30 finalists vie for PACE Awards

Top innovations to be honored in April

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:

A crowd watches the 2016 Automotive News PACE Awards in Detroit.

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 jtreece@crain.com

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