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Press Release   •   Jun 11, 2012 12:57 BST

Allianz’s parent company, Allianz SE, has selected Ford as the winner of the 2012 Allianz Genius Safety Prize, which rewards automotive manufacturers and suppliers for outstanding commitments and technological developments to improve road safety.

Now in its 7th year, the Allianz Center for Technology (AZT) awarded Ford with the prize, in honour of its commitment to road safety and its Focus model which offers the most economic and comprehensive driver assistance systems within the compact car category.

Allianz is the only insurer to award a road safety prize and on June 4 at the “Auto Mobil International” Trade Fair inLeipzig, Karsten Crede, CEO of Allianz Global Automotive awarded the 2012 Allianz Genius Safety Prize to Caspar Dirk Hohage, member of the management board of Ford-Werke GmbH.

"After seat belts, driver assistance systems are the most important lifesavers", says Karsten Crede, CEO of Allianz Global Automotive.

He added:

"This year's winner of the Allianz Genius Safety Prize has made the new driver safety systems available to a wide range of buyers by offering various feature bundles for the Ford Focus - the first time such packages have been offered in the compact car category. This will promote the increased use of these systems and will improve the safety of our roads."

Caspar Dirk Hohage, a member of the management board of Ford-Werke GmbH, comments: "We are delighted to have been awarded the Allianz Genius Safety Prize. We don't just want to be part of things, we want to lead the field in terms of safety, innovative technology, quality and sustainability. The Allianz Genius Safety Prize confirms and underscores our commitment."


Notes to Editors

1. The Allianz Genius Safety Prize

The Allianz Genius Safety Prize is awarded for technological developments that have already been implemented and that help to make traffic safer. The innovation must have shown a lasting decrease in the frequency and severity of accidents. Allianz established the award in order to increase road safety awareness and to motivate car manufacturers to optimize their products by installing innovative safety systems.

2. Allianz Global Automotive

Allianz Global Automotive was set up in 2010 to further expand international cooperation for insurance solutions and mobility services with the automotive industry and to develop global strategic partnerships with car manufacturers. Allianz Global Automotive works in 28 countries and supports 44 car brands. In 2011 Allianz Global Automotive generated more than 2 billion euros in gross written premiums. Allianz has already been a successful and reliable partner of automotive manufacturers and dealers for more than 60 years.

3. The Allianz Center for Technology (AZT)

TheAllianzCenterfor Technology (AZT) has been active in accident and damage repair research since 1971. For the past ten years, AZT has been devoting much attention to the effectiveness of driver assistance systems, which help to improve road safety.

How do the driver assistance systems work?

Active City Stop: A laser sensor monitors the gap between the vehicles in front. If there is a risk of a rear-impact collision, the required braking pressure is made available to shorten the braking distance, or an emergency braking is triggered if the driver fails to react. The system is active at speeds below 30 km/h.

Active Park Assist: The vehicle manoeuvers itself into parallel parking spaces. The driver only has to use the gas and the brake pedals and, where appropriate, the gear stick. This makes parking much easier, particularly if the parking space is tight.

Blind Spot Information System: Radar sensors monitor the blind spots to the right and left of the vehicle. If other vehicles are in the blind spot, the driver is alerted by warning lamps in the side mirrors. This helps drivers when changing lanes by monitoring the area that they cannot see.

Lane-departure warning system with anti-fatigue warning, high beam assistant and traffic sign recognition system: A mono camera films the driving scene in front of the vehicle. If the driver is at a risk of leaving the lane unintentionally, a warning is sent out in the form of vibrations in the steering wheel and the vehicle is guided back into its lane. The driving style and the driver’s attention is evaluated and warnings are sent out if it appears advisable for the driver to take a break. The system automatically switches to full beam whenever there is no risk of blinding other road users. Traffic signs, such as speed limits and overtaking bans, are shown to the driver in the information display.

4. Allianz Insurance

Allianz Insurance is one of the largest general insurers in theUKand part of the Allianz SE Group, one of the leading integrated financial services providers worldwide and the largest property and casualty insurer in the world.  With approximately 142,000 employees worldwide, the Allianz Group serves approximately 78 million customers in more than 70 countries.

The mission of Allianz Insurance is to be the outstanding competitor in our chosen markets by delivering products and services that out clients recommend, being a great company to work for and achieving the best combination of profit and growth.

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