Tag Archives: Continental

Intelligent Vehicle Door: Continental Continuing to Develop Digital Vehicle Keys

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  • Vehicle doors can be unlocked digitally in emergencies even when the car’s battery is flat
  • No handle, no key: contactless door opener allows design freedom and improves comfort
  • Continental Smart Access (CoSmA): a complete package providing hands-free and digital vehicle access
  • Virtual, unforgeable key opens vehicle

 

Automated driving and mobility solutions such as car-sharing and fleet services call for innovative vehicle access systems, as conventional vehicle keys will cease to be adequate for the mobility concepts of the future. That is why Continental has expanded its Smart Access solution for convenient vehicle access via smartphone to offer drivers a complete package of services. With the technology company’s new emergency unlocking solution, users can gain access to their vehicle even if the car battery is flat – and can do so completely digitally, without having to resort to the mechanical emergency key. In combination with the Continental Smart Access system, the entire door is intelligent, which means that it opens and closes independently. “The intelligent door is a milestone in access technology, as for the first time, we can offer users an all-round package for hands-free and digital operation, from unlocking the car and opening the door to starting the engine. With it, we are enabling an even more convenient and secure driving experience for drivers and offering more design freedom to manufacturers,” explains Andreas Wolf, head of Continental’s Body & Security business unit.

Access to the vehicle, even when the battery is dead, thanks to a digital key

Until now when a car battery ran out drivers had to fall back on the mechanical emergency key and a manual door lock to get into their vehicles and open the hood. The emergency unlocking technology from Continental will render this unnecessary in the future. It does so by using buffered energy from the door control unit, which is sufficient to allow the door to be unlocked once more.

This automatic emergency unlocking system is activated by means of NFC technology, such as via a smartphone, which transmits the signal following a successful security check and automatically triggers the unlocking process for the door. This means more convenience for users, as they no longer need a mechanical key, even for emergencies. It also opens up more design freedom for carmakers, as they no longer have to develop a conventional key with a blade and can dispense entirely with the emergency lock in the door. In combination with the automatic door opener, even the entire door handle will become obsolete, which offers more options for the exterior design, whilst simultaneously improving the vehicle’s aerodynamic resistance.

Ensuring that not only the emergency lock but also the entire door handle is surplus to requirements, Continental has integrated an assistant function into the intelligent door. “Electronically controlled doors enable convenient, hands-free operation. Our security and control algorithms make sure that you can open and close the vehicle door securely and easily,” explains Wolf.

How Smart Access and the virtual key work

Smart Access enables convenient vehicle access via a smartphone. The system centers on the virtual key, which is saved to a mobile end device. This key, which consists of a tamper-proof data record, gains access only after successful one-time authentication by the back end, which sends it to the smartphone via a wireless interface. Further communication takes place exclusively between the smartphone and the vehicle.

For this purpose, the system uses multiple Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or NFC transceiver modules, located in the vehicle, to enable the authorized smartphone to be located both from inside and from outside. As soon as an authorized virtual key is detected, the system issues permission to open the vehicle and start the engine. Therefore, there is no longer any need for a mechanical key.

Continental will present the intelligent door at the International Motor Show Germany (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main (Hall 5.1, Stand A07/A08) in September.

Source: Continental

Continental is Turning Its eHorizon into a Weather Service

  • eHorizon.Weather supplies real-time weather information in partnership with Météo-France
  • Enhanced safety due to early warning of rain, storms or icy roads
  • Weather-dependent route planning increases convenience and efficiency
  • Vehicle swarm uses and optimizes weather data
  • Continental created real-life test field for innovative mobility Services

 

Who has ever experienced standing in glorious sunshine in thick layers of clothing or having to walk in pouring rain without an umbrella: with Continental’s latest innovation to the electronic horizon (eHorizon), the technology company has a solution. Vehicles equipped with eHorizon.Weather supply exact weather information to optimize short-term forecasts and integrate real-time, location-specific weather data to alert drivers in advance of critical weather conditions. Continental is working in partnership with the French national weather service Météo-France on this project and is currently testing eHorizon.Weather in more than 200 vehicles in France to adapt and further improve the technology through direct user feedback. With this connected fleet, Continental is creating an open test field for mobility services to test different applications for connected vehicles in a real driving environment, and is also expanding its connections with new partnerships. Alongside the eHorizon.Weather, for instance, data concerning predictive maintenance can be analyzed.

