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Mazda, Volvo win 2017 AJAC Technology Awards

AJAC announces 2017 Best New Technology Awards for Innovation and Safety

Published: January 19, 2017, 9:55 AM
Updated: December 22, 2017, 1:18 PM

Volvo Large Animal Detection

MONTREAL, QC - The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) revealed the winners of two "Best New Technology" awards at the Montreal International Auto Show today.

Mazda and Volvo were the winners for Best New Innovation Technology and Best New Safety Technology for 2017, respectively.

Best New Innovation Technology – Mazda G-Vectoring Control

Mazda G-Vectoring Control (GVC), which will begin to be rolled out in multiple Mazda models beginning with the Mazda6 sedan, was chosen as the Best New Innovation Technology.

Mazda SkyActiv G-Vectoring Control technology - Mazda SkyActiv G-Vectoring Control technology

"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," says Technology Panel Chair, Jim 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."

Other finalists in this category included:
Ford: Pro-Trailer Assist
Mazda: Skyactiv-G 2.5T Engine
General Motors: Position Sensitive Spool Valve Damper

Best New Safety Technology – Volvo Pilot Assist II

Volvo Pilot Assist II, with Large Animal Detection and Run-off Road Mitigation, available in the new Volvo S90 sedan, was chosen as the Best New Safety Technology.

Volvo Large Animal Detection

"Pilot Assist II is actually three systems using camera and radar technology to help keep drivers and passengers safe," says 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 metre range, to determine if they pose a danger, warns the driver and automatically brakes 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
General Motors: Rear Seat Reminder
Mercedes-Benz: PRE-SAFE Sound
Subaru: Global Platform
Toyota: Safety Sense P Package

The awards are judged by a panel of 12 AJAC-member 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.

Mazda G-Vectoring Control at work

Volvo Large Animal Detection

Volvo Run-off Road Mitigation

Mazda SkyActiv G-Vectoring Control technology - Mazda SkyActiv G-Vectoring Control technology

Volvo Large Animal Detection

Mazda SkyActiv G-Vectoring Control technology - Mazda SkyActiv G-Vectoring Control technology