TRW Inc. and Michelin announced today that they have signed a technical cooperation agreement to develop and market tire pressure monitoring devices for the passenger car and light truck industries.
The agreement provides a framework for the development of a next-generation monitoring system that not only will indicate tire pressure and temperature but will use additional tire condition data to determine -- and warn drivers of -- unsafe tire inflation conditions.

Under the agreement, TRW and Michelin will work together toward development of a standardized tire pressure monitoring device for automakers and will cooperate in marketing their joint products.

Initially, the agreement calls for TRW's TireWatch(TM) radio-frequency-based transmitter sensor -- which transmits tire pressure and temperature data to an in-vehicle receiver -- to be integrated with Michelin's Pax System and Logic software.

Subsequently, the two companies will work together to develop a next-generation transmitter for application on the Pax System as well as on conventional tires. Down the road, efforts will include optimizing the whole tire pressure monitoring arena.

"Michelin's expertise in tire systems and algorithm development combined with TRW's know-how in radio-frequency technology and tire monitoring systems will be a formidable combination that is certain to benefit automakers as well as the driving public," said Heinz Pfannschmidt, executive vice president and general manager, TRW Automotive Electronics. "We are especially excited by our plans to jointly develop predictive tire monitoring systems that will warn drivers of hazardous tire inflation conditions."

According to Hubert Hannezo, Michelin group marketing vice president, "This partnership with TRW in the field of tire pressure monitoring devices confirms the commitment of Michelin to enhance the safety of vehicle passengers. Through the expertise of TRW in radio-frequency technology and automotive electronics and Michelin's know-how in the analysis of interactions between tire pressure and vehicle performance, we at Michelin are convinced we will bring new benefits to the consumer."

Michelin's Pax System is a completely redesigned tire/wheel assembly that prevents the tire from coming off the wheel and provides excellent vehicle handling and steering response as well as mobility and safety when the tire goes flat. Michelin Logic is a special predictive algorithm that makes use of vehicle operating conditions to provide sophisticated warning modes indicating that the tires are nearing marginal safety.

TRW's TireWatch (TM) System integrates tire pressure sensing and radio-frequency technology to economically provide added safety and improved performance for vehicles equipped with run-flat or conventional radial tires.

Michelin makes tires for all types of vehicles from bicycles to the space shuttle, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, earthmover equipment, buses, subway trains, aircraft and wheels for cars and trucks. Based on its technical expertise, Michelin is developing further activities in the field of suspension systems. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin employs more than 120,000 people and operates 80 plants. The company's news releases are available on two Web sites (www.michelin.com and www.paxsystem.com).

TRW Automotive Electronics, based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA, is a leading producer of safety and security systems, body control systems, chassis and powertrain controls, and engineered fasteners for the global automotive market. The company employs 14,000 people in 15 countries around the world.

TRW Automotive Electronics is a unit of TRW Inc. (NYSE:TRW), which provides advanced technology products and services for the global automotive, aerospace and information systems markets. The company, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, is one of the largest independent automotive suppliers in the world: www.trw.com