Uwe Class, senior engineering manager, global active restraint systems at TRW commented: “Current systems are today fit into coupés and convertibles where the seat belt is more difficult to reach due to the B pillar being considerably further back than in other vehicles. The technology is currently not available for 4 and 5 door vehicles, but this is an area that TRW is exploring.
“Widely available statistics indicate an aging population globally and we believe that comfort functions such as our seat belt presenter are becoming increasingly important for this demographic. And as a safety company, we are proponents of occupants being reminded to buckle up.”
TRW's new seatbelt presenter is mounted directly on the height adjuster within the vehicle's B pillar. When the occupant is seated, the presenter – a small arm which rests within the B pillar – brings the belt forward to an 'easier to reach' position. As soon as the occupant takes the belt, the arm simply reverts to its original park position. The presenter can be easily integrated into the B pillar with no modifications required other than to the trim.
Class continued: “The seat belt presenter can bring the belt forward up to 300 mm depending on the vehicle. We are working closely with individual vehicle manufacturer customers to identify the optimum position for occupants to retrieve the belt and minimize any twisting action required as part of the buckling process.”
TRW estimates that its active seat belt presenter will be ready for production by 2016.