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Passive safety technologies, trends and forecasts to 2015

  • Publication Date:April 2011
  • Publisher:Automotive World
  • Product Type: Report
  • Pages:
This report examines existing and emerging automotive passive safety technologies and the market influences that are driving developments in the sector. It also contains market forecasts and company profiles of  some of the key suppliers in the sector.

Abstract
Passive safety systems include vehicle design features and restraint systems that are intended to protect vehicle occupants and pedestrians  from injuries during a collision. Body design features include 'crumple 
zones' that absorb impact energy and occupant 'safety cells' that are  constructed to retain their shape and direct energy around the occupants during a crash. Vehicle frontal design is also increasingly being required to incorporate pedestrian protection features, such as smooth 
profiles and deformable panels. Restraint systems include seatbelts and airbags.

The passive safety systems market was launched during the late 1960s with the first seatbelts and crumple zone technologies. The first frontal airbags were launched during the 1980s. Since then, the market has grown to become a US$18bn global industry with future growth 
forecast to keep outperforming light vehicle production growth as the technology becomes more sophisticated and installation rates increase.

Early attempts to introduce safer vehicles were largely unsuccessful for several years as consumers avoided acknowledging the darker side of their infatuation with the motor vehicle. However, as public awareness increased concerning the enormous costs that road traffic deaths and 
injuries inflict on individuals, families, communities and whole economies, government agencies began introducing regulations requiring vehicle design to include occupant safety technology. Consumer attitudes have now shifted to the degree that safety ratings are among the first factors that prospective purchasers research when seeking a new vehicle.

Along with regulations and consumer demand, market growth in the sector is also driven by technology advances, which now extend to include so-called 'smart' seatbelts and airbags, occupant detection systems, adaptive seats and the integration of restraint technologies with each 
other. Furthermore, passive safety system deployment is being integrated with the advanced active systems now coming to market that use sensors to detect an imminent collision.

Alongside this, pedestrian protection is advancing to include bonnet-raising and airbag deployment to reduce the impact forces experienced by a pedestrian - or cyclist - who is struck by a motor vehicle.

Against this, the increasing costs of additional technology introduce something of a barrier as do OEM and supplier concerns regarding legal actions that can be brought when systems fail and consumers are killed or injured as a result. Another significant cost barrier arises from the 
considerable R&D investments required to develop new technology.

This, in part, has enabled three of the larger suppliers to establish significant market shares in the sector, although the fast-growing 
electronics content in the sector is providing entry points for many smaller, Tier 2 and 3 companies.

Because passive safety technology for heavy commercial vehicles involves a very different set of parameters, the scope of this report has been limited to light passenger vehicles. Also, while child restraint systems are part of the passive safety system sector, apart from the fitment of restraint anchor points by some OEMs, it is essentially an aftermarket industry and is not covered in this report.
Executive summary
Introduction
The global road crash toll
  The effects of passive safety improvements
Market drivers
  Regulations
  New Car Assessment Programmes
  Consumer preferences
Market barriers
  Cost
  Fear of litigation
  Increased weight
Market dynamics and forecasts
  The global market
Passive safety systems technology
  Seatbelts
  Airbags
  Occupant detection systems
  Vehicle interior design
  Seat safety design
  Vehicle body structure
  Automatic crash notification systems
  Pedestrian safety systems
Integrating safety systems
  Integrating seatbelt and airbag functions
  Integrating active and passive safety systems
Enabling technology
  Sensors
  Airbag inflators
  Electronic and electrical systems
  Data communication
  Software
  Computer-assisted vehicle design
  Computer modelling of the human body
Supplier profiles
  Autoliv
  Bosch
  Continental
  Denso
  KSS
  Takata
  Toyoda Gosei
  TRW Automotive
+44 20 8816 8548

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