AJAC announces 2018 Innovation Award winners

Awards are judged by a panel of nine automotive journalists who are all technology specialists

February 22, 2018
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The winners of the 2018 Innovation Awards. From left, Cadillac, Lexus and Toyota. image: Michael Power

TORONTO—The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada announced the 2018 Innovation Award winners Feb. 21 at the Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS) in Toronto.

The Best Green Innovation was presented to Toyota for the Gas Injection Heat Pump System Design in the 2017/2018 Prius Prime. The Best Safety Innovation award was given to Lexus for Safety System +. The Best Technical Innovation award went to Cadillac for its Super Cruise Technology.

“I call this our inaugural year, as we have taken what used to be called the Technology awards and made them broader reaching. We’ve even added a category, and this is now our opportunity to recognize the very best—and most innovative—examples of new automotive technology available to Canadian drivers,” said Mark Richardson, president of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada.

The awards are judged by a panel of nine automotive journalists who are all technology specialists, Richardson told the audience. As a first step, they independently reviewed briefs on all entries submitted by Canada’s automakers of their most innovative technologies. From that initial review, the jurors established a short list of finalists in each category. Then in early December, they convened for a day of presentations and questioning with manufacturers’ representatives on each of the short-listed entries. The jurors then voted a second time by secret ballot.

As with the Canadian Car of the Year awards program, these votes were compiled and authenticated by the accounting firm of KPMG.

Finalists in the different categories were:

Best Green Innovation:
Chevrolet: Regen-on-Demand System (Chevrolet Bolt)
Lexus: Multi-stage hybrid system
Toyota: Gas Injection Heat Pump System Design

Best Safety Innovation:
Cadillac: Super Cruise Technology
FCA: eFlite Transmission – Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Volvo: S90 Hybrid Combined Powertrain

Best Technical Innovation:
GM: Vehicle to Vehicle (V2) Communications System
Honda: Cabin Talk and Watch (Honda Odyssey)
Lexus: Safety System +
Nissan: Pro Pilot Assist