That’s a smart jacket you’re wearing ... in more ways than one. Because now, digitalization has come to the clothing sector. Intelligent items of clothing or ‘smart wearables’ for short, are making life safer out on the roads. Continental recently presented an actively illuminated safety jacket with LEDs that light up and an integrated heating function. The batteries for the LEDs and the heating are charged by a coil incorporated in the driver’s seat. And looking ahead, there are opportunities for further interaction between this innovative jacket and the vehicle electronics: For one thing, sensors in the jacket could measure the temperature and humidity in the cab and automatically adjust the climate control system accordingly. For delivery drivers, emer-gency vehicle or utility service crews and truckers, smart wearables can make their work a whole lot safer by making them much easier for other road users to see in hazardous situations or poor visibility.
Cars that can ‘talk’ to one another, adaptive driver assistance systems, active road signs ... the innovative technologies on and around our roads all mean one thing: much more data. To ensure the fluent ex-change of all this data in real time will call for powerful mobile networks. Continental is currently developing a flexible 5G hybrid V2X (Vehicle to Everything) platform that allows both mobile network communication and the rapid and reliable direct exchange of data − to communicate real-time traffic updates and road hazards, for example, and underpin future driver assistance functions. Continental’s Hybrid V2X solution not only integrates technologies for 4G and 5G network access, but also supports two standards − Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC) and Cellular-V2X − for direct V2X communication. With this new hybrid V2X solution, the same hardware and software platform can be used to support either standard, reducing not only the cost but also the complexity of the global application of such systems.
What will life be like in the city of the future? One thing is for sure: As time goes by, more and more people will live in urban spaces – and move around those spaces in large numbers of different vehicles. So it’s going to take inno-vative technologies to prevent accidents and collisions. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, USA, Continental showcased key technologies for the city of the future. Among other things, with the aid of virtual reality visitors were able to experience how the Intelligent Intersection works. This system, currently being piloted in Walnut Creek, California, involves direct communication between intersection and vehicle. For example, the system can warn an oncoming driver about a pedestrian crossing a street outside the driver’s line of sight. Continental also presented a new Intelligent Street Lamp concept: Using secure connectivity and sensorics, this solution enables remote light control as well as adaptive street lighting go-verned by the presence of nearby road users. At the same time, the street lamp can communicate data on air quality, traffic levels, hazards or available parking spaces.
Modern cars are becoming smarter and smarter – now even the doors are getting in on the act. Continental has developed an intelligent door system that prevents you from opening the door without thinking, if there is an obstacle approaching or in the way. This new technology led to Continental being recognized by the US Consumer Electronics Association as a CES 2019 Innovation Award winner in the Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology category. Technologies such as the intelligent door brake system and the smart autonomous door help to make opening and closing the door comfortable and conve-nient, while preventing the uncontrolled slamming of vehicle doors. At the same time, their obstacle detection capability leads to greater safety in traffic scenarios. The smart autonomous door system is also a prerequisite for automated driving. After all, driverless vehicles must be able to open and close their doors when there’s no one around and no door handles, come to that.
The average driver in Germany spends 41 hours a year in search of a parking space and in countries like China that figure is presu-mably much higher. So what we need is a system that can solve the parking problem. In response, Continental is now rolling out its parking data services worldwide, providing information about available off-street parking spaces. The global rollout is expected to be completed by the end of 2019. The data is sold in license packages to map providers and carmakers, making it possible to reach drivers directly via their on-board and navi-gation systems. The service offers real-time occupancy data from parking garages as well as relevant information about prices, opening hours and electric charging stations. “The combination of our data sources and auto-mated quality assurance means that in our core markets, we are able to achieve almost total coverage in cities of more than 25,000 inhabitants with more than 70,000 points of interest,” said Jürgen Schweiger, Head of “Map&Parking” at Continental’s ITS segment.
Continental is cooperating with German start-up company Automotive Artificial Intelligence (AAI) on the virtual development and simulation of driver assistance systems and automated driving technologies. Virtual development already plays an integral part in the modern product development process. Now, together with AAI, Continental is developing a highly scalable, highly modular development and testing environment. AAI, founded in Berlin in 2017, brings to the table the expertise required to create virtual environments based on HD maps and artificial intelligence. The start-up is responsible for simulating the environment, providing software that enables vehicles to be driven in a virtual world. The aim is to do justice to the increasingly broader scope of validation in automated driving. Continental intends to make the simulation tools developed within this collaboration available to the entire automotive industry.