From no fewer than 35 entries, the professional jury of the Automotive Innovation Award 2021 has nominated ten innovations. In the semi-finals, these contenders will give an online pitch to the jury and be asked critical questions about their innovation. In April, the jury will announce the six finalists who will compete for the awards on Monday September 20th 2021. 

The ten nominations are equally divided between the two categories of Technology and Services. These are the nominees in the Technology category, in alphabetical order:

  • CF Hybrid (DAF), a hybrid truck for sustainable and quiet transport in urban areas
  • Continuous Variable Transmission for EV (Bosch Transmission Technology), a lightweight transmission system that enhances the performance and efficiency of electric cars
  • EBUSCO 3.0 (Ebusco), a city bus made entirely of composite materials that is 33% lighter
  • Rheolight (Ink Invent), the world’s first industrial spray-on visibility coating
  • SafeDrivePod (SafeDrivePod), a tag that automatically blocks smartphone use in the car or on a bicycle

In the Services category, the following entries have been nominated:

  • ALD Move (ALD Automotive), an integrated mobility solution for companies, with advice based on a self-learning algorithm
  • Hazard Warnings (TomTom), an automatic warning system for road hazards which can be linked to self-driving functionality in the car
  • PowerD (PowerD), optimal charging of electric cars when renewable energy generation levels are high
  • RoadCheck (TomTom), an additional map layer allowing a car to proactively indicate where self-driving features do and do not work
  • Smart mobility scooter (Louwman Group), predictive maintenance and smart remote support for mobility scooter users

Thorough analysis
With the announcement of the semi-finalists, the vote for the innovative Dutch automotive sector comes a step closer to the finals. Jury chairman Jan Peter Balkenende is impressed by the entries: “It is extraordinary to see how the COVID-19 crisis has roused the innovation capacity of many participants. Many of the entries are innovations that respond to the pandemic that has the world in its grip, such as mobile air filters. Nevertheless, as a professional jury we have chosen to give priority to innovations that contribute to long-term trends in the automotive industry, sustainable mobility and the development of self-driving transport. I am very curious about the online presentations that the participants will give and the answers we as a jury will get to the critical questions we will ask.”

The organization of the Automotive Innovation Award is pleased with the stunning list of nominees. “The high-quality entries confirm the innovation capacity of the Dutch automotive sector,” says board chairman Olaf de Bruijn. “It is great to see that even in these difficult times for the automotive industry, the focus remains on the future, so that the Dutch automotive sector will ultimately come out of this stronger.”

Challenging Concepts
In previous editions of the Automotive Innovation Award, in addition to the Technology and Services categories, there was a third category, Challenging Concepts. This category celebrated innovations by student teams. With Dutch universities and colleges closed due to the coronavirus, the organization has decided to spotlight this in a different way in the 2021 edition of the AIA. Student teams that would like to make their innovation more widely known can apply via

The semi-finals will take place entirely online. Based on the presentations and extensive Q&A rounds, the jury will choose six finalists, three in each category. The finale will be on Monday September 20th, when the jury will present the prestigious awards during a live event (corona regulations permitting).