Airbags That Think Ahead
Airbag systems are increasingly sophisticated in their ability to deploy with just the right speed and strength to help maximize occupant safety. But they go to work only after they sense an impact.
That may change, says Dirk Schultz, director of engineering global for airbag systems and inflators at safety systems supplier ZF TRW. He notes developers at ZF TRW are working on advanced systems that can sense a crash before it happens and begin to deploy airbags sooner.
The key is using data collected by the same sensors that enable self-driving vehicles to “see” around them. Schultz says tests indicate such systems could reduce impact forces on occupants by 30%-50%.
Dan Nicholson is vice president of General Motors Global Propulsion Systems, the organization that had been “GM Powertrain” for 24 years.
For conducting business in the U.S. market, Toyota has historically had several separate business entities: a sales and distribution company headquartered in California (Toyota Motor Sales, USA); manufacturing operations (Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America); a racing subsidiary (Toyota Racing Development, USA); the Toyota Technical Center for R&D in Ann Arbor; and a design facility in California (Calty Design Research, Inc.). On April 1, 2006, Toyota merged its R&D operations and its manufacturing operations into a single company.
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