BorgWarner’s Eco-Launch solenoid valve has been named a finalist for the 2014 Automotive News PACE Awards in the product category.

The technology helps stop/start systems improve fuel economy with smoother launches during restarts.

BorgWarner said its Eco-Launch solenoid valve technology offers improved performance at half the cost of alternative systems and allows automakers to easily expand stop/start capability across their vehicle fleets.

“BorgWarner thrives on innovation. Our new Eco-Launch solenoid valve technology improves fuel economy and performance, delivering smooth operation for drivers and quick-to-market solutions for automakers,” said James R. Verrier, President and Chief Executive Officer, BorgWarner. “Once again, we are honored to be among this year’s distinguished PACE Award finalists.”

Vehicles with stop/start systems shut the engine off when the vehicle stops, increasing fuel economy 3 to 10 percent, depending on driving patterns. However, when the driver accelerates from the stop mode, current stop/start systems can cause vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions to lurch or roll back.

BorgWarner said its solenoid experts developed an exceptionally low-noise, high-flow, low-leak solenoid valve with a hydraulic accumulator to prime the transmission in as little as 0.33 seconds, achieving quick hydraulic pressure for smooth launches when the engine restarts.

For automatic transmission designs that currently offer stop/start capability, BorgWarner said its Eco-Launch solenoid valves offer better performance at half the cost of alternative systems. Specifically designed for easy integration, the technology also allows automakers to upgrade existing automatic transmissions—including dual-clutch, stepped automatic and continuously variable transmissions—to expand stop/start capabilities across their vehicle fleet.

Several patents are pending for the innovation, and BorgWarner said a major automaker has already committed to using the technology in several of its transmissions. The company will not yet reveal which automaker this is.

Sponsored by Automotive News, Ernst & Young and the Transportation Research Center Inc., the 20th annual PACE Awards said it honors superior innovation, technological advancement and business performance among automotive suppliers.

PACE stands for Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contribution to Excellence. Winners are selected by an independent panel of judges and will be announced in Detroit on April 7, 2014.

Since 2005, BorgWarner has received seven PACE Awards, four PACE Innovation Partnership Awards and one PACE Environmental Award.