“Professor Ferdinand Porsche” Award 2019 for Digital Mirror Replacement System

MEKRA Lang and Daimler AG honored for outstanding achievements in research and development

Vienna – October 11, 2019 – Marking the 41st year since its inception, Vienna University of Technology’s “Professor Ferdinand Porsche” award for 2019 was presented to Dr. Werner Lang (MEKRA Lang GmbH & Co. KG, Ergersheim) and Prof. Dr. Uwe Baake (Daimler AG, Stuttgart). The recipients of this prestigious award were recognized for their research and development efforts regarding a digital mirror replacement system in the new Mercedes-Benz Actros truck that replaces the main and wide-angle mirrors with aerodynamically optimized smart cameras, ensuring improved safety and fuel efficiency.

With 50,000 Euros in prize money, the “Professor Ferdinand Porsche” award is one of the most coveted prizes for ground-breaking research and development in automotive engineering. Since 1977 it has been presented every other year to engineers whose discoveries have had a lasting positive effect on the development of automotive technology. In a festive ceremony in the university’s ballroom, the award was presented by Vienna University of Technology’s president, Prof. Dr. Sabine Seidler, chairman of the Porsche AG Supervisory Board, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, and member of the Porsche AG Supervisory Board, Dr. Hans Michel Piëch.

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Geringer, head of the Institute of Powertrains and Automotive Technology at Vienna University of Technology, emphasized the safety gains, pointing out that “the new camera-based exterior mirror for trucks provides significant safety improvements for commercial vehicles while reducing fuel consumption. It is a seminal innovation and truly deserving of the Professor Ferdinand Porsche award.”

Oliver Blume, chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche AG, hailed the outstanding engineering achievement and development as “trailblazing”. He pointed out that “the rear-view camera can save lives on the road” and concluded, “your commitment is a shining example for other developers.

Prof. Dr. Uwe Baake added: “The MirrorCam supports drivers in critical traffic situations, not just on the freeway but also in city traffic where it is particularly important to protect the most vulnerable road users – pedestrians and bicyclists. What is more, fuel consumption can be significantly reduced due to the improvements in aerodynamics.”

The digital mirror replacement system complies with a number of legal requirements under ECE Regulation No. 46. At an image refresh rate of 60 Hz, it reliably displays the main and wide-angle mirror fields of vision on the monitor with high contrast, thereby giving the driver a clearer view and more control. With its software- and hardware-based self-monitoring functions, this digital vision system offers the driver a degree of dependability and safety that is second to none.

In his comments Dr. Werner Lang explained that “in order to fulfill all the requirements, we had to push the limits of what is possible today and were able to rely on the unwavering support of partners like BOSCH in Hildesheim and Stuttgart as well as SOLECTRIX in Fürth.”


Background Information
Vienna University of Technology’s “Professor Ferdinand Porsche” award was endowed by Ferdinand Porsche’s daughter, Mrs. Louise Piëch, in 1976. In 1977 it was awarded for the first time, and has been bestowed on outstanding European engineers in memory of the achievements of the great automotive pioneer and engineering genius Ferdinand Porsche every other year since 1981. Series production is a requirement for award eligibility.