Whiplash protection system (WPS) is incorporated in the backrest of front seat, to protect front seat occupant’s neck from any whiplash injury in case of a rear collision. In whiplash protection system (WPS), the entire backrest of the seat is designed to protect the neck of driver from colliding back on the headrest. The whiplash protection system is designed in such a way that the backrest moves along with the occupant while the headrest stays rigid to support the neck. Thus, the entire mechanism ensures that the back of the occupant doesn’t move far away from the backrest when a rear collision occurs. Whiplash protection systems absorb energy from the impact of rear collision in order to protect the front seat occupants from sustaining any major injuries. This absorption of energy is done by a virtual pivot placed at the base of the seat and another metal piece inside the backrest. The virtual pivot lets the seat move backwards along with the actual hip joint of the occupant during rear collision in order to absorb the additional energy. The metal piece in the backrest absorbs the excess energy by allowing the headrest to slightly recline forward.
One of the major factors driving the growth of whiplash protection systems market is the rising awareness towards road safety. Increasing number of collision incidents and casualties caused during the same has led to an increased focus and consumer value for safety technologies. Owing to these factors, a shift in the buyer’s preference for safer cars has been witnessed in recent years.
In addition, government initiatives pertaining to the occupant safety in a vehicle and preemptive safety measures have driven the growth of whiplash protection systems market. Other legislations and car safety assessment programs have played a crucial role in the rising awareness and demand for vehicular safety. However, the whiplash protection systems market faces challenges due to the cyclic nature of automotive production and sales. Since the demand of whiplash protection systems has a direct correlation with the demand for safer cars, the whiplash protection systems market can only grow in tandem with the growth of car market. Moreover, the additional costs incurred during the design and testing phase of such systems hinders the growth of whiplash protection systems market. Other challenge faced by the growth of this market is increased prices due to the costs of raw materials and other commodities.
With the rise in safety awareness, stringent safety norms, technological advancements and affordability, whiplash protection systems prove to be a viable means to provide safety to vehicle occupants. Institutions such as New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) assess and award ratings based on safety performance to new cars, globally, which further increases the awareness and demand for whiplash protection systems. Identifying these opportunities, many manufacturers have invested heavily in designing and testing of such vehicular safety systems.
Some of the key players in whiplash protection systems market are Continental AG, Grammer AG and Robert Bosch GmbH in Germany, Lear Corporation and TRW Automotive in U.S., Takata Corporation in Japan, Delphi Automotive Plc in U.K., Autoliv Inc in Sweden and Hyundai Mobis in South Korea.
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