WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The Automotive Occupant Restraints Council (AORC), whose member companies represent more than $20 billion in annual sales of safety systems and equipment, showcased a myriad of next-generation vehicle safety systems at its annual general meeting this week. 

The group also elected Douglas P. Campbell its new president and named retiring AORC President George F. Kirchoff president emeritus. In a ceremony at the meeting, AORC's Pathfinder Award was presented to NHTSA's Dr. Joseph Kanianthra.

Kirchoff noted that while safety improvements in vehicle design are the reason motor vehicle death rates have been declining over the past decade, drivers appear to be getting more careless on the road.

"It is incumbent upon us to develop and ensure adoption of ever-improving safety technology in vehicles to continue to keep occupants safe," he said. Examples of advanced safety systems under development were on display at the AORC meeting near Jacksonville, Fla.

Campbell, the council's new president, is a 21-year veteran of TRW. He plans to retire in June from his position as vice president of engineering for TRW Automotive Occupant Safety Systems. In that position he oversaw all engineering activities for the inflatable restraint, seat belt, steering wheel, and safety and security electronics products lines globally.

Prior to TRW, Campbell had served in management positions with General Motors, Baker International, Talley Automotive Products and OEA. 

The AORC, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit, international organization that helps establish uniform production and quality standards for vehicle safety system components.