Continental drives urban mobility development with robo taxi

Continental drives urban mobility development with robo taxi

Technology News |
Leveraging its broad portfolio of sensors, actuators, control units as well as communications technologies for