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Vehicle swarm uses and optimizes weather data for real-time weather information.

“Together with Météo-France, we are working on a range of mobility services for more safety, efficiency and convenience. By integrating information from our vehicle sensors with external data to bring real-time weather warnings to vehicles, the joint solution eHorizon.Weather is helping here particularly well,” explained Jean-Yves Le-Gall, Design & Innovation Manager in Continental´s Interior Division.

 

The eHorizon.Weather technology uses existing connected vehicle architecture such as windshield wiper sensors, fog lights, or ABS and ESP to obtain data on temperature, air pressure and visibility or information on road conditions.

This data is then loaded to the Continental backend via integrated telematics units and is processed by Météo-France. This allows the weather service to improve the service it provides and send location-specific weather warnings back to vehicles in real time where they reach the driver’s attention with the help of an interactive road map that integrates safety-relevant and other information, such as places of interest.

Within the meaning of a holistic human-machine interface, drivers are not only informed of critical road conditions visually, but also acoustically via voice prompt. This ensures that information reaches drivers in advance so that they can adapt their driving style to suit weather conditions such as heavy rain and snow, storms or icy roads. At the same time, they can either acknowledge the instructions given by the interactive road map or give the all-clear once they have passed the section of road with the issued weather warning.

Improvement of severe weather warnings and convenient travel planning

The vehicle swarm records data at the precise location of the weather event and makes it available in the cloud. Météo-France is able to expand its conventional weather monitoring methods (satellites, radars, weather stations, etc.) thanks to eHorizon.Weather. This produces a swarm intelligence, which improves the quality of short-term weather forecasts (0 to 3 hours) and the effectiveness of severe weather warning systems. At the same time, the weather service obtains vital information allowing it to continuously enhance its weather knowledge and develop innovative warning methods.

For private and professional drivers, eHorizon.Weather also directly represents a significant gain in safety and convenience. Receiving the information in advance about hazardous road sections can reduce the risk of traffic accidents and ensures that drivers are more vigilant. Weather forecasts for the target destination and a weather-based route allow drivers to optimize their journey planning. This means that the solution is also of interest to fleet operators and drivers of two-wheeled vehicles. In France, the innovative solution recently won the Auto Moto Innovation Award 2016.

Due to the holistic human-machine interface, drivers are not only informed of critical road conditions visually but also acoustically via voice prompt.

Continental’s eHorizon makes advanced use of navigation data for controlling vehicle systems to enable intelligent and safe vehicle navigation. The aim is to inform drivers of traffic conditions in advance to increase safety, convenience and efficiency. Continental will also demonstrate the eHorizon during the International Motor Show, IAA in Frankfurt/Main (Hall 5.1. Booth A07 / A08).

Source: Continental

 

Continental Speeds up Evolution of AR Head-up Displays through Strategic Partnership with DigiLens

 Strategic partnership will deliver ultra thin Augmented Reality Head-up Displays to enable wider market penetration in cars and to further increase safety on the roads. DigiLens, a Silicon Valley based company, is a proven leader in holographic projection technology for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality applications.

 

 

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The international technology company Continental has entered into a strategic partnership with DigiLens Inc., a leader in holographic projection technology for application in automotive and consumer electronics. The partnership has been formed to develop ultra thin Augmented Reality Head-up Displays that will further enhance a wider market penetration in cars of different segments.

The adoption of Augmented Reality in the automotive industry,” said Helmut Matschi, member of the Executive Board of Continental and head of the Division Interior. “More and more drivers will have all relevant information in their line of sight; thanks to the advanced technology Continental and DigiLens will bring to Head-Up Displays. This will bring us closer to our vision of zero accidents.” The technology will be displayed for the first time at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2017.

 

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Compared to currently available systems, the ultra thin holographic Head-up Display from Continental and DigiLens will be smaller by a factor of three. It will need less space while at the same time providing a larger image with all the relevant information.

DigiLens, a Silicon Valley based company, is a proven leader in holographic optical waveguide technology and materials. The knowledge DigiLens has in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will enhance and compliment the expertise of Continental in the field of automotive Head-up Displays.

