle. This may help to keep the occupant in a better and more controlled seating position in dynamic driving situations such as cornering or braking. A better seating position can help in the event of an accident."
When the vehicle door is opened, the corresponding buckle rises approximately 100mm, putting it within easier reach of occupants. The buckle then returns back to its normal position once fastened. It optionally can lift again when occupants need to unfasten their seat belts.
The Dynamic Support function of the ABL retracts the buckle by a maximum of 60mm in many dynamic driving situations to help reduce belt slack across the pelvis and chest of the occupant. The buckle retract movement is adapted to the vehicle dynamics in curves and braking maneuvers.
With 2007 sales of $14.7 billion, TRW Automotive ranks among the world's leading automotive suppliers. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, USA, the Company, through its subsidiaries, operates in 27 countries and employs more than 66,000 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 .