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Crash testing advances on many fronts

Traffic fatalities have declined significantly over the last several years, but the U.S. is on track to have its deadliest year since 2007, according to the National Safety Council. That’s shining the spotlight on crash testing, according to industry experts in a Technical Webinar Series from the Editors of SAE.

Two-stroke future for heavy-duty engine braking

Despite the greater efficiencies of engine brake designs, increasing gross weights, lower rolling resistance, and engine downsizing have driven the need for more auxiliary braking power on heavy trucks and buses. Jacobs Vehicle Systems' response is the High Power Density (HPD) engine brake.

Next-gen seatbelt retractor

TRW Automotive has launched its next-generation seatbelt retractor, the Floating Spool 1 (FS1), which offers reduced weight (about 15% lighter) and smaller dimensions compared to previous systems, according to the company. Production of the global FS1 technology starts in the second quarter of 2014.

LifeBelt prevents submarining

LifeBelt is a webbing strap placed in the seat base, just below the seating surface, which is continuous with the standard seat belt and is loaded when the seat belt loads. Its effect is to form a loop around the upper leg area which encloses the pelvis and prevents submarining.

Walking through some ideas for improved pedestrian safety

Vehicular traffic deaths decline, but pedestrian fatalities unchanged. Proposed solutions range from greater use of roundabouts, new signaling, and vehicles with pedestrian detection and auto-braking. Some success found with driver and pedestrian education. "Vision Zero" program adopted in New York City.

More attractive Kia Sedona minivan on all-new platform

With 76% high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel, larger welds, and extensive use of structural adhesives, the design is predicted to get top ratings from NHTSA and IIHS. Other highlights are a direct-injection 3.3-L V6, hands- and feet-free liftgate, and UVO infotainment with new eServices.