June 7, 2006

GM announces annual “Boss” Kettering award winners

Detroit, Michigan – General Motors has announced that ten innovative ideas have been selected as winners of the “Boss” Kettering Award, the company’s highest honour for recognizing GM technical inventions and innovations. The award is named for Charles F. “Boss” Kettering, who launched GM’s Research and Development organization in 1920.

The ten innovations named are:

  • the dual-depth airbag, which protects small occupants sitting in the front seat and addresses in-position occupant challenges;

  • pedestrian protection innovation, to comply with new legal requirements in Europe and Japan for a pedestrian-friendly “soft-nose” design;
  • math-based crash sensing technology, which enables vehicle programs to develop and calibrate crash sensing systems for new vehicle programs;
  • two-mode hybrid core control system, which optimally manages the energy flow between the electric motors, battery and engine in a hybrid vehicle for improved performance, fuel economy, emissions and battery life;
  • virtual flexible fuel sensor, which measures the concentration of ethanol in the fuel supply and automatically adjusts the fuel control system to account for it;
  • virtual road load data acquisition, which uses math models to drive design decisions, rather than vehicle-level hardware;
  • math-based reactive maintenance staff estimator, which uses real-time plant data to simulate plant operations and estimate the required workforce zone-by-zone;
  • net-formed helical gear extrusion process, which results in stronger and more reliable gears that are less costly to produce;
  • panoramic windshield, an innovative windshield/roof concept; and
  • programmable pogo welding, a flexible underbody welding system.

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