DETROIT -- Siemens VDO Automotive introduces a product that can accomplish what your mother never could: It forces you to sit up straight.

The new system “pulls the occupant into a desirable, upright position before collision impact and airbag deployment,” Siemens says.

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Using a mechatronic, multi-function coiling motor powered by 42-volt architecture, the Tier 1 supplier is building a seatbelt pretensioning system for a European vehicle application scheduled to roll out before year’s end.

And instead of the traditional components – a spring to supply belt tension, an explosive charge for cinching, a latch to prevent slack and a torsion rod to modulate force – the new Siemens pretensioner features “intelligent control” that is integrated with other systems, such as antilock braking and electronic stability control.

The degree of deployed force differs according to an occupant’s stature. “This better ensures occupants of varying weight and stature are correctly seated during airbag deployment,” Siemens says.