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Wednesday, January 26, 2022
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In the zone

Ahead of this month’s CES event, Continental offered an answer to today’s mobility concerns

Continental believes it can drive the future of mobility and make our roads safer, more connected, and more convenient. At the CES 2022 event held in Las Vegas, the company presented a glimpse into the future.

“The future of mobility means safer, connected and more inclusive transportation systems. At CES, we are demonstrating the possibilities of achieving our vision zero goal and optimising convenience for easy access to mobility for everyone,” said Gilles Mabire, chief technology officer, Continental Automotive. “Continental’s innovative solutions on display are not only transforming the driving experience, they’re also reinventing the definition of mobility.”

Vehicle technology is profoundly transforming towards fully connected, automated as well as software-defined vehicles. Continental is already driving this development by offering an overarching set of solutions for server-based architectures and being the first supplier who has brought a Body High-Performance Computer (HPC) to the market with Volkswagen’s ID. electric series.

In addition to platforms for domain-focused HPCs for the vehicle cockpit, data management and vehicle connectivity, driving safety and dynamics, or automated driving, Continental is now also offering modular platform solutions for cross-domain HPCs. A first cross-domain HPC from Continental, which hosts functions and features from the body and vehicle control domain, will be integrated into future electric vehicles from a major Chinese vehicle manufacturer.

Continental’s architecture and networking portfolio is extending by offering scalable zone controller solutions with growing cross-domain capabilities. Its Zone Control Units (ZCUs) are in physical zones in the vicinity of sensors and actuators, act as a communication gateway, provide smart power distribution and ensure the reliable execution of vehicle functions. With Continental’s modular platform solutions, vehicle manufacturers can choose the best fit for their future vehicle architectures.

Continental also says software and powerful IT infrastructure based on the Continental Automotive Edge Framework enable new functions and are transforming mobility. This modular hardware and software platform connects the vehicle to the cloud and features numerous options to develop, supply and maintain software-intensive system functions.

This will allow drivers to integrate the functions they want going forward during the entire service life of their vehicle by downloading quick and convenient software updates.
Continental’s award-winning ShyTech Displays feature control surfaces made of buttons, lights and switches are hidden and integrate into the display in a brand-new way. While the full range of control options is always there for a user, only relevant content is visible.

Instead of presenting an ‘empty’ black display surface or numerous physical buttons, Continental’s ShyTech Displays create a more attractive cockpit design presenting an elegant surface that can be made to resemble wood grain, carbon fibre, or leather. The display can be a pillar-to-pillar solution, utilising the full width of the dashboard, or it can be used to create completely new interactive areas for drivers and passengers where displays traditionally were not in use before.

The growth of display areas is one of the key trends across vehicle interiors, but this can lead to a disruptive experience for drivers. For the first time at CES, Continental demonstrated its award-winning Switchable Privacy Display, aimed to entertain the front passenger while reducing distractions for the driver. With this technology, passengers can engage with multimedia content such as videos or the infotainment system outside the driver’s view.

In private mode, a strongly directed backlight makes content fully visible only from the passenger’s viewing angle. If necessary, and if the traffic situation permits, the display can be switched to public mode, allowing the driver and the passenger to experience the selected content. As entertainment options become more prevalent in vehicles, technology like the Switchable Privacy Display is essential to reduce driver distractions.

Crashes involving wrong-way drivers are among the most catastrophic, with almost 400 people killed every year in the United States. Continental offers a demo of its Wrong Way Driver system, which promotes safety by warning at-risk drivers about vehicles traveling the wrong way.

Early alerts about a wrong-way driver’s location, speed and direction of travel allow other drivers to take proactive safety measures. The technology relies on a combination of Continental sensors, connected vehicle systems and a heat-mapping algorithm.

It is a self-learning system that works with roadside equipment to define the lane and direction of travel. The fully immersive demo puts users behind the wheel of a car in a scenario with a wrong-way driver. Participants experience the situation with and without the Continental technology in a driving simulation.

Alongside its partner AEye, Continental unveiled the HRL131 long-range LiDAR. This precision sensing technology is a critical component to enable the future of autonomous mobility. The HRL131 is a microelectromechanical system-based (MEMS) adaptive LiDAR for Level 3 and Level 4 assisted and automated driving solutions. This high-performance LiDAR technology enables key features for passenger and commercial vehicle applications by combining a high dynamic spatial resolution with long-range detection.

Its software defined scan patterns can be fully customised to adapt to any customer requirements. With that, the sensor is set up to handle the most difficult, dynamic environments for autonomous driving – from high-speed highway scenarios to densely packed urban roads. The HRL131 is on track for start of production in 2024 and will be the first high-resolution, solid-state long-range LiDAR sensor in the world to go into series production in the automotive market.

The Conti GreenConcept, meanwhile, is a conceptual study by the premium tyre manufacturer leverages both current and emerging technological approaches to the engineering of sustainable tyres for passenger cars. The goal of Continental’s integrative and sustainable concept is minimising resource consumption across every link in the tyre’s value chain. As a result, the study addresses everything from the sourcing and procurement of raw materials in the various stages of production up to ways of extending the tire’s service life. Development engineers and materials experts rose to the occasion and found novel solutions to each of these challenges.

The result, a tyre that consists of a particularly high percentage of traceable, renewable, and recycled materials, has a lightweight design that conserves valuable resources, and extended service life thanks to a renewable tread.

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Stephen Whitehttps://truckandfleetme.com/
Stephen White was formerly editor of Big Project ME.
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