Apart from Ferrari, another European brand is well known for its prancing horse logo. From the cradle of Automobile known as Deutschland (Germany), Continental has been a successful brand in tyre manufacturing.
Continental’s tyre test facility near Hannover turned 50 in the month of May. To mark the special occasion, they hosted what could be called a fair for anyone interested in technology. Visitors were given a full lowdown of automotive technologies in the areas of electrification, automated, and connected driving.
Future of Mobility:
The future of individual mobility is faced with many challenges. There are nearly 1.3 million traffic fatalities worldwide each year including around 150,000 in India. Rising traffic levels cause emissions and air pollution, which have a negative impact on life expectancy. More than 1.2 billion people spend more than 50 minutes per day driving in their vehicle – but most of the time in traffic jams.
Continental is working on solutions that mitigate these issues. “Automated driving will provide an important contribution to making life easier for the driver, and to creating a more efficient overall traffic flow, with fewer critical situations or accidents,” says Dr. Elmar Degenhart, chairman of the Executive Board and CEO, Continental.
It offers an autopilot for highway and secondary roads that support the driver on longer distances and allows the driver to relax during a daily commute. There is also an increasing degree of automation at lower speeds when it comes to parking. Once the Cruising Chauffeur feature is activated, the vehicle takes over from the driver and cruises along the highway, adjusting its speed to traffic conditions and regulations. The driver does not have to take over again until exiting the highway – which the vehicle announces ahead of time. If the driver ignores the vehicle’s message, it automatically parks itself on the shoulder of the road (Emergency stopping lane – USA, UK, Japan & few other countries has this facility).
With Trained Parking, drivers can teach their vehicle routine parking tasks. Once they have been learned, the vehicle can then independently perform parking procedures at the touch of a button.
Automation in urban areas:
Continental has built a demo vehicle to enable driverless mobility, especially in cities. The concept, named CUbE (Continental Urban mobility Experience) will start its trials at Continental’s Frankfurt location. It is based on the EZ10 by a French startup named EasyMile and can carry 12 passengers. In the future, Continental will test and research driverless passenger transportation at its Frankfurt location with the CUbE.
Continental does not plan to build or market any autonomous vehicle but is “working and talking with several” carmakers to offer the autonomous driving solutions found in the CUbE.
AllCharge system can always use the maximum output rate, up to 800V and up to 350 kW at all types of charging station – single-phase AC, three-phase AC or high-speed DC.
At urban AC charging stations, this can cut the required charging time by a factor of 12. Continental claims a 5-minute charge can give a range of 150km.
The company also showcased for the first time a wireless (inductive) charging system for EVs. With this EVs can be conveniently charged at rates of up to 11 kW by simply parking the car above a charging pad & well aligned.
Connected to the Future:
2017 is the first year when the majority of cars produced worldwide will be ‘connected cars’. Continental expects over 20 percent of the global car fleet to comprise of connected cars by 2020.
The speaker-less sound system is an innovative system which significantly cuts down on weight and installation volume in the process. Compared with conventional high-end 3D sound audio systems, the speaker-free system requires 95 percent less volume. Equipped with actuators that cause specific surfaces (A-pillar, dashboard, ceiling, rears of front seats) in the vehicle to vibrate, the system works in a similar way to stringed instruments and provides a high-end audio experience for every vehicle class.
Courtesy: Google, Sumantra B Barooah, Autocar Professional (Dr. Elmar Degenhart’s Interview).