Automotive > Powertrain, Body, Chassis & Safety Blog

TRW Establishes New ADAS Engineering Center

by Kevin Mak | 11月 17, 2009

TRW has announced the establishment of its second North American Driver Assist Systems Engineering Center at the Company's Livonia, Michigan headquarters. The new engineering center will focus on the development and testing of advanced radar applications to support TRW's North American customers.  Strategy Analytics has been noting increasing interest in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in the North American market  and sees the move as part of TRW's aim to broaden its portfolio of products away from more commoditized areas such as braking, steering and suspension systems – areas that have been badly hit by the recession.  The reasons behind TRW's move are: 

  • The company has a strong presence in airbags,  seat belt systems and chassis electronics , all mature areas where growth is flattening but all being foundation elements upon which to build an ADAS business.
  • Raising new business, particularly high-end automotive systems that command better profit margins and potential expansion of sales across OEM platforms.
  • North America is a key market for ADAS adoption:  U.S. authorities typically have a higher propensity to mandate vehicle safety system implementation than other regions - the latest is the forthcoming NHTSA mandate on backing-up systems based on the Gulbransen "Kids and Cars" bill;  There is growing consumer awareness;  There is increasing ADAS deployment by North American  vehicle  OEMs  - that include the new Ford "Cross Traffic Alert" radar-based system, which enables drivers to monitor their blindspot when changing lanes and when backing out of parking spaces.
  • Growing moves towards "sensor fusion", namely to combine input from different sensor types, in order to enhance the performance of ADAS systems.  Such systems that could see the benefits of "sensor fusion" include ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) and PCS (Pre-Crash Safety) , as cameras are deployed for object classification while radars are deployed for accurate, long-range, all-weather object detection.  The sensor fusion approach requires much development to achieve commercial and performance optimization, hence the new TRW radar design center will make collaborative developments with its earlier camera counterpart inFarmington Hills, MI., which has already launched its camera-based Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS).

The focus behind the new design center in Livonia, MI., is the development of new radar-based ADAS systems, which may include the newly-launched, cost competitive 24 GHz radar system for ACC and PCS systems.  Current TRW ACC/PCS radar customers include Volkswagen, which is planning to expand its North America based manufacturing and start assembly of a mid-sized sedan in the U.S.  TRW is also hoping to extend its customer base further.   However, the ADAS supply scene is becoming more crowded and TRW has to act fast in order to stand out from the other players in the market - see Strategy Analytics ADAS Supply and Fitment Database:  Despite the current woes of the automotive industry, which are now beginning to ease, Strategy Analytics has seen continued investment in new engineering development centers in North America and elsewhere, which it has documented in its latest "Tier 1 Vendor Regional Design Center Database ":�

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