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From CrabWalks at dawn to post-testing sushi: An inside look at Autoblog’s Tech of the Year Award – Autoblog


TROY, Mich. — On a chilly fall morning, Senior Editor John Snyder rolled into a sleepy suburban park tucked away next to a cemetery a few miles north of Detroit. Driving diagonally — CrabWalking — in the GMC Hummer EV, he made quite the entrance as he maneuvered across the parking lot to the bemusement of Autoblog editors and a few curious park-goers up for their early morning runs. 

Snyder got everyone’s attention, and as we evaluate the latest wave of technologies transforming the automotive industry, pizazz matters. We added “wow factor” to our criteria for the 2022 Autoblog Technology of the Year Award, in keeping with the times. The Hummer’s CrabWalk feature might have won, had wowness been the only criteria, but we also scored the technologies on significance and how well they work. 

As it was, the Hummer finished a competitive second this year, behind Ford’s Onboard Scales and Smart Hitch, which make towing and hauling easier for modern truck owners. The Genesis GV60’s Biometrics was within striking distance in third place, bringing the facial recognition and fingerprint tech commonly used in phones to your car.

For more on Ford’s win — its second straight Autoblog Technology of the Year Award — read Road Test Editor Zac Palmer’s complete recap.

Many have asked: Why do Tech of the Year? For Autoblog, it’s been a point of pride for nearly a decade. In the early days it was a way to differentiate ourselves from print magazines, some of which have been giving out car of the year awards since the early days of the Cold War.

With Tech of the Year, we seek to highlight the ways experiencing a vehicle is changing. It was true in 2013 and resonates even more as we head into 2023. Cars and transportation have changed more in the past decade than in arguably the previous four. At its most basic experience, driving a 1985 Buick LeSabre with a decent radio and comfy interior was not all that different from driving a 2005 Buick Lacrosse. Just a few years later, many cars had touchscreens, the internet and some means of driver assistance.

Ford joins Tesla as the only two-time winner of Tech of the Year. The Blue Oval captured the award last year for its Pro Power Onboard generator. Tesla won in 2014 for its Supercharger network, and the Model S won in 2016, when we briefly gave out a “technology car” of the year award, in addition to honoring a particular feature. Kia, Cadillac, Lexus, Audi, Apple, BMW, Chevy and Chrysler are among the other winners.

The testing format usually takes place over a day or two. This year we operated out of a local park, evaluating the features in the parking lot and on short drive loops, where we could examine how the technology was integrated into the overall character of the vehicle. We’ve done it different ways, sometimes retreating to northern Michigan for a weeklong test. During the teeth of the pandemic, we were relegated to Zoom calls and socially distanced handoffs of the test cars.

This year, there was some Clorox, but we were largely able to formulate a traditional testing experience, complete with a lively debate among the editors over dinner afterwards. Beers and sushi are a good way to facilitate conversation. As appetizers gave way to steaks, sandwiches and wine, most agreed we had reached the proper verdict this year.

We’ll probably make some changes next year, which is natural given how much the car industry and the technology underpinning it is evolving. We welcome you on that journey.

Greg Migliore


December 1, 2022



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