SA takes top tech honours

2013-05-14 12:20

A South African-made product took top honours at the Automechanika Johannesburg’s Innovation Awards 2013 (May 8-11), an international trade fair for the automotive industry.

The winnner, PFK Electronics’ Autowatch 740 WAB breathalyser immobiliser, prevents drivers who are over the alcohol limit from starting their vehicle.

The jury thought the breathalyser immobiliser was a step forward in the fight against drunk driving. The device is manufactured by the Durban-based company and is a refinement of an earlier breathalyser/immobiliser, the 720 TAB, which was awarded a silver certificate in the 2009 competition.


The new product – which will be introduced to the market from May 2013 – differs from the original as it is no longer a tethered unit but wirelessly operated. It was tested for 18 months and found to be accurate and secure, the 740 WAB was described by jury members as “an outstanding product that promotes road safety by ensuring a vehicle driver’s sobriety in a discreet yet efficient way".

The silver award went to US-developed Hunter’s HawkEye Elite Wheel Alignment System designed to improve overall service efficiency in the alignment workshop environment and two local products tied for bronze - Supreme Spring’s Cobra Coil-Over Suspension Kit, aimed at helping to safely lower a vehicle’s ride height, and Powertech’s Willard IQ battery a sealed, roll-over battery that offers a range of high-tech features.

Wynter Murdoch, convener of the awards, said: “The overall quality of entries was high. Out of the dozens of entries received in the competition, the products assessed as finalists were found to all contribute in one way or another to advancing automotive progress.”