Teleflex stands out as a place where creativity is permanently on the executive agenda and where that emphasis has transformed the company from an old-line cable maker to a cutting-edge developer of automotive technology.
Teleflex wins a PACE Award for one such innovation -- its patented adjustable pedal system. The system allows drivers of shorter stature to move the accelerator, brake, and clutch pedals closer to the driver, while permitting the driver to maintain normal or desired seating position and optimum body positioning, and without altering pedal deployment action or angle. This allows or insures safer air bag deployment, safety restraint system effectiveness, and steering wheel and instrument panel control access, while enhancing comfort, especially on long drives. The pedal adjustment is accomplished as a motor drives the pedal mechanism along a rod toward the driver, all the while maintaining the pedals' relative positioning to one another.
While the basic pedal system was acquired in the strategic purchase of Comcorp in 1997 by Teleflex, the principal inventors subsequently developed the device further, creating significant refinements that streamlined the system, leading to a number of patents, and its adoption as standard equipment on the 1999 Lincoln Navigator and as optional equipment on other models. With demand surpassing 260,000 units by the end of 1999, the adjustable pedal mechanism has been well received for its innovative safety, comfort, and convenience benefits.
Importantly, the adjustable pedal mechanism also serves as a cornerstone in Teleflex's own transformation as a company. With 70-80 patents won annually in recent years, Teleflex is positioned to build on its adjustable pedal technology with more new products in the near future. Its strategic alliances with organizations such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA help keep Teleflex in a good innovative posture, a model for automotive industry innovation.