The 2019 awards brought attention to a spectrum of technology advances, including Lear Corp.’s flexible seat architecture for next-generation vehicles; an innovation in 3D printed dies from Exco Engineering; an advancement in lidar technology by the Silicon Valley company Velodyne; and an improvement in electric-vehicle battery thermal management from Gentherm Inc.
The annual innovation awards are judged by an independent panel of industry experts who review new auto industry technologies from around the world.
But creating a new technology or product improvement in a laboratory is only the first test in qualifying for a PACE Award, said J Ferron, PACE director of judging. The supplier also must bring the innovation to market.
“Winning a PACE trophy means that a supplier has taken a risky idea, invested people and capital in its development and then found a customer to commercialize it for society’s benefit,” Ferron said. “The PACE Awards celebrate that tough process of innovation by highlighting the magic that creates viable solutions for future automotive products and mobility needs.”
The 2019 awards also spotlighted three automakers for projects in which they worked closely with a supplier to bring about a desired innovation.
Audi was awarded for its development of an automated driving satellite compute platform with Aptiv. General Motors won an award for working with Tula Technology Inc. on its Dynamic Skip Fire technology. GM won a second partnership award for its work with Ushr on a high-definition advanced driver’s map.
The startup automaker Nio won a partnership award for working with Flex to develop a multicomponent interior environment.
Here is the list of 2019 Automotive News PACE Award winners.
- Aptiv: Automated driving satellite compute platform
- BorgWarner Inc.: Dual volute turbocharger for gasoline engines
- Caresoft Global Inc.: Computed tomography vehicle benchmarking system
- Dana Inc.: Spicer® AdvanTEK® axle system
- Exco Engineering: 3D printed die components
- Faurecia: Resonance free pipe
- Tenneco Powertrain: DuraForm-G91™ aluminum alloy for diesel pistons
- Tenneco Powertrain: PRiME 3D® piston ring software development tool
- Gentherm: Thermoelectric battery thermal management
- Lear Corp.: ConfigurE+ adaptive rear seating rail system
- Material Sciences Corp.: Smart steel
- Strattec: Invis-A-Rise power tailgate system
- Tula Technology Inc.: Dynamic Skip Fire technology
- Velodyne Lidar: Alpha Puck lidar
The 2019 Automotive News PACE Innovation Partnership winners are:
- Audi, for its partnership with Aptiv on the automated driving satellite compute platform
- GM, for its partnership on the Dynamic Skip Fire technology with Tula Technology Inc.
- GM, for its partnership on the high-definition advanced driver’s map with Ushr
- Nio, for its partnership with Flex to develop the Nio Interior User Experience