TRW toots its own horn

  • 13-Sep-2012 08:41 EDT

There are no clips, screws, or springs under the touch-sensitive surface.

Elimination of moving parts is just one advantage TRW is citing about its new Electric Horn System (EHS) announced Sept. 12. The company employs a special coating by which the steering-wheel airbag cover is rendered touch-sensitive. A dedicated sensor and smaller sensor fields connected to an electronic control unit are designed to limit the likelihood of accidental actuation; the technology can distinguish between a hand motion meant for horn activation and one meant for another purpose. Other advantages over conventional horn systems include less bulk and expense, fewer parts, and enhanced steering-wheel aesthetics including "improved fit and symmetry," said Guido Hirzmann, TRW Group Leader, New Technology, Mechatronic. Conductive-touch technology allows for many potential driver-control applications—such potentiality leading several automakers to express interest in it, he added. The company expects to take the EHS into production in 2014.

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