Continental to present gesture control at Chicago Auto Show

February 10, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
At the Chicago Auto Show which will take place from February 10 to 19, automotive supplier Continental AG will exhibit its 'Simplify your Drive' concept vehicle. In this context, the company plans to show for the first time an application for gesture control.

Continental's gesture control utilizes a camera located in the roof of the car which identifies driver's gestures by means of object recognition algorithms and translates them into instructions to the vehicle's electronics. Since it is a camera-based technology there is no need to touch the screen of a display. In its current prototype state, the capabilities of the control are somewhat limited - it only can be used to shift the content of the display in the information cluster to the central display. The use case: In stop-and-go traffic or during stops, the driver can see information videos on the display right in front of him/her; the gesture control enables him to share this content with the passengers - or vice versa.

A Continental spokesperson said the company is currently in talks with several OEMs about implementing the technology into future car generations.

The gesture control is installed in Continental's 'Simplify your Drive' concept vehicle, also on display at the Chicago Motor Show. This vehicle shows how flexible a car can be adopted to the user's wishes. Chassis characteristics, driving behavior and interior design can be varied by the push of a button.

Other exhibits include Continental's new emergency steer assist which supports the driver to steer around a sudden obstacle. In order to achieve this goal, the system combines the functions of conventional stability control, electric power steering and a variety of sensors.

Continental also shows a new control unit for its dual-clutch transmission. It is optimized for better fuel efficiency without compromising driver experience, the company says.