BMW honors innovative suppliers - most of them electronics or software providers
With its new award, the BMW Group aims to demonstrate that innovation is a crucial success factor for the company and to highlight the importance of the suppliers to the carmaker.
The awards were presented in nine categories. These included areas of technology where the company aims to shape the individual mobility of the future as a premium manufacturer: Efficient Dynamics, lightweight construction, Connected Drive, “New Technology Experience”, maximum customer benefit, quality, productivity and sustainability, as well as the special prize “Innovation New Business Model”.
The prize in the Connected Drive category went to Autoliv for its image-based driver assistance system. This image-based driver assistance system can integrate a large number of information and safety functions into a multifunctional camera for greatly enhanced safety, convenience and information, BMW said.
In the category New Technology Experience, the prize went to Zizala Lichtsysteme GmbH for its adaptive full-LED headlights. According to BMW, these LED headlights are the first fully-adaptive headlights to use LED technology for all lighting functions. The lights emphasize BMW's typical double-round design and allow it to show its “four-eye face” for the first time on low beam. The LED also produces a light that is closer to daylight, with strong contrast for greater safety.
Also awarded to a supplier in the electronics segment was the prize in the Quality category. It was Nippon Seiki Co. for its full-color head-up display. For the first time, a full-color head-up display can use the full range of colors. This makes the symbols appear much more realistic and more intuitive.
The Special prize also honored a supplier in the larger electronics segment - a software vendor. It was Pandora Media Inc. for its Extend Pandora app with BMW/MINI interface. This app brings personalized radio service to BMW and MINI vehicles. The service plays only the user's favorite music. Once a type of music, band or artist has been selected, Pandora plays only that kind of song.
The prize for Efficient Dynamics, a technology segment BMW is very proud of, went to transmission supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG. ZF's 8HP ECO PRO mode gearbox reduces fuel consumption without comprising driving dynamics. The ECO mode changes the engine’s performance characteristics and at the same time displays driving pedal recommendations, thereby promoting an efficient driving style. The prize for Lightweight construction, another discipline with strategic significance for better fuel efficiency, was awarded to Novelis AG for its so-called so-called fusion technology to produce aluminum sheets from several layers of different aluminum alloys, thereby achieving a considerable reduction in weight. Brose Fahrzeugteile received the award in the category Maximum customer benefit: The company has provided a smart opener that allows the luggage compartment to be opened hands-free through a deliberate motion of the foot towards the bumper.
The remaining two awards referred to the production process. Schuler AG received the Productivity prize for its crossbar servo-press which combines efficiency and flexibility, and the award in the Sustainability category went to Dürr AG for its Dry Separation process for paint shops which reduces CO2 emission and energy consumption.
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