Autoliv, Inc. announced today, production contract awards for its new rollover sensor to be installed in over 1.2 million North American vehicles starting with the 2004 model Year.


"We are very excited about the benefit this product will provide society in reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries caused by vehicle rollovers," said Steve Fredin (Autoliv's director of engineering for North America). "This sensor is a technological breakthrough. It enables rollover countermeasures such as the side curtain airbag and seatbelt pretensioners to be installed in vehicles and activated in a timely manner."

Autoliv has proved that an imminent vehicle rollover can be accurately sensed and predicted before lateral momentum forces the occupant against the inside of the door. This is critical in order to activate a protective side airbag device, like the inflatable curtain, between the occupant's head and the side door glass. In many cases this requires knowing that a vehicle rollover is imminent and deploying the inflatable curtain while all four wheels are still on the ground!

To overcome this challenge, Autoliv has created an integrated system of three sensors and integrated software, which generates a timely determination of vehicle rollover. The new, patented, decision making logic, which is programmed into the sensor, uses four main inputs to sense the rollover. These inputs include initial vehicle speed, lateral and vertical acceleration, and roll velocity.

The roll velocity is established by Autoliv's new silicon based gyroscopic angular-rate sensor. This "butterfly" sensor is a high-performance, state-of- the-art component, which has been optimized for manufacturing. The design effectively eliminates the complex structural elements and cost barriers that have tended to limit gyroscopic technology for automotive applications. The "butterfly" works in concert with two precision accelerometers which establish the vertical and lateral acceleration of the vehicle.

Autoliv, Inc. develops and manufactures automotive safety systems for all major automotive manufacturers in the world. The company has sixty wholly-owned subsidiaries and joint ventures, with over 25,000 employees in 29 vehicle producing countries. In addition, the company operates eight technical centers around the world, including 19 test tracks, more than any other automotive safety supplier. Sales in 1999 were $3.8 billion.