TRW's New Steering Wheel Concept Supports Automated Driving

GENEVA, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW) is unveiling a new steering wheel concept that is being shown on the Rinspeed XchangE showcar today. The steering wheel offers a number of multi-functional features including hands on/off detection to help support the driver during semi-automated and automated driving situations.

Guido Hirzmann, group leader, new technology, Mechatronic, commented: "Rinspeed's steer-by-wire XchangE vehicle featuring TRW's steering wheel system opens up a world of possibilities to the driver. With the integrated hands on/off sensor and flexible positioning of the wheel, the driver can choose whether to drive the vehicle himself, pass control of the vehicle to the front passenger, or have the vehicle drive itself in automated mode.

"Furthermore, with the increasing number of electronically controlled functions in the vehicle, certain controls can be eliminated or packaged into the steering wheel, offering more space and flexibility for the car interior. For example, with the XchangE vehicle, we have been able to remove the center console and integrate the gear shift into the steering wheel."

The steering wheel offers a modern, lightweight design incorporating the following functions which can be activated by touching transparent switches:

  • A 'Drive Mode Manager' (DMM) display, located at the top of the steering wheel, illuminating 'A' when the vehicle is in automated mode. If the driver touches the steering wheel, 'M' (manual) becomes illuminated indicating that the driver is ready to take back control of the vehicle. If he then touches 'Push to Drive' or 'PTD', control is given back to the driver. Similarly, if the driver later takes his hands off the wheel, the DMM display automatically changes from 'M' to 'A' and the vehicle continues to drive in an automated mode.
  • Gear shift – the driver can move from park, neutral, drive and reverse using the relevant switches on the steering wheel.
  • Turn indicators – the indicator switches are illuminated white (ambient lighting) and when activated, the corresponding left and right arrows flash.
  • Electronic Horn System (EHS) – the horn can be activated by touching a conductive area on the steering wheel airbag cover.

Hirzmann concluded: "Our steering wheel concept redefines the conventional role of the steering wheel as cars evolve and as a result can help to reduce some of the driving tasks and increase comfort. The technology is part of TRW's efforts to support the path to automated driving and promote the car of the future."

About TRW

With 2013 sales of $17.4 billion, TRW Automotive ranks among the world's leading automotive suppliers. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, USA, the Company, through its subsidiaries, operates in 24 countries and employs approximately 65,000 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 www.trw.com.  

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 U.S. 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 could cause our actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements, including those set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013 (our "Form 10-K"), such as: economic conditions adversely affecting our business, results or the viability of our supply base; risks associated with non-U.S. operations adversely affecting our business, results or financial condition; the unsuccessful implementation of our current expansion efforts adversely impacting our business or results; any developments related to antitrust investigations adversely affecting our financial condition, results, cash flows or reputation; pricing pressures from our customers adversely affecting our profitability; global competition adversely affecting our sales, profitability or financial condition; any disruption in our information technology systems adversely impacting our business and operations; any shortage of supplies causing a production disruption for any customers or us; the loss of any of our largest customers or a significant amount of their business, or a significant decline in their production levels, materially adversely affecting us; strengthening of the U.S. dollar and other foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacting our results; our contingent liabilities and tax matters causing us to incur material losses or costs; any inability to protect our intellectual property rights adversely affecting our business or our competitive position; commodity inflationary pressures adversely affecting our profitability or supply base; costs  or adverse effects on our business, reputation or results from governmental regulations; work stoppages or other labor issues at our facilities or those of our customers or others in our supply chain adversely affecting our business, results or financial condition; any increase in the expense of our pension and other postretirement benefits or the funding requirements of our pension plans reducing our profitability; and other risks and uncertainties set forth in our Form 10-K and in our other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  We do not undertake any obligation to release publicly any update or revision to any of the forward-looking statements.         

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140304/DE76255

SOURCE TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.



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