TRW Green Button Concept Highlights Fuel Efficiency Potential Beyond Powertrain


LIVONIA, Sept. 15, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ – TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. is demonstrating a number of ways in which it is supporting vehicle manufacturers to reduce fuel consumption and emissions – beyond powertrain solutions. In addition to developing fuel efficient steering, braking and heating ventilation and air conditioning technologies, TRW is demonstrating how its driver assistance systems could be used to support driver behavior and further optimize fuel consumption.

Peter Lake, executive vice president, Sales and Business Development said: “There is more to fuel efficiency than just powertrain. While 60 to 70 percent of the fuel’s energy input to the vehicle is lost in the powertrain and driveline, the remaining 30 to 40 percent offers great opportunities for improved energy use. This includes driving habits – which can have a major impact on fuel consumption. We could think about the concept of a ‘Green Button’ within the vehicle, which automatically ensures that the driver is travelling in the most fuel efficient mode.

“Several of TRW’s current systems could be used to manage improvements in fuel efficiency and emissions levels. Working on the theory that a driver could select a ‘fuel efficient mode,’ systems would respond to optimize both safety and fuel efficient driving patterns. It has also been demonstrated that driver assist systems can help to improve traffic flow and reduce traffic congestion – a potentially significant contribution to reducing harmful emissions.”

For example, the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) would maintain a safe driving distance while optimizing acceleration and deceleration rates with fluctuations in traffic flow to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. (1) Research carried out on vehicles equipped with ACC technology over a five-month period revealed that fuel consumption was reduced by three percent.

In addition, map and positioning data could communicate with the ACC system to manage power and acceleration based on information regarding the grade of upcoming hills or sharpness of bends. Intelligent camera systems can read traffic signs and communication devices can receive signals from road infrastructure to anticipate speed reductions or traffic signals to begin deceleration and optimize energy recovery during stopping. As another example, TRW’s video-based Lane Guide System would ensure the most efficient road trajectory to eliminate wasteful friction caused by additional steering maneuvers.

TRW fuel efficient technologies include:


Slip Control Boost (SCB) and ESC-R: TRW’s regenerative braking systems (ESC-R and SCB) provide full stability control and work seamlessly within a hybrid system to provide brake blending between the friction brake system and the deceleration provided by the electric motor. Regenerative braking is used in full hybrid powertrains to recover brake energy to help recharge the batteries rather than dissipating the energy through heat in the friction brakes.  Regenerative braking can provide up to 7 percent fuel efficiency benefits, and TRW’s systems are key enablers to implement full hybrid powertrain systems that can provide over 30 percent fuel efficiency benefits.

With TRW Electrically Assisted Steering systems, energy for the steering assist is provided via an electric motor rather than via a hydraulic pump driven by the vehicle’s engine. Therefore, energy consumption of the power steering system is about 75 percent to 85 percent lower than a conventional hydraulic steering system, thereby reducing overall fuel consumption by up to 4 percent. In addition, by decoupling the steering system from the internal combustion engine, EAS systems are a critical enabler to start-stop systems, hybrid electric vehicles, and electric vehicles that cannot rely on engine power to provide steering assist at all times.

Driving Behavior

  • Radar sensors: TRW’s 24 GHz and 77 GHz radar sensors offer ACC functionality, which ensure consistent driving behavior and result in a positive impact on fuel consumption.
  • GPS: TRW systems can be linked with GPS information indicating upcoming curves / inclines and ensure the correct gear is chosen.
  • Video sensors: TRW’s video sensors offer lane guide functionality, which allows the driver to steer in the most direct route within the lane – using less energy from the steering system. Traffic sign recognition capabilities can also optimize driving patterns.
  • TPMS: TRW offers direct and indirect Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems – informing the driver when tires are under inflated to improve rolling resistance and reduce fuel consumption by up to 2 percent.

Climate Control

TRW’s Efficient Comfort Control system minimizes energy draw on vehicle powertrains, while maintaining occupant comfort through advanced HVAC control algorithms, contributing up to 5 percent fuel efficiency gains.

About TRW

With 2008 sales of $15.0 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 approximately 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

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 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 can 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, 2008 (our “Form 10-K”) and in our Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended April 3, 2009 and July 3, 2009, such as: any prolonged contraction in automotive sales and production adversely affecting our results, liquidity or the viability of our supply base; the financial condition of OEMs, particularly the Detroit Three, adversely affecting us or the viability of our supply base; disruptions in the financial markets adversely impacting the availability and cost of credit negatively affecting our business; our substantial debt and resulting vulnerability to economic or industry downturns and to rising interest rates; escalating pricing pressures from our customers; commodity inflationary pressures adversely affecting our profitability and supply base; our dependence on our largest customers; costs of product liability, warranty and recall claims and efforts by customers to adversely alter terms and conditions concerning warranty and recall participation; strengthening of the U.S. dollar and other foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacting our results; any increase in the expense and funding requirements of our pension and other postretirement benefits; risks associated with non-U.S. operations, including economic uncertainty in some regions; work stoppages or other labor issues at our facilities or at the facilities of our customers or suppliers; assertions by or against us relating to intellectual property rights; the possibility that our largest stockholder’s interests will conflict with ours or our other stockholders’ interests; and other risks and uncertainties set forth in our Form 10-K and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revision to any of these forward-looking statements.

(1) Roads to the Future: ‘The Assisted Driver’ by the Ministry of Transport, The Netherlands

Source: TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.

CONTACT: Lynette Jackson, + 44-121-506-5315,
Louise Colledge, + 44-121-627-3909,
or John Wilkerson, +1-734-855-3864, all of TRW Automotive
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