Innovations from 30 automotive suppliers representing seven countries have been named finalists for the 2017 Automotive News PACE Awards.
The 34 innovations -- ranging from short-range radar to a direct fuel-injection system to an in-car artificial intelligence supercomputer -- underscore the auto industry's commitment to improving fuel economy, emissions and safety, among other goals.
The program, now in its 23rd year, honors suppliers' innovations in products, information technology, and manufacturing process and capital equipment. The awards are regarded as the Oscars of the automotive components industry.
Here are the finalists and their innovations:
■ Aperia TechnologiesBurlingame, Calif.Halo Tire Inflator
■ AutoneumZurich, SwitzerlandHybrid Acoustics Concept
■ Continental Structural PlasticsAuburn Hills, Mich.TCA Ultra Lite
■ Continental TevesFrankfurtMK C1 — Electrical Braking System
■ DanaMaumee, OhioAdaptive Air/Oil Separation System
■ DanaMaumee, OhioMulti-Layer Steel Transmission Pump Gasket
■ DanaMaumee, OhioTire-Pressure Management System
■ DaycoTroy, Mich.ACTIVAC Vacuum Generation System
■ Delphi AutomotiveKrakow, Poland3D Gesture Recognition System
■ Delphi AutomotiveAuburn Hills, Mich.76GHz Short Range Radar for 360° Sensing
■ DENSO Corp.Kariya, Japan4th Generation Diesel Common Rail System
■ Eaton & BorgWarnerGalesburg, Mich., and Auburn Hills, Mich.Procision DualTronic Dual-Clutch Transmission
■ Federal-Mogul PowertrainSouthfield, Mich.DuraForm-G91 Diesel Piston
■ FirstronicGrand Rapids, Mich.Mixed Double-Sided PCB Technology
■ Flex AutomotiveFarmington Hills, Mich.Programmable Controller
■ GiffinAuburn Hills, Mich.ELITE Wet Scrubbing Technology
■ GKN DrivelineRedditch, U.K.GKN Co-Axial Electric Axle
■ Hanon Systems DeutschlandKerpen, GermanyElectrical Expansion/Shutoff Valve Family
■ HoneywellPlymouth, Mich.Variable Nozzle Turbocharger for Gasoline Engines
■ International Automotive ComponentsEbersberg, GermanyFiberFrame
■ JTEKT Toyoda Americas Corp.Arlington Heights, Ill.High-Speed Axis Synchronization
■ Koito ManufacturingShizuoka, JapanSensor-Based Automatic Headlamp Leveling
■ MAHLEStuttgartSteel Piston Laser Welding
■ NVIDIASanta Clara, Calif.DRIVE PX 2 — In-Car Artificial Intelligence Supercomputer
■ OEConnectionRichfield, OhioDynamic Replacement Collision Parts Pricing
■ PrehBad Neustadt/Saale, GermanySteering Wheel Touch Control
■ Robert BoschPlymouth, Mich.Engine Compartment Actuator
■ Roechling AutomotiveWorms, GermanyCentral Acoustic Air Manifold
■ Sanhua AutomotiveHangzhou, ChinaElectronic Expansion Valve
■ SchaefflerWooster, OhioElectromechanical Active Roll Stabilizer
■ SchaefflerWooster, OhioOne-Way Transmission Clutch Assembly
■ TI AutomotiveAuburn Hills, Mich.Port Direct Fuel Injection System
■ ValeoBietigheim-Bissingen, GermanyPark4U Remote
■ YazakiMakinohara, JapanLarge Aspherical HUD Mirror
"Supplier-initiated innovation is increasing and accelerating. At the same time, innovation is also more global and includes more nontraditional suppliers. We see applications for innovations on everything from chips to hard parts," said J Ferron, PACE director of judging.
In the coming months, the finalists will host teams of independent PACE judges, who are experts from industry, academia and business. The judges will evaluate the innovations for originality and market impact.
Winners will be announced April 3 at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center in Detroit, kicking off SAE World Congress week.
Before that, information on the finalists' innovations will be featured in weekly issues of Automotive News.
The awards are sponsored by EY, Automotive News and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association. SAE International provides further support.
PACE stands for Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence.
You can reach James B. Treece at email@example.com