FRANKFURT, GERMANY – Mobility Megatrans sustainability, autonomy, software-defined vehicles, electrification and connectivity have many Tier 1 suppliers scrambling to keep up.
The 152-year-old German automotive supplier Continental From 2019, he made it clear that he was not one of the companies that struggled at the First Media TechShow in Germany.
On June 15, Continental demonstrated more than two dozen solutions to journalists from 20 countries. The innovations were compelling, but refreshingly realistic, most of all focused on solving pressing issues in the next few years rather than envisioning the future. An interesting speech aimed at Wall Street.
Continental is one of the largest and most diversified automotive suppliers in the world, selling a variety of products from tires to software, to vehicle cockpits and autonomous driving systems. He displayed his new technologies in various displays.
Wheels are the most familiar product to Continental consumers, but the stunning pillar-to-pillar cockpit screens and hubs are now set to redefine all future cockpit designs and were featured prominently at the TechShow.
The event kicked off with CEO Nikolai Setzer announcing the super eco-friendly tire with 65% renewable and recycled materials. The company is the first manufacturer in the world to introduce high-volume tires into series production and demonstrate high marks in rolling resistance, wet braking and external noise.
“Without technological know-how from suppliers like Continental, carbon-neutral mobility is not possible,” says Setzer.
After announcing that the UltraContact NXT tire will be available at tire retailers in Europe from July, Setzer quickly jumped to Continental’s many advanced technologies, from functional approaches to autonomous driving, liquid-cooled, plug-and-play in-car supercomputers, exciting cockpit displays and an interior made from recycled coffee grounds. Materials.
Thankfully, the complex systems and products detailed didn’t stop journalists from disbelieving that these technologies could be in vehicles in two to four years.
“We believe that self-driving vehicles will first begin to be used in areas where there is a clear cost benefit and benefit to the customer,” Setzer said. “This is the situation in the trucking industry, because the demographic and structural changes in the labor market are small and there are few drivers.”
In other words, everyday consumers don’t need Level-4 autonomy for their cars, but specialized commercial vehicles do. In particular, the shortage of long-haul drivers is becoming a long-term crisis that will almost certainly have to be solved through technology.
Continental has partnered with Ambarella, a semiconductor design company, to develop low-power, high-definition and Ultra HD video compression, image processing; Computer vision processors; And in the year Aurora Innovations is a self-driving truck company that will be the first commercially scalable autonomous driving company in the US commercial vehicle industry starting in 2027.
Continental also demonstrated an interesting low-speed autonomous system that allows vehicles to park themselves in parking garages – using current vehicle ADAS systems for steering and braking – and drive themselves to carports or fleets. Given the lack of trained car attendants to load thousands of vehicles on ocean-going ships and the potential for autonomous vehicles to park themselves in close proximity to ships, loading bays and assembly areas, this seems like a relatively low-tech autonomous solution. A logistics game changer for automobiles.
Called the Automated Parking Fusion System, it combines a proprietary ultrasonic sensor design with surround-view technology and a state-of-the-art AI-based camera. The basic version provides a clear 360-degree 3D image and supports the driver when stopping and moving at low speeds. According to Continental, due to its attractive cost structure, this entry-level system is particularly suited to the compact car segment. In addition, there are a number of system enhancements, including an intelligent, active surround view system.
Journalists also got a chance to see Continental’s autonomous electric industrial robots at work at the company’s factory outside Frankfurt, where they do the difficult work of moving heavy weights between forklifts and logistics workers.
The vehicle defined by the software
Continental says it is one of the technology pioneers in the software-defined vehicle and with its world-class product portfolio enables a safer, more enjoyable and autonomous driving experience. The company has developed powerful software to process, manage and distribute all this data so that large amounts of data can be transferred to the cloud. The Continental Automotive Edge (CAEdge) framework provider is using a modular solution and working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop a new approach to efficiently develop service-oriented vehicle architecture software in the automotive industry. .
CAEdge provides a virtual workbench with multiple options for developing, deploying, and supporting software-specific system features. Thanks to this architecture, tasks can be imported into SDV as over-the-air updates.
In addition, Continental offers full integration of functional applications. Automakers can choose from a wide range of solutions from Continental’s functional portfolio.
