A safe premium design

24. June 2014 – Dräxlmaier Group introduces an interior idea for stowing safety vests

Vilsbiburg, June 24, 2014 - Beginning July 1, 2014, Germany will join other EU countries in requiring high-visibility safety vests in every car (European Norm EN 471). Many drivers who have already tried to stow safety vests in their vehicles know that they are anything but attractive. The bright orange or neon-yellow vests can certainly save a life, but inside the vehicle, the reflective neon colors often clash with the luxurious surface materials of a high-quality interior.


The Dräxlmaier Group has now unveiled an innovative interior design, which will not only increase safety for the occupants of the vehicle, but will also satisfy the requirements of premium design.


Automobile drivers will no longer have to stow the legally required safety vests in the door pockets, glove box or even the footwells as before; instead, in the Dräxlmaier Group interior concept, the safety vests will disappear into several small storage compartments. These could be in the center console, the instrument panel, or in the door panels and would no longer be visible. The high-quality look of the premium interior would not be marred by the garish neon colors of the safety vests, but would still be easy to find in case of emergency.


Stage 1: Safety vests are indicated after the hazard warning lights are activated If the hazard lights are activated after an accident, an occupant can open the storage compartment cover himself or herself by pressing on it, and then quickly remove the safety vest, slip it on and leave the vehicle. Using an optical indicator that lights up when the hazard warning lights are activated, the Dräxlmaier Group makes sure that the vehicle occupants always know exactly where the safety vest storage compartments are, even at night or under poor visibility conditions.


To do this, the market leader in interior systems for premium vehicles puts its leather expertise to good use. For example, the illuminated arrows that show the occupants the exact location of the safety vest compartments are visible in the leather-laminated areas in the cockpit only in an emergency. This is made possible by back-lit leather, which has micro-perforations in the appropriate areas, which lets the light through, but cannot be seen under normal circumstances. For improved visibility, the outlines of the vest storage compartments are also illuminated.


Stage 2: Automatic safety vest release after an accident
In an accident where the airbags deploy, the life-saving safety vests would be automatically released from the interior compartments at the same time, and would be available instantly. The idea by the automobile supplier is that the airbag sensors would simultaneously deploy the release of the safety vests in a crash situation. This is comparable with the principle of a sudden drop of pressure in an airplane cabin, which automatically releases the oxygen masks from compartments above the seats.


In the concept by the Dräxlmaier Group, the illuminated colored arrows assure that the vests are quickly located, as in Stage 1. This is the case even under very poor lighting and visibility conditions such as after an airbag deployment, when the air is full of gases and talcum, and the visibility is poor. And since during an accident, the vehicle occupants are often in an extremely stressful situation, reaching for the lifesaving vests should then be intuitive, very fast and simple.


Now the Dräxlmaier Group is looking for automobile manufacturers for to jointly develop this interior idea.

The DRÄXLMAIER Group supplies premium automobile manufacturers worldwide with complex wiring harness systems, central electrical and electronic components, exclusive interiors, and storage systems for electric mobility. The combination of core competencies in the interior, electrical, electronic and storage systems areas makes DRÄXLMAIER unique in the industry. The company thereby covers the entire process chain, from the initial idea, through the development and production process, and up to precisely in-sequence delivery of the products to the assembly lines of premium automobile manufacturers. The inventor of the customer-specific wiring harness, the DRÄXLMAIER Group develops pioneering wiring harness technology as well as electrical and electronic components, all directly in-house. These include multi-voltage and high-voltage wiring harness systems, battery management systems, and intelligent power distributors. DRÄXLMAIER is working on the future of emission-free mobility with its solution for low-voltage and high-voltage storage systems. As a market leader for interior systems in premium automobiles, the DRÄXLMAIER Group also supplies premium automobile manufacturers with ambient lighting, center consoles, door panels and instrument panels, as well as complete door and cockpit modules.

The DRÄXLMAIER Group is an international automotive supplier with more than 60  sites in over 20 countries. Founded in Germany in 1958, the company employs about  75,000 employees throughout the world. For the DRÄXLMAIER Group as an owner-managed business, responsible and long-range thinking has always been the basis for economic success. It is therefore a core element of its strategy to design its business and production processes, as well as its products, in a more sustainable manner and in that way to increase the competitiveness of the company on a long-term basis.

In 2019, the DRÄXLMAIER Group generated sales of 4.9 billion euro. Customers of this member of the Top 100 Automotive Suppliers include Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Porsche and Volkswagen, as well as Californian automotive manufacturers.

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