Advancing Autonomy: The Winners

Last night at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan, Automotive Design & Production and AutoBeat Daily presented the first-ever awards for Automobility to five organizations that are at the forefront of advancing the technologies associated with autonomous driving and mobility.

Last night at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan, Automotive Design & Production and AutoBeat Daily presented the first-ever awards for Automobility to five organizations that are at the forefront of advancing the technologies associated with autonomous driving and mobility.

The categories and winners are:

Overall achievement: Google Self-Driving Cars

Google

Vehicle: Tesla Model X

ModelX

Infrastructure: Mcity, University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center

Mcity

Systems Development: Continental Automotive

“Advanced driver assistance system of this kind are the foundation of automated driving and represent our strongest growth area,” said Dr. Elmar Degenhart, Continental’s chairman of the Executive Board

Technology: NVIDIA

NVIDIA

The organizations receiving the awards were selected by judges including Brett Smith of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), John Waraniak of SEMA, Dan Sturges (now of Local Motors), Bill Hampton of AutoBeat, and, me.

At this point the question of whether we will have, or when we will have, “autonomous cars” is somewhat moot. That is, Google cars have racked up more than two-million miles of driving with the “driver” serving as a safety monitor. The Model X features “Autopilot,” which, while in no way relieving the driver to be a driver, provides the means to use the vehicle in a semi-automated manner. NVIDIA is providing chips that allow essentially artificial intelligence programing for vehicles. Continental is putting together entire systems—from the chassis to the powertrain to the interior—that are leading to the realization of autonomous driving in the very near term. And Mcity is a place where not only can vehicle manufacturers and suppliers test vehicles and systems, but where there is an infrastructure of engineering students and professors who can supplement the companies’ efforts in advancing safe, reliable, automated transportation.

And we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the winners of the inaugural awards.