TOKYO - A Japanese company will supply General Motors with sensing technology for smart airbags in more than 1 million vehicles.
GM is buying passenger-sensing systems from Honda Elesys Co. Ltd., the supplier says. The system can tailor the inflation of an airbag during a crash, based on an occupant's weight and size.
The U.S. government mandated smart airbags after reports of deaths and injuries to children and small adults in the 1990s.
Honda Elesys, a subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., says its technology relies on a pad embedded under the seat cover to generate an electromagnetic field that can detect the size and weight of the seat occupant.
The Yokohoma, Japan, supplier says it expects to supply the systems to 1.1 million GM vehicles in the fiscal year that begins April 1, 2006.
That's more than double the 565,000 vehicles planned for the current fiscal year.
Honda Elesys already supplies the technology in five GM nameplates: the Pontiac G6 and Grand Prix, Saturn Ion and Vue, and Buick LaCrosse.
The supplier says it is talking to GM about putting the technology in other GM vehicles.
Honda Elesys expects revenues from GM to grow from about ¥5 billion, or $44.7 million in the current fiscal year, to about $71.4 million in the next fiscal year. Those figures are based on current exchange rates.
Honda Elesys developed the sensing technology at Elesys North America Inc. in Suwanee, Ga. The supplier outsources production of the device to Kimball Electronics Inc. in Jasper, Ind.
Honda Elesys also produces other safety devices, such as a collision mitigation system for parent company Honda Motor Co., which owns about a 61 percent stake in the supplier.