More Autos2050 Awards Winners Announced


Washington, D.C. — Leaders shaping the future of auto-mobility were announced today as Autos2050® award winners by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Auto Alliance). Award winners include Members of Congress, a governor, state senator, an energy think tank, a safety advocate, automotive suppliers and start-up companies.

“It is important to spotlight the innovators and pioneers who are making future advancements a reality today. Their efforts and technologies have the potential to bring tremendous societal benefits – first and foremost greater motor vehicle safety, as well as greater mobility and fewer emissions,” said Dave Schwietert, Interim President and CEO, Auto Alliance.

The awards and dinner are part of the Autos2050® event, including a conference focusing on the crossroads of public policy and automotive technology to be held prior to the dinner on Tuesday, April 2 at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.

“These winners were chosen for making game-changing contributions to the automotive industry over the past year, and they will be honored at the Autos2050® dinner,” said Schwietert.

Here are the Autos2050® Award winners in the categories of Leadership, Ingenuity and Impact:

For exceptional ability to lead and influence legislation, policy, investments, and processes that have advanced the goals of the auto industry

  • Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) was a supporter of the AV START Act (S. 1885) in the 115th Congress and worked to amend the bill to include additional safety and cybersecurity provisions. Specifically, Senator Gardner sought to require the submission of safety evaluation reports (SERs). On cybersecurity, Senator Gardner worked with colleagues to require employee training on manufacturers’ cybersecurity plans.
  • State Senator Kelly Hancock (R-TX) has positioned Texas as a leader in innovation by making it one of the first states to enact AV legislation. As chair of the Senate’s powerful Business and Commerce Committee, he championed the issue by introducing pro-AV testing legislation and rallying stakeholders in support of its passage.
  • Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) is the chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, and supporter of the SELF DRIVE Act (H.R. 3388) in the 115th Congress. The legislation allowed for the safe testing and deployment of self-driving cars, and would have required the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue rules and new safety standards. Chairman Pallone believes that “Self-driving cars have the potential in the future to reduce deaths and injuries from car crashes, particularly those that result from driver distraction.”
  • Governor Pete Ricketts (R-NE) signed a bill into law that allows for the safe deployment of level 3-5 AVs in any setting throughout the state. This forward-leaning bipartisan bill – sponsored by Democratic State Senator Anna Wishart – addresses state specific areas concerning the rules of the road, insurance, ride-sharing, and accident reporting for AVs.
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow ((D-MI) has a proven track record of supporting innovation in transportation. In the 115th Congress, she was an original sponsor of the bipartisan Vehicle Innovation Act (S. 1225), which encouraged investment in research and development of clean vehicle and advanced safety technologies to increase fuel efficiency. Senator Stabenow was also an original co-sponsor of the AV START Act with the goal of establishing a national framework for the safe testing and deployment of advanced vehicle technologies.
  • Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) is the former chair and current ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, whose leadership helped to pass the bipartisan SELF DRIVE Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The goal of the SELF DRIVE Act, according to Ranking Member Walden, was to begin “to unlock the full potential of self-driving cars to make roads safer, create new economic opportunities, and help seniors and those with disabilities live more independently.”

For exceptional creativity and uniqueness

  • David Hall, Founder & CEO, Velodyne is a leader in the industry through achieving his company’s goal of safe autonomous driving by providing some of the most advanced LIDAR sensors at automotive grade pricing. In addition, Velodyne launched the World Safety Summit on Autonomous Technology in 2018 that seeks to educate the public, media and industry about the benefits of AV safety and industry challenges. Velodyne also collaborates with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to promote safe mobility.
  • Andre Haddad, CEO, Turo is the head of a pioneering peer-to-peer car-sharing network that is revolutionizing car rentals the way Airbnb has revolutionized the hospitality business. Turo’s model increases access to automobiles, offers owners additional income, and reduces the time autos spend idle.
  • Edzard Overbeek, CEO leads a company with the goal of digitizing maps and pioneering in-car navigation systems. Today, HERE is creating living three-dimensional maps that grow upwards, breathing with layers of information and insights. With applications from autonomous driving to smart infrastructure, HERE is building the future of automotive location technology.
  • Yuval Weisglass, Vice President, Automotive Cyber Security, HARMAN leads his company’s business objectives focused on vehicle cybersecurity technology development and organizational strategy across the vehicle lifecycle – from program and product design through manufacturing and deployment. HARMAN works with automakers to conduct comprehensive threat analysis and technology implementation to support security innovations for connected and autonomous vehicles.
  • Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, Watson IoT is building on IBM’s history of working alongside the automotive industry, by combining innovation with industry expertise, and addressing matters from the factory floor to the rubber on the road. Cognitive systems, like Watson, are the connective tissue that helps to aggregate, analyze and put to use every piece of data – structured or unstructured – from the moment a car is conceived to the day it is decommissioned.

For exceptional contributions to improvements in technologies, society, the environment, or the economy

  • Robbie Diamond, Founder, President and CEO, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) has positioned his organization to the forefront of AV thought leadership and has provided concrete policy recommendations and testimony to state and federal legislators, agencies and the administration. SAFE recognizes automated vehicle technology also serves economic and national security goals, as improved vehicle efficiency and fuel diversity will precipitate a shift away from our singular dependence on oil to power the nation’s transportation system.
  • Deborah Hersman, Former President and CEO, National Safety Council (NSC) has long applied innovative approaches to transportation safety in government roles, and most recently has used her position at NSC to advocate for the health and safety benefits of automated vehicles. During her tenure, NSC joined the nationwide PAVE Coalition to raise public awareness about AVs, and her leadership has been important in educating policymakers on the safety benefits of AVs, including through DOT’s Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation. In January 2019, Hersman became the Chief Safety Officer for Waymo.  

Each recipient was nominated by peers within the industry and selected by the Autos2050® Host Committee comprised of representatives from automakers. The 2050 Awards recognize ingenuity, impact and leadership.

The Autos2050® dinner starts at 6:00pm, at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. Prior to the dinner, a conference in conjunction with the Washington, DC Auto Show will be held that day, opening with a luncheon honoring a policymaker, followed by a conference featuring thought leaders and innovators from across the automotive ecosystem on the innovations shaping mobility today.

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