Livonia-based TRW Automotive Holdings next year will begin production of 360-degree radar technology that can be used for a range of safety and convenience functions when incorporated into a vehicle.
What’s more, the technology is scalable, making it ideal for vehicle manufacturers who would like to start with basic driver assist functions, or to create a range of safety systems offered across multiple vehicle models and trim levels, says Martin Thorne, vice president of electronics engineering at TRW.
For instance, a basic system might include a forward-looking sensor for collision warning, whereas a mid-level system could add a pair of rear-mounted radars for blind spot detection/lane change assist. Likewise, a premium system could add additional sensors for traffic jam assist, side impact detection, and automatic parking.
“Despite significant improvements in the safety systems of modern vehicles, the number of road-related accidents remains unacceptably high,” Thorne says. “We need to look at next generation active safety systems (by) developing lower cost sensors with multiple safety benefits.”
Throne notes that TRW has been experiencing strong demand for its current medium-range radar and scalable camera system and is exploring the future of driver assist systems. “360 degree environmental sensing is the next step for safety and our radar concept offers an intelligent solution to deliver this.”
Earlier this month, the automotive supplier announced it would be acquired by German auto parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen AG as part of a transaction expected to close in the first half of 2015.
Following the transaction, the merged company will claim combined sales of approximately $41 billion and employ 138,000 workers, with TRW operating as a separate business division within ZF.