"As a supplier, we have a great opportunity to provide these systems" - TRW VP product planning and business development  Áine Denari

"As a supplier, we have a great opportunity to provide these systems" - TRW VP product planning and business development Áine Denari

TRW says it is in a strong position to providy rapidly increasing functionality associated with modern vehicles as driver assist systems (DAS) come increasingly to the fore.

The US supplier's comments came shortly ahead of a US$13.5bn takeover this week (15 September) by ZF Friedrichshafen, which will allow the German manufacturer access to areas such as occupant safety systems and electronics, with TRW remaining a separate business division.

Final regulatory hurdles have to be cleared as well as TRW stockholder approval, but the American component producer maintains it is well placed to offer the future safety technologies currently in demand.

"Driving is going [through] a process of a radical shift," TRW vice president, product planning and business development, Áine Denari, told just-auto at the supplier's headquarters in Livonia, Michigan.

"Certainly, the new cars coming out will have a lot more capability than they have today. As a supplier, we have a great opportunity to provide these systems.

"In the past, suppliers were more component people and now they are really providers of functionality. It is a pretty exciting place to be - we can drive the industry and can have [a] big input."

The TRW product planning and business development vice president was talking just ahead of the manufacturer's North America Ride and Drive event at the company's vehicle test track in Locke Township, around an hour west of Detroit.

Semi-automated driving capabilities were demonstrated, while TRW also showcased its Highway Driving Assist feature, which can enable automatic steering, braking and acceleration for road speeds above 25mph.

TRW has a demonstration vehicle integrating its AC1000 radar and next generation camera prototype, together with its electrically powered steering belt drive (EPS BD) and electronic stability control EBC 460 - the combination of adaptive cruise control (ACC) and lane centering assist (LCA) functionalities.