March 20, 2019
Automotive technologies are reaching new heights, and innovations are coming from new corners of the industry.
As the Automotive News PACE Awards celebrate their 25th year of recognizing supplier achievement in bringing solutions to market, a new era is taking shape in the industry.
The emergence of more advanced sensors, breakthroughs in materials and the application of artificial intelligence in vehicle functions are converging to yield auto components that deliver greater safety, heightened performance, better fuel efficiency and improved flexibility in design and manufacturing.
From these innovations will come more profitable vehicles, more electrification and still more autonomous controlbut best of all, ever more appealing autos.
This year, 33 finalists are being considered for 2019 PACE Awards, in fields ranging from premium audio packaging to the advanced computing capability of a multidomain controller.
Plastic fuel tanks stand up to high pressure: Plastic Omnium
- What: INWIN plastic fuel tank.
- Innovation: To control vapor emission from fuel tanks under higher pressure, hybrid vehicles use sealed canisters typically made of steel. Plastic Omnium has developed a lighter-weight, blow-molded plastic version that can stand up to the same pressures while providing the advantages of plastic, including corrosion resistance, packaging flexibility and cost effectiveness.
- First customer: Hyundai Ioniq.
- Website: plasticomnium.com.
Smaller cars, premium sounds: Bose Corp.
- What: Personal sound system.
- Innovation: Bose has developed an audio system that makes high-energy sound performance possible in subcompact vehicles where little room is available for traditional sound components. The design uses six speakers, including two 2.5-inch UltraNearfield speakers in the drivers seat headrest.
- First customer: Nissan Micra.
- Website: automotive.bose.com.
Lighter tailpipe architecture: Faurecia
- What: Resonance free pipe.
- Innovation: Faurecia introduced microperforated patches on tailpipes that render a resonator unnecessary. The result: The exhaust systems architecture is more flexible for packaging, and weight is cut by as much as half without any loss in noise and vibration performance.
- First customer: General Motors for Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.
- Website: faurecia.com.
Wheel sensors measure road conditions: Hella
- What: SHAKE sensors for road condition analysis.
- Innovation: Hellas road condition sensorscalled SHAKE, for Structural Health and Knock Emissionenable a real-time measurement of water on pavement to reduce hydroplaning. The sensors, placed inside a vehicles front wheelhouses, measure tire friction with the road and use a proprietary algorithm to make braking decisions.
- First customer: Porsche 911.
- Website: hella.com.
More flexible approach to battery fastening: Yazaki Corp.
- What: Multidirectional battery terminal.
- Innovation: Yazaki has designed an alternative to decades-old traditional vertical battery terminal fastening, which can result in concentrated stress on the clamped area. The multidirectional innovation provides a low-cost, high-efficiency way to fasten from a horizontal direction, creating a more flexible battery installation during vehicle assembly.
- First customer: Toyota Camry.
- Website: yazaki.com.
Sensor improves rear and side views: Continental
- What: Gen 3 radar sensor.
- Innovation: Continentals 24-gigahertz short-range radar sensor enables a vehicle to detect objects to the rear and side, providing extended blind-spot detection and warning, rear cross-traffic alert with auto braking ability, parking spot detection and closing object detection warning. It also provides automatic recognition when a trailer is attached, measuring the trailers length and determining if there is enough space to change lanes.
- First customer: Ford F-150.
- Website: continental-corporation.com.
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