Auto Group Examines Link Between Safety and Sensing Systems

Recognizing the increasingly important role electronics and sensing systems play in automotive occupant restraints, the Automotive Occupant Restraints Council (AORC) formed the Electronics and Sensing Committee. AORC President George Kirchoff said the Electronics and Sensing Committee is open to all AORC members and joins six other AORC committees that focus on technical issues and federal government regulations in the area of occupant restraint performance.

"It would be extremely difficult and costly for any one of our members to keep abreast of the constantly changing laws and regulations governing the occupant restraints industry. Additionally, an industry-wide committee provides the capability to respond to new rule making, especially as it applies to the federal Advanced Occupant Restraint Rule," Kirchoff said.

Heading the new committee is Kenneth Francis, of Siemens Automotive (Auburn Hills, MI). Francis is director of Safety and Chassis Electronic Systems at Siemens and has more than ten years' experience in the advancement of software and electronic controls for automotive restraint systems.

Francis has outlined several areas of concentration for the committee, including impact and occupant sensing technologies; crash avoidance technologies; safety communication bus structures; algorithms for occupant protection; the standardization of the overall safety system architecture; and the recycling of safety equipment.

"These are areas in which we, as safety experts, must focus if we are to improve the overall safety for vehicle occupants and meet federal regulations as well as manufacturers' needs," said Francis.