At the 20th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV) held in Lyon, France, two Honda development engineers were recognized for their extensive contributions to improving vehicle safety by being chosen as recipients of a United States Government Award for Safety Engineering Excellence.
Honda motorcycle engineer Satoshi Iijima was honored for his extensive efforts of more than 30 years in the research of motorcycle crash safety, and the development of new motorcycle safety devices, highlighted by the launch of Honda's specialized airbag system for motorcycles. Iijima's team began their fundamental research into motorcycle airbag systems in 1990. His research findings on motorcycle airbag technologies have been presented at international conferences such as ESV on many occasions, and his dedicated efforts have made a large contribution to the enhancement and improvement of motorcycle technologies related to the crash safety field.
The highly advanced motorcycle airbag system for which Iijima was recognized was introduced for the first time ever on a production motorcycle in 2006, and integrated into Honda's flagship luxury touring model, the GL1800 Gold Wing. Already renowned for offering the latest and finest in comfort, convenience and safety features, the Gold Wing was selected as the first full production motorcycle to be equipped with Honda's first airbag system, subsequently winning worldwide recognition and praise for its effective promotion of rider safety.
Concurrently, Honda R&D Americas senior engineer Douglas C. Longhitano was recognized for his important contribution to automobile safety, particularly in the area of pedestrian impact protection. For more than a decade, Longhitano has lead research programs to further the understanding of pedestrian impacts with SUVs and light trucks in order to help develop more effective countermeasures against injury, and which have significantly contributed to advances in traffic safety.
ESV is one of the world's leading conferences for discussing vehicle safety in an event that brings together researchers, engineers and government officials from all over the world. Beside cars and other road users, it also includes a dedicated session on motorcycle safety. During the long process of research and development of the motorcycle airbag system, Honda reported its findings in various stages at ESV and discussed them with other experts.
The prestigious Award for Safety Engineering Excellence is presented bi-annually by The United States' National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the highest federal agency for the prevention and control of traffic accidents in the United States, in recognition and appreciation of extraordinary contributions in the field of vehicle safety technology.
Honda is the only company this year to win this esteemed recognition in both automobile and motorcycle safety fields. This year's ESV conference also featured safety-related presentations and papers by no fewer than eight other Honda Associates, covering important research findings such as collision stresses on expectant mothers, pedestrian impact kinematics and innovative lighting systems to improve motorcycle conspicuity. Honda plays a prominent role in the advancement of many aspects of vehicle safety, and the proven results of our efforts frequently find their way to production vehicles, whether car or motorcycle.