Safety innovators win 3 PACE Awards

DETROIT – Innovations to make autos safer earned three suppliers Automotive News PACE Awards Monday night.

The 20th annual awards honoring parts makers with outstanding innovations were handed out before an audience of more than 450 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center here.

Continental Automotive won for sensors that help lift the hood to protect pedestrians during a collision. Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. won for headlights that automatically dim to protect the vision of oncoming drivers.

Another safety winner was a system from Valeo that gives drivers an extended view of objects behind them while they are backing up.

The safety focus marked the biggest single pattern among this year’s honorees. A total of 16 suppliers were cited for innovations in products and manufacturing processes. And one of those, Autoliv Inflators Sweden, won for a technology best described as environmental – a green airbag inflator – even though it applies to a safety feature.

As part of the event, six vehicle makers were recognized for partnerships that fostered innovations with suppliers.

The awards are sponsored by Automotive News, EY and Transportation Research Center Inc. Winners were selected by independent judges.

Here are the 2014 Automotive News PACE Award winners by category.


  • Autoliv Inflators Sweden, Vargarda, Sweden: Green airbag inflator
  • BASF Corp., Wyandotte. Mich.: High-gloss black interior door switch bezels
  • BorgWarner Transmission Systems, Auburn Hills, Mich.: Eco-Launch solenoid valve for transmissions
  • Continental Automotive, Auburn Hills, Mich.: Pressure sensor for pedestrian protection
  • Delphi Automotive, Warren, Ohio: ErgoMate connector
  • Dow Automotive Systems, Auburn Hills, Mich.: Betamate structural adhesive for untreated aluminum
  • Federal-Mogul Corp., Wiesbaden, Germany: Lead-free bearings for high-performance engines
  • Hella KGaA Hueck & Co., Lippstadt, Germany: LED matrix beam headlights
  • Robert Bosch, Farmington Hills, Mich.: Spray enhancements in gasoline direct injection enabled by laser drilling
  • Schaeffler Group, Wooster, Ohio: Torque converter with centrifugal pendulum absorber
  • Valeo, Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany: Backup protection
  • ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Saarbrucken, Germany: Nine-speed automatic transmission

Manufacturing process and capital equipment

  • ArcelorMittal and Magna-Cosma International, Chicago: Laser-welded, hot-stamped door ring
  • Henkel Corp., Madison Heights, Mich.: Bonderite 2798 process for coating aluminum
  • TI Automotive, Auburn Hills, Mich.: Flexible manufacturing process for blow-molded plastic fuel tanks

The winners for innovative partnerships between vehicle makers and suppliers were:

  • Ford Motor Co., for high-gloss black interior door switch bezels with BASF Corp.
  • General Motors, for Eco-Launch solenoid valve for transmissions with BorgWarner Transmission Systems
  • Honda R&D Americas, for laser-welded, hot-stamped door ring with ArcelorMittal and Magna-Cosma International
  • Paccar, for Betamate structural adhesive for untreated aluminum with Dow Automotive Systems
  • Tesla Motors, for Tegra visual computing module with Nvidia Corp.
  • Volvo Car Corp., for pedestrian protection airbag with Autoliv Inc.



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