The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

New Roof Airbag Technology Unveiled

June 08, 2011

LIVONIA, MI - TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., a major automotive supplier specializing in safety systems, recently unveiled its new "bag in roof" airbag system that replaces passenger airbags typically mounted in the instrument panel.

TRW's new bag-in-roof airbag system

The new airbag can help mitigate passenger injuries while also allowing for improved interior design aesthetics, ergonomics and functionality while saving space in the instrument panel, TRW said.

"With the increasing focus on reducing road fatalities, we need to develop new ways to enhance the protection of occupants -- one area of focus is the design and configuration of airbags," explained Dirk Schultz, engineering director for TRW's inflatable restraint systems. "TRW's new roof airbag system is a unique development and studies have shown that such a technology provides enhanced styling flexibility for future vehicle interiors in combination with excellent restraint performance."

By eliminating the need to package a passenger airbag in the instrument panel, TRW's bag-in-roof design can significantly reduce the development costs of the dashboard since there is no need to develop a specific door that opens with the airbag deployment, the company said. The system is also functionally compatible with a wide range of vehicle architectures.

The airbag unit comprises a cushion and a gas generator that supplies the gas to the cushion in the event of an impact.

TRW has undertaken pre-development work for the bag-in-roof technology for several years -- over the previous two years in close collaboration with a major European vehicle manufacturer. This has resulted in the award of a significant production contract with the vehicle manufacturer, TRW said.

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