Innovations in vehicle component design for electrification and for safer driving led the field of winners of the 2021 Automotive News PACE Awards.
The program honored 14 companies for product and technology advances, in an online presentation Thursday. The winners also included new digital solutions in how vehicles are sold. The PACE Awards are sponsored by Canada's Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association.
Several of the 2021 award winners were technology enhancements to support vehicle electrification, such as Garrett Motion's E-Turbo for hybrid powertrains, and a new-generation battery disconnect unit from Lear Corp., developed to address thermal management issues in electric vehicles.
Bosch, Faurecia, Marelli and Schaeffler Group were among the industry giants that were awarded for their work. But PACE judges also singled out smaller firms, such as the automotive e-commerce company CarSaver and the on-the-road payment provider Cerence Inc.
The annual awards, now in their 27th year, recognize suppliers for innovations that have successfully moved from drawing board to commercial application.
The awards went to a spectrum of technologies, ranging from an advanced lidar system that requires fewer components, to a display screen technology that adjusts its light to an individual's visual needs, an online-only vehicle shopping and sales platform, and a super-light thermoplastic replacement for steel roof brackets.