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Prof. Schöneburg awarded the "Pathfinder Award": Prof. Schöneburg awarded the "Pathfinder Award"
Stuttgart/Reunion. Today, Prof. Rodolfo Schöneburg, Head of Passive Safety and Vehicle Functions at Mercedes‑Benz Cars, was presented with the renowned "Pathfinder Award" by the "Automotive Safety Council", the American safety association. Every year this independent organisation presents the prize to a person who has made a significant contribution towards improving vehicle safety.
"We made tremendous progress in passive and active safety in recent years, and also in future we will develop further potential", explained Prof. Schöneburg during the conference in Reunion (Florida). "On the one hand it is essential to continuously improve and optimise established safety systems in the vehicle, but on the other hand we must be able to recognise when further potential can only be tapped by employing completely new solutions." In his opinion, evolutionary further development and revolutionary innovations are the key to successful safety development.
Over the coming years, Schöneburg expects progress in both accident prevention and occupant protection systems. Early recognition of critical driving situations is of particular importance here. The very next generation of the new S-Class, equipped with numerous new systems, will make driving even safer and at the same time more comfortable. Established safety systems have been improved and optimised in detail in many places whilst at the same time completely new approaches have also emerged in this vehicle.
ABS, ESP®, the airbag or the safety passenger compartment: Mercedes‑Benz once revolutionised vehicle safety with such innovations. For decades now, the brand has been working continuously on the safety technology of the future. The results of these efforts have repeatedly set standards in vehicle safety: whatever the engineers working for the Stuttgart-based brand develop makes millions of vehicles all over the world safer. Schöneburg says: "Our declared goal at Mercedes‑B enz is to strengthen our trendsetting function in the field of safety."
Prof. Rodolfo Schöneburg was born on 30 October 1959 in Ciudad Bolivar in Venezuela. He studied aerospace engineering and received a doctorate at the Technical University in Berlin. He is honorary professor at Dresden's University of Applied Sciences. Since April 1999 he has been employed at Mercedes‑Benz as Head of the Safety/Vehicle Functions section. It was under his direction that the Mercedes-Benz PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system, with which the car industry entered into a new era of vehicle safety, went into series production in 2002. In 2009 he demonstrated the opportunities that vehicle safety can offer even when an unusual approach is taken using a new edition of the Mercedes‑Benz ESF2009 experimental safety vehicle. "Break new ground and do not wait until tomorrow", is one of Schöneburg's policies.
The "Automotive Safety Council" was originally founded in 1961 as the "American Seat Belt Council" and is one of the largest American safety organisations with members from the automotive branch and its suppliers. In close co-operation with the "National Highway Traffic Safety Administration" (NHTSA), the "Automotive Safety Council" has made a significant contribution to the improvement of safety in road traffic with, amongst other things, standards for restraint systems and measures regarding road safety education. Further information is available online: