Apr 18, 2008
FIRST MOTORCYCLE AIRBAG EARNS TAKATA AND HONDA 2008 AUTOMOTIVE NEWS PACE INNOVATION PARTNERSHIP AWARD
AUBURN HILLS, MICH - Takata Corporation, a leading global supplier of automotive safety systems, and Honda Motor Co. Ltd., have received the prestigious 2008 Automotive News PACE Innovation Partnership Award recognizing their joint development of the first production motorcycle airbag.
Awards bearing the name of PACE, or Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contribution to Excellence, recognize unique collaboration between suppliers and manufacturers in developing superior innovations and technical advancements. The ground-breaking motorcycle airbag design and development, currently available on the Honda Gold Wing model, is the first and only airbag on the market for motorcycle applications.
"As a company dedicated to the development of life-saving technologies, Takata Corporation is very proud to be recognized with this distinctive award for our partnership with Honda in jointly designing this innovative safety product,” said Tim Healy, executive vice president of Takata. “This special award clearly demonstrates how our partnership with Honda from early in the product-design cycle resulted in an advancement for reducing injuries and fatalities related to motorcycle transportation."
The technology was designed to address the risk associated with head-on or nearly head-on motorcycle collisions, which account for a large percentage of motorcycle crashes.
The airbag was designed to deploy during a severe frontal collision in which a rider could be thrown forward from the motorcycle. Once deployed, the airbag stands upright in front of the rider to help absorb the rider’s kinetic energy prior to leaving the motorcycle.
"The odds of developing an airbag for motorcycles might have been viewed by many people as impossible. Yet, it became a reality thanks to our partnership with Takata," said Mark Willoughby, senior purchasing manager at Honda of America Mfg., Inc., which produces the airbag-equipped Gold Wing in Ohio at the Marysville Motorcycle Plant.
"This partnership with Takata demonstrates the power of collaboration between a supplier and Honda, from our global research and development teams to the associates who build the motorcycles," Willoughby said. “We are proud to be jointly honored with this premier global industry award."
The PACE Award, presented by Automotive News with Microsoft, SAP and the Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC Inc.), is recognized by the automotive supplier industry as the “Academy Award” for automotive innovation, technological advancement and business performance.
Recipients of the 14th annual PACE Awards on April 14 were selected by an independent panel of distinguished judges representing industry, academic and business leaders. Each applicant was evaluated for ingenuity in product, design, engineering, manufacturing and process. Complete details of the 2008 Automotive News PACE Award, can be found at www.autonews.com/PACE.
Takata, the world’s leading supplier of automotive safety belts, has a long history of safety innovation and provides a host of safety technologies with the goal of protecting human life. Its product portfolio includes seat belts, front- and side-impact protection, electronics and textiles. The company, with its North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, is involved in many consumer and government safety efforts, including being a corporate sponsor and active board member of the Traffic Improvement Association of Michigan.
Honda Motor Co. is the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer and a global leader in developing and implementing passenger safety systems throughout its product lines in motorcycles, cars and light trucks, and power products. In North America, Honda designs, engineers and manufactures products for the U.S. and North American markets. Its facilities in the United States include world-class R&D and safety crash-testing facilities. Gold Wing models are exclusively manufactured near Marysville, Ohio, from domestic and globally sourced parts.
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