WABCO Holdings Inc. (NYSE: WBC) has been recognized by CLEPA with the Innovation Award 2017 for its OptiFlow AutoTail, the latest addition to WABCO’s portfolio of aerodynamic solutions for trailers.

The device helps reduce the fuel consumption and emissions of commercial vehicles. CLEPA is the European Association of Automotive Suppliers and has more than 100 member companies and over 20 national as well as European trade associations.

The CLEPA Innovation Award 2017 celebrates excellence of innovative technologies and solutions developed by leading automotive suppliers in the categories Environment, Safety, Connectivity and Automation, as well as Cooperation. CLEPA’s international jury of industry experts recognized WABCO’s OptiFlow AutoTail in the category Environment. Assessing 56 applications from 31 companies across Europe, the panel of judges ranked all technology innovations based on the following criteria: ambition, market relevance, impact, and quality.

“Protecting the environment is of the utmost importance to the global transportation industry,” said Roberto Vavassori, President, CLEPA. “The jury recognized WABCO’s aerodynamic AutoTail since this innovative technology helps to reduce emissions of commercial vehicles while further lowering the total cost of transportation.”

“It’s a tremendous honor to receive the CLEPA Innovation Award for WABCO’s industry-leading OptiFlow AutoTail aerodynamic solution for trailers,” said Dr. Gandert Van Raemdonck, Research and Development Leader, Aerodynamics and Trailer Systems, WABCO.

WABCO’s OptiFlow AutoTail deploys and retracts tail panels based on driving speed as determined by sensors linked to WABCO’s braking systems for trailers. The device automatically deploys at vehicle speeds of 75 km/h ensuring it is consistently used at speeds that maximize aerodynamic fuel savings. The tail panels automatically retract at a vehicle speed of 15 km/h. OptiFlow AutoTail delivers fuel savings in Europe of up to 1.1 liters per 100km at highway speeds, and reduces CO₂ emissions by up to 2.8 tons per trailer per year.

WABCO’s exceptionally compact OptiFlow AutoTail measures only approximately 50cm in length. In addition, it is made from automotive grade thermoplastic, an extremely lightweight, durable and long-lasting material that resists wear from weather, vibration and everyday hazards of the trucking industry. The panels offer a unique, curved shape and smooth surface that reduces air resistance.

In February 2017, WABCO introduced its OptiFlow AutoTail to North America. The first aerodynamic tail in the U.S. to feature automatic deployment and retraction, WABCO’s OptiFlow AutoTail delivers fuel savings of up to 4.3% at U.S. highway speeds based on SmartWay test protocol, and reduces CO₂ emissions by up to 4.8 tons per trailer per year.