TRW Automotive has linked its seatbelt-pretensioner and emergency-braking systems, in an effort to better protect passengers and reduce the impact of a crash.

The US supplier said the combination of its automatic emergency braking (AEB) and active control retractor (ACR) seatbelt technologies will mean safety systems kick in marginally faster, which can make the difference in the event of a crash.

"By integrating the two systems we are able to realize a higher level of safety,” said Alois Seewald, global director for integrated active and passive safety technologies. “The ACR can provide an additional warning to the driver when a critical situation is detected and pretension the seatbelt a split second sooner than an ACR system working only based on vehicle dynamics sensors information.”

TRW cited a growing trend in Brazil, Europe and North America toward more mandatory safety systems in cars and trucks. : "We continue to see an even greater market demand for intelligent or 'cognitive' safety systems,” Peter Lake, executive vice president for sales and business development at TRW, said in a press release.

The new integrated system uses a mid range radar in combination with a scalable video camera which independently gather data of the road and traffic situation in front of a car. The radar looks forward up to 150 meters, while the camera covers a closer, but wider field of view.

If the sensors detect a critical situation, the driver is alerted to the potential and the ACR system pretensions the seat belt. At the same time, a certain amount of brake pressure will be applied automatically.

If the sensors detect an unavoidable impact, the ACR will be applied with maximum force prior to the impact.

TRW didn’t say whether it has any customers for its new integrated safety system, but it said the technology will be ready for production in 2013.