With regulation-driven demand expected to increase, TRW will invest more in automotive camera technology for the North American market.
"In North America, in the coming five years, we expect to see a strong trend to implement camera systems ”“ particularly in light of the high frequency of accidents caused by lane drift," said Peter Lake, executive vice president, sales & business development at TRW.
At a press event in Michigan, the US automotive supplier demonstrated its latest S-Cam camera sensor and also explained that it foresees an increase in forward collision warning and lane keeping systems.
Lake said in a press release that camera systems are expected to play an important role in reducing lane-departure related fatalities, which, according to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)made up 53 pc of all road fatalities in 2010.
Lake cited estimates by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that lane departure warning and lane keeping assist systems could save more than 7,500 lives a year in the US.
TRW said its next-generation camera, which will be based on its current S-Cam, will focus in particular on improved pedestrian detection functionality. That is because this is likely to be a key safety target in both Europe and the US.
Alois Seewald, global director for integrated active and passive safety technologies, said the future camera, which will bundle a broad range of safety features into a single sensor, will enable low-speed automatic emergency braking.
Said Seewald: "The video camera is an extremely versatile driver assist systems sensor because it can classify a wide range of relevant objects."
TRW's current S-Cam forward-looking camera was developed in cooperation with Mobileye, an Israel-based specialist in advanced driver assistance systems. The S-Cam is available in Europe and Asia and will be on the market in the US next year.