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Sensata Demonstrates Sensors for Occupant Detection

April 19, 2007

Sensors make new seat belt alert systems more reliable and 'consumer friendly' and hold potential for use with air bag classification systems.

DETROIT, MI /PRNewswire/ -- SAE 2007 World Congress -- Sensata Technologies demonstrated several occupant sensing approaches that can help engineers design seat belt alert systems that are more accurate and provide a better level of consumer convenience and safety. The company is showing a new piezo electric sensor, as well as a current Monocrystalline Silicon Strain Gauge (MSG) force sensor, both of which give engineers a range of design options.

The new piezo electric sensor solves the problem of traditional weight- only detection systems, which often cannot differentiate between a person or a heavy object such as a box, bag of groceries, etc., creating annoying false seat belt alerts. A piezo electric wire, incorporated into a pad easily mounted under the seat cushion and providing input to an electronic module, senses the frequency response of a human and can determine the relative position of the passenger.

"Consumers will use seat belt alerts that accurately determine if a passenger is really in the car. A box or laptop bag won't annoy them anymore because the system thinks it's a person," said Michael Mainvielle, market segment manager at Sensata Technologies.

The Sensata piezo sensor is easily integrated into a variety of seat structures, including A- or B-surface mounting, and accommodates all seat covering options including ventilated seats. A three-position sensor is available for rear seats.

Due to the sensor's ability to accurately measure weight and passenger position, this technology is also being considered for use with new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 classification air bag deployment systems, providing a single, integrated solution for two important consumer safety issues.

Monocrystalline Silicon Strain Gauge Pressure Sensors
Sensata is also demonstrating its MSG Occupant Weight Sensor (OWS) that employs a silicon MEMS strain gauge element glass bonded to a stainless steel diaphragm. Four MSG sensors are easily mounted within the seat structure to create accurate weight measures for safe airbag deployment and compliance to FMVSS208. The sensors are available in several designs: an axial or flange rigid sensor; a rigid sensor with a Stress Reduction Component (SRC); or an SRC at flange center style. These options give designers a range of design and mounting flexibility.

About Sensata Technologies
Sensata Technologies, formerly the Sensors & Controls business of Texas Instruments, provides leaders in the global automotive, appliance, aircraft, industrial and HVAC markets with sensing and protection solutions that improve safety and efficiency for millions of people every day. Headquartered in Attleboro, MA, Sensata Technologies has nine technology and manufacturing centers in eight countries, and sales offices throughout the world. For more information, please call 508-236-3800 or visit the company's Web site.

Tim O'Brien of Sensata Technologies, +1-508-236-3240, tobrien@sensata.com;
Geoff Buteau of Bridgeman Communications, +1-617-742-7270, geoff@bridgeman.com, for Sensata Technologies

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