Continental says this will allow automakers to bring solutions to market faster and develop the software-based vehicle more cost-effectively. But a spokesperson pointed out that the best software is useless if it can’t be paired with equally good hardware. And this company says high performance computing (HPC) and zone control units (ZCU) will play a central role. In-vehicle HPCs use data from sensors and control units, while the telematics unit connects the vehicle to its environment and the cloud. ZCUs act as communication gateways, provide intelligent power distribution and perform vehicle functions reliably.
Amazing screens and head displays
Continental’s stunning cockpit displays would transform vehicle cockpits by mid-decade and become the company’s most popular consumer-facing products. The new Scenic View head-up display places all relevant information on the lower edge of the windshield where it can be seen by the driver without having to take his eyes off the road. Passengers no longer have to choose between the HUD’s intuitive image quality for the driver and the driver and front passenger. Environmental conditions such as strong sunlight and polarized sunglasses will not affect the legibility of the column-to-column display. The technology won an innovation award in the CES “Vehicle Tech and Advanced Mobility” category in January.
The Continental’s curved ultrawide display also shines. It spans the entire width of the vehicle with high-performance, high-resolution displays that can be turned on and off at will. As the name suggests, the main screen is curved and connects both A-pillars at 51 inches (1.29 meters). It also has more surface area and more functions: in addition to the matrix backlight and “Local Dimming” technology for better image quality, one thing stands out: the In2Visible control panel. The panel placed below the main display introduces the camera feature. When not in use, the control panel is integrated with the instrument panel and is invisible. It offers a clean, minimal design and prevents too much information from distracting the driver. In addition, the panel placed next to the driver provides haptic feedback for accurate and reliable controls.
Other important technologies introduced at the Continental Tech Fest:
- The world’s first automotive interior display with secure face authentication. believe it or not Existing facial recognition systems can be easily fooled using human heads stolen from social media. The driver identification system from Continental and Trinamix uses unique technology to recognize unique facial features and provides fool-proof biometric authentication with multiple features. Winner of the 2023 CES Innovation Award, the innovation’s core is a safety system that allows the vehicle to start after successfully verifying the driver and cannot be easily fooled. In a convincing – but slightly creepy – demonstration, a Continental engineer uses a lifelike disembodied head to prove that the system only responds to human skin, preventing fake tests such as photographs or masks. The monitoring system increases safety while driving because it monitors the driver’s attention and reacts if there are signs of fatigue or distraction. A bonus is that the fool proof system greatly simplifies digital payment processes when filling up gas or parking. The complex technology is also seamlessly hidden in the instrument cluster display and can be combined with Continental’s Curved Ultra-Wide Display.
- Eliminates hydraulic brakes. Continental is taking the first step toward eliminating hydraulic brakes. The company says that hydraulics are not particularly resource-efficient due to the fluid maintenance they require, are also costly and – in the ideal case – should be avoided. The advantage for car manufacturers is that filling and draining the brake system is not necessary in production. The goal is to activate the electromechanical rear axle brakes, which previously operated hydraulically. The ultimate goal is to have both the front and rear brakes actuated electromechanically, and the components of the system will be packaged in individual modules.
- Better pipes for hydrogen fuel stations. In another example of creating functional solutions for critical needs, Continental leverages its extensive materials expertise to develop high-performance water tubing solutions for hydrogen distribution and refueling. For high-speed battery-electric-vehicle charging stations, water-cooled cables must be very strong to maintain safety, but they are as heavy as a fire hose and can be difficult to manage. The distribution pipes at hydrogen fueling stations also present challenges because the hydrogen is delivered to the tank at very high pressure: 14,000 psi (700 bar). Continental has developed a new hybrid tubing solution that combines a highly durable thermoplastic inner liner with steel reinforcement to withstand pressure. The rubber-based outer casing makes it easy to fit the fuel tank into the vehicle and protects the user from hydrogen’s low shipping temperature of -253°C (-423°F). In addition to this innovative pipe solution, Continental’s materials experts are also developing relevant connecting parts such as seals and couplings to ensure the efficiency and safety of the fuel process, even at particularly challenging interfaces.