Research and Development
Research and Development
Takata uses computational crash simulation and dynamic crash testing for safety system development. In addition, Takata’s facilities include sled testing that can simulate the impact of collisions. Takata’s R&D programs, rooted in expertise in occupant safety, are supported by these facilities and technologies.
"Our mission - your safety." Around the World
Countries and regions around the world have varying climates, customs, driving conditions, and other attributes. Takata has established R&D centers in three regions to meet such global diversity. The centers are in Asia (Japan-Shiga Prefecture), North America (United States- Auburn Hills, Michigan), and Europe (Germany- Berlin). These R&D centers are also able to share technological ideas and the successful results of their research. Takata’s global R&D cooperation has resulted in a timely and speedy fashion to create products that are suited to meet the needs and requirements of various countries.
Total Safety Systems
There are many crash configurations in automobile accidents. These include head-on, rear-end, side impact and rollover accidents. These configurations also need to account for accidents that occur at both low and high speeds. Accidents can also include collisions involving pedestrians, bicycles, and motorcycles or any other object found on or along side the road. To reduce the possibility of harm to passengers, we have to understand all of these various accident configurations and innovatively think about the best systems to protect them. Takata conducts analyses from many perspectives, including looking into the causes of accidents, the seriousness of injuries as a result of a collision, and other related topics, with the aim of developing systems that protect people.
Takata also develops systems that help address dangerous driving situations by minimizing fatigue and making driving more pleasant and convenient. By developing sensors that look outside the vehicle, these systems can warn the driver in advance of potentially dangerous situations. In the event of an accident, Takata has also developed systems which detect the magnitude of the collision and provide information on the condition of the passengers that can be useful to rescuers.
Takata also looks beyond the protection of occupants. Takata has developed systems that can protect motorcyclists, bicycle riders, and pedestrians. Looking to the future, as traffic conditions become increasingly complex, Takata pursues the development of total safety systems to enhance safety in all types of situations involving automobiles.
*This diagram illustrates both current Takata products and products under
development. It does not refer to any existing system already under production.
From Passive Safety to Active Safety (Preventive Safety)
During a collision, sensors detect the resulting impact, and Takata seat belts, airbags and other safety devices all go into action to reduce passenger injuries. These systems and devices are referred to as "passive safety" systems.
Today, development of active safety systems (ones that prevent accidents) as well as pre-crash safety systems has begun. These systems are expected to someday provide support to the driver, assisting in the areas of "recognizing," "making judgments," and "handling the car". Thereby, making driving safer. These systems include pre-crash sensors that detect objects approaching the car. Information from the sensors is transmitted to a control unit that can process it and diagnose impending danger. In addition, there are pre-crash protection devices and equipment that can prepare for the impending crash before it happens.
In recent years, it has become possible to predict collisions in advance through the use of systems that forecast danger and provide warnings. One such system that has already been developed is called a "motorized seat belt". These systems can warn the driver about any potential danger through the actuation of a servo-motor in the seat belt system which tightens the seat belt and helps improve the passengers’ posture. When the collision does occur, these systems can better protect both passengers by putting them in a better position. Takata now have these systems commercially available.
Pedestrian Protection Systems
Status of Pedestrian Accidents
Data on automobile accidents in Japan shows that the number of fatalities is declining. However, the percentage of accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles is rising, and they now account for about half the total of fatalities. As a result, in recent years, initiatives have begun to protect not only automobile passengers, but also pedestrians during an incident. At present, a movement has begun to evaluate new automobiles for their features that protect pedestrians, and this information is being made publicly available.
The number of fatalities among automobile passengers has been reduced through redesign of the automobile body, improvements in seat belts and installation of airbags.
Now, the automobile industry is taking higher priority initiatives to reduce the number of pedestrian victims. At Takata, we are continuously working to develop and improve the total safety systems for both passengers and pedestrians.
Pedestrian Protection: Now and in the Future
To help protect pedestrians during traffic accidents, systems for head protection are important. Accordingly, to reduce the forces of an impact on pedestrians, improvements are being made in the automobile hoods and wiper pivot that include better cushioning during an impact. Takata is also developing pedestrian protection systems that include collision sensors and other protective devices.
Side Collision Protection
Advances in Side Collision Protection Systems
The highest rate of fatalities in automobile accidents is from head-on collisions. The second highest is from side impact collisions. To reduce the dangers and secure a safe space for passengers in side collision accidents, auto manufacturers have installed side door beams for reinforcing the inside of the doors. The passenger compartment cabin has also been reinforced in the roof, the B pillars, and the side sills. The interior design has also been improved for better energy absorption, especially in the areas where the occupant’s head may hit anything in the interior, such as trim parts. Airbag technology is expanding to side-impact and rollover protection. Side protection airbags are installed either inside the seats or in the lower side pillar. In recent years, curtain airbags have come into wider use to protect passengers’ heads, especially during rollover events. These are installed in the headliner of the vehicle, right above the windows.
Systems for Crash Scenarios
Protecting occupants during a side-impact crash poses a challenge for present technologies. Takata’s quest for faster crash-detection methods has led to innovative technologies that meet the stringent requirement of detecting these types of impact. In the case of a side impact collision, the airbag needs to inflate before the occupant contacts the door or window. In the case of a rollover accident, the airbag needs to inflate to protect the passenger’s head from contacting various items, both internal to the car and external. Takata’s challenge and driving force are to continue to develop safety systems that provide protection in any type of crash scenario.