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AJAC announces best new technology awards

Volvo and Mazda top the winners' list at January 18 awards event


January 25, 2017
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MONTREAL—Two Best New Technology award winners have been announced by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) at the Montreal International Auto Show.

BEST NEW SAFETY TECHNOLOGY for 2017
Volvo Pilot Assist II, Large Animal Detection, Run-off Road mitigation is the winner of the BEST NEW SAFETY TECHNOLOGY FOR 2017.

“Pilot Assist II is actually three systems using camera and radar technology to help keep drivers and passengers safe,” said technology panel chair, Jim Kerr. “The Pilot assist feature can control acceleration, braking and steering up to 130 km/h to help keep the S90 in its lane at speed. Run off road mitigation keeps the vehicle on the road by applying braking and steering forces if an impending road departure is sensed. Large animal detection senses the density of larger animals such as deer, moose and coyotes within about a 200 meter range, to determine if they pose a danger, warn the driver and automatically brake the vehicle to mitigate a collision if the driver takes no action. These features are semi-autonomous, giving the driver full control of the vehicle at all times while using automatic control to assist when required.”

Finalists in this category included:
GENERAL MOTORS: ONstar ProActive Alerts
GENRAL MOTORS: Rear Seat Reminder
MERCEDES-BENZ: PRE-SAFE Sound
SUBARU: Global Platform
TOYOTA: Safety Sense P Package

BEST NEW INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY for 2017
Mazda G-Vectoring Control (GVC) is the winner of the BEST NEW INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY FOR 2017.

“So subtle that most drivers won’t even be aware of the feature operating, G-Vectoring control enhances the vehicle’s feel of stability and smoothness by controlling engine power in almost imperceptible time frames to shift the weight balance of the car,” said Kerr. “For passengers, the result is a comfortable and more relaxing ride. For drivers, GVC reduces small steering wheel inputs by almost 50% and provides a feeling of linear control of the steering on all types of roads and road surfaces.”

Finalists in this category included:
FORD: Pro-Trailer Assist
MAZDA: skyactiv-G 2.5T Engine
GENERAL MOTORS: Position Sensitive Spool Valve Damper

The awards are judged by a panel of 12 automotive journalists who are all technology specialists. As a first step, they independently reviewed overview briefs on all the technology entries submitted by automakers.

From that initial review, by secret vote, the jurors established a shortlist of finalists. Then, in early December, they convened in Toronto for a day of presentations by manufacturers’ representatives on each of their shortlisted entries and a chance to grille them with questions. The jurors then voted a second time, again by secret ballot.

As with the Canadian Car of the Year awards program, those votes were compiled by the accounting firm, KPMG and kept secret until the announcement today.

The “Best New Technology” awards are part of the association’s annual Canadian Car of the Year Awards program, created in 1985 to provide consumers with sound, comparative information on vehicles that are new to the market.