Blog: Simon WarburtonTRW and affordable safety in balmy Germany

Simon Warburton | 5 July 2012

Back from TRW's extremely informative 'ride and drive' at Germany's Hockenheim Ring - scene of the Grand Prix in a couple of weeks.

Unlike monsoon-hit UK Germany turned out to be something of a scorcher - a fact not lost on any of the 60 or so journalists from all across Europe and a sprinkling from China - with most of us wrestling with the room temperature controls to try and keep cool.

And despite stern warnings by our driver from the airport not to drink the local beer - we were installed just down the road from Mannheim - said brew turned out to be absolutely fine and just what the doctor ordered on a sultry German evening.

To business the next day and TRW had rolled out a huge array of driver assistance systems - some slated for imminent production - some very much in the prototype stage - with one intriguing gadget catching my eye.

Recently, I was very struck with one manufacturer's provision of a head-up-display on its very fast, very powerful vehicle projecting speed limits seemingly around five feet into the distance through the windscreen, but the slight snag was it came in just shy of GBP1,000.

TRW was demonstrating its own speed limit device that fitted very much with a theme of the visit- namely affordable safety.

Instead of the thousand note gizmo, the US supplier had fitted a small display on the steering wheel indicating the applicable speed limit with the ingenious element being the numbers always aligned with your eyes even as the wheel turned. And it was predicted to be only around $50 - $60.

As the TRW spokeswoman said: ""It is not enough to have these systems on luxury models - it must be somebody passing their test in China is driving a model that is safe. We have a very clear product strategy, particularly making sure there is safety available to everyone."


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