Continental tests the dynamic electronic Horizon (eHorizon) on the road for the first time.
Automated driving will make our personal mobility a more comfortable experience and help attain other important objectives as well: greater road safety, zero road accidents and smoother flowing traffic, not to mention lower fuel consumption and emissions.
In automated driving mode, smart sensors in the vehicle will enable it to respond faster to events on the road, keeping it permanently focused on the business of driving and acting with greater foresight than a human driver ever could.
To achieve these aims, Continental is banking on smart connectivity between different vehicles, as well as between vehicles and their environment and between vehicles and the traffic infrastructure. For instance, the car will send information via the Internet to back end systems and receive information in return, or it will communicate directly with other vehicles and road users. In this way the car acquires data on the traffic situation, the topography of its route, the weather and the actions of other road users and evaluates these data. And as well as making use of the relevant information for itself, the car also passes these data on to other vehicles. No personal data are required for these purposes, since anonymized personal data are quite sufficient to achieve the desired goals.
In the next few years, with the aid of an increasing number of driver assistance systems, it will be possible to gradually assign more and more of the driving tasks to the vehicle itself. As a result, the car of the future will offer its driver whole new dimensions of comfort and free time at his or her disposal – time to sit back and relax, or maybe even watch a film while the car handles the driving.
Of course, driving is not just about mobility and transportation, but above all about a level of personal freedom, dynamism, passion and enjoyment – in short: driving pleasure. And that is not going to be lost with automated driving, because the driver can always choose when to hand over responsibility for driving functions to the vehicle and when to take control for him or herself.
At Continental, more than 1,300 specialists work on driver assistance systems and the fundamentals of automated driving. In the past 15 years or so, more than 100 driver assistance projects have been realized for automakers around the world. And since 2007, Continental has been engaged in research projects centered on automated driving.
Back in 2012, Continental already successfully completed extensive test runs in the US State of Nevada, running a highly automated car for 15,000 miles on public roads with no accidents. These tests provided an initial outing for almost production-ready environment detection systems and vehicle control technologies. Since November 2014 Continental has also been successfully testing related technologies on Japanese roads. The Company’s expertise is concentrated at its international development centers in Frankfurt (Germany), Auburn Hills (USA) and Yokohama (Japan).