Every year, as part of its Canadian Car of the Year awards program, AJAC (the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada) determines a winner of the Best New Technology award for the year.
For 2013, AJAC's Best New Technology award goes to General Motors' Front Centre Airbag system, which was introduced on the mid-size 2013 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia utility vehicles.
The new airbag system, which deploys from the inboard side of the driver's seatback, forward and upward between the driver and front passenger, addresses a safety issue that has not been previously addressed.
It has the potential to significantly reduce the thousands of fatalities that result from side-impact collisions.
AJAC's 12-member technology awards panel, comprising journalists with specific technical backgrounds and expertise, spent a full day reviewing in-depth presentations by automakers on a short list of ten new technologies before submitting their secret ballots.
The panelists collectively agreed that the quality of the entries and the depth of the field was the best ever with multiple possible winners. The results were revealed on February 14, at the Canadian International Auto Show, as part of the AJAC Canadian Car of the Year awards ceremony.
Mazda's innovative i-ELOOP supercapacitor-based regenerative braking system, which offers the potential for up to 10% reduction in fuel consumption in some conditions, was a close second in the voting.
Subaru's camera-based EyeSight suite of safety-oriented driver aids placed third.
The seven other technologies to make the short-list of ten finalists, from 23 initial entries, were:
- Ford Hands-Free Liftgate Control
- General Motors Front-Rear Automatic Braking
- General Motors FNC Brake Rotors
- Honda Lane-Watch Blind Spot Display
- Mercedes-Benz Cross-Wind Assist
- Mercedes-Benz Magic Vision Control
-Nissan Backup Collision Intervention.