Continental is also developing automated driving for commercial

05-Feb-2015 |
Continental is also developing automated driving
for commercial vehicles
Sep 23, 2014
Assistance systems are making commercial vehicles not only safer but also more comfortable and
The electronic horizon allows vehicles to “see around the corner”
Continental’s environment sensors form the basis for fully automated driving
Hanover, September 23, 2014. Continental is smoothing the path toward automated driving even in the field of commercial vehicles.
To achieve this, the international supplier to the automotive industry is continuously developing and extending current driver
assistance systems. This will make the transport of goods and people not only safer, but also more efficient and comfortable. With
high-performance components, systems and intelligent software, the automotive supplier offers a comprehensive portfolio of
solutions that will make it possible to meet tomorrow’s ever more exacting mobility demands without difficulty. At the IAA
Commercial Vehicles trade fair, Continental will be presenting innovative products and offering an insight into the capabilities of
fully automated commercial vehicles.
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Automated driving maximizes the transport efficiency of commercial vehicles
Driver assistance systems are already making a valuable contribution to increasing safety and comfort, while reducing the burden on
drivers. In the commercial vehicles sector, these systems are playing an ever more important role: Because they are networked with
the cloud and other road users, they are increasingly acting as the key to improving transport efficiency by reducing fuel consumption
and stoppage times. “One vital underpinning of the so-called intelligent transport systems is highly accurate maps as well as access to
networked mobility data,” explains Dr. Michael Ruf, Head of the Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket Business Unit at Continental.
“Continental collaborates closely with partners from many different industries in order to implement advanced vehicle services.” For
Continental, the already familiar development roadmap for automated driving also applies to the commercial vehicles sector: The
company wants to make partially automated driving a reality as early as the current decade. By 2025, fully automated driving on
certain route sections should be possible.
The dynamic eHorizon is revolutionizing mobility
With Connected eHorizon, Continental will be presenting one of the key elements on the path to the fully automated vehicle at the
IAA. In the future, this “networked electronic horizon” will use navigation data even more profitably by using crowdsourcing
technology to extend the underlying topographic maps with information from the sensors of other road users. As a result, the digital
map will become ever more precise and up to date and can prepare the vehicle electronics for the road ahead. This will avoid
unnecessary acceleration before curves or uphill inclines, thus cutting fuel consumption by up to six percent and significantly
reducing potentially dangerous situations. What is more, the systems will constantly learn. They will therefore become better and
more reliable, the more vehicle data there is available to them.
“The eHorizon of the future will simplify anticipative driving and act as the basis for countless other technological developments,”
says Ruf. In its next extension, the eHorizon will give vehicles the ability to “see around the corner”. The system transfers data from
its environment sensors to the cloud, while simultaneously making use of the aggregated vehicle and traffic information it can access
there. And all this happens in real time and accurate to the lane in which the vehicle is traveling. Thanks to the so-called Dynamic
eHorizon, the drivers and automated vehicles of the future will be less likely to be surprised by fog patches, ice or accidents on the
route ahead. Vehicles equipped with eHorizon are able to detect specific driving situations before they are recognized by the driver or
vehicle sensors and can adapt the engine power and transmission to the road circumstances. eHorizon also prepares the vehicle
actuators for coming events. This will also permit intelligent navigation which will guide traffic around congested areas without
clogging up the alternative routes.
Environment sensors form the basis for automated driving
Dynamic eHorizon receives environment data both via Internet sources and through vehicle sensors such as Continental’s
high-performance radar and camera units. These versatile components also form the basis for a range of automated driving functions.
Cameras are used for functions such as lane departure warning or traffic sign recognition. Long-range radar systems form the basis
for emergency braking assistants and other functions and significantly reduce the risk of rear-end collisions. To build its 3D object
detection solutions, Continental uses radar sensors, camera sensors, stereo cameras and Surround View systems. Not only do these
make the blind spot and other problems a thing of the past; in the near future, it will also be possible to replace exterior vehicle
mirrors with cameras. The intelligent algorithms implemented in driver assistance systems make their decisions solely on the basis of
comprehensive information about the vehicle environment and consequently optimize driving safety. Because, unlike the human
mind, electronic circuitry never gets tired or anxious.
Equipped for the next decade
“Technological progress is extremely promising and is bringing the goal of fully automated driving within our grasp. The greatest
hurdle lies in the fact that the legal constraints still have to be adapted to reflect these advances,” explains Ruf. Although driver
assistance systems are already authorized to take over a number of driving tasks, the driver must still be in full control of the vehicle
and continues to be responsible for it. In the longer term, Continental sees the driver taking on a transport management role with a
more extensive range of tasks, rewarded with more attractive remuneration. However, the necessary legal framework must be in place
before this is possible. If the technical and legal requirements for automated driving are fulfilled during the coming decade, then
Continental is ready and waiting with a comprehensive portfolio for automatically driven commercial vehicles.
© Continental AG 2015