Compared to currently available systems, the ultra thin holographic HUD will be smaller by a factor of threeImage download

“With the breakthroughs we already have achieved in integrated optics, we are confident that together with Continental we will expand this technology to the automotive industry. Augmented Reality blends all relevant information provided by a Head-up Display, straight in front of the eyes of the driver. With that augmentation there is no reason not to keep your eyes focused on the road,“ said Jonathan Waldern, founder and CEO of DigiLens. “Together with Continental we will make roads safer and accelerate the adoption of Head-up Display technology.”

The technology will also ease drivers into accepting automated driving faster. Automated driving will require a holistic human machine interface that will lead to a safer and more intuitive driving experience with an enhanced joy of use. This is what the new type of display technology will clearly provide. With increased acceptance of Augmented Reality HUD drivers will feel secure in the knowledge of what the car actually sees and knows. In turn, driver confidence in automated driving will be enhanced significantly.

Source: Continental

Continental Puts First 48-Volt Hybrid Drive into Production

  • From the end of 2016, diesel variants of the Renault Scénic and Grand Scénic models will be equipped with Continental’s 48-volt hybrid drive
  • 48-volt technology contributes to significant fuel consumption savings and reduced nitrogen oxide emissions at moderate costs
  • The efficient electric motor with integrated inverter is produced at the Continental plant in Nuremberg

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Continental is electrifying one diesel variant of both the new Renault Scénic and Grand Scénic models. The system, offered as a “Hybrid Assist” uses a 48-volt hybrid drive in production vehicles for the first time. The technology is a particularly cost-efficient solution to significantly reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. Instead of the conventional starter generator, the system uses an electric motor with a continuous output of six kilowatts (10kW temporary), which drives the crankshaft of the engine via a belt. The electric motors with integrated inverter are supplied from the Continental plant in Nuremberg.

The worldwide first 48-volt hybrid drive from Continental in production at Renault Scenic Hybrid Assist. CO2 target: 92 grams / kilometerImage download

Since 2013, Continental engineers have been working together with Renault on a hybrid drive, which is so cost-efficient to produce that it becomes an appealing option for mid-size vehicles. To achieve this, the development partners have used low-voltage hybrid technology, which operates at 48 volts. This is in contrast with the considerably more expensive high-voltage technology, which operates at between 300 and 400 volts and is usually used in hybrid vehicles. However, the 48-volt system facilitates significant savings. Therefore, with the mild-hybrid system, Renault is aiming for combined fuel consumption of 3.5 liters of diesel per 100 km. They are also aiming to reduce the new Scénic´s CO2 emissions to 92 grams per kilometer, which is a new CO2 benchmark in this vehicle class. This is possible because the electric motor, operated as a generator, also converts a large proportion of the braking energy into electricity, which is temporarily stored in a small battery. This electricity can then be specifically used to relieve the internal combustion engine. This is also the reason why nitrogen oxide emissions and exhaust particles, especially in urban traffic, are reduced when a 48-volt drive is combined with a diesel engine.

“We are proud that we were able to secure Renault as the first customer for our innovative 48-volt drive,” said José Avila, Continental Executive Board Member responsible for the Powertrain Division. “Other production launches for both diesel and gasoline vehicles are in the pipeline for Europe and other markets including China and North America.” According to Continental, the market for 48-volt drives will experience significant growth in the coming years. As Rudolf Stark, Head of the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Business Unit, assumed, “in 2025, approximately one in five new vehicles across the world will be equipped with a 48-volt drive.”

Belt driven starter generator (48-volt electric drive) from ContinentalImage download

The 48-volt solution from Continental is relatively easy to combine with preexisting internal combustion engines, as it does not require any more room than a conventional starter generator. This is due to the high power to size ratio of the electric motor, which does not contain rare earth materials. This is achieved by water cooling of the stator and the high efficiency of the induction motor. To save space, the inverter, which is needed to convert direct current stored in the battery into alternating current required for operation, is integrated in the housing lid of the motor. The ready-to-install 48-volt drive is manufactured at the Continental plant in Nuremberg, which already specializes in complex electronic modules, such as those used for automatic transmissions.

In addition to designing the 48-volt drive for the crankshaft of the internal combustion engine in Renault vehicles, Continental is also working on other solutions. The electric motor can also be placed between the engine and transmission – allowing, for example, purely electric driving in inner city areas.

Source: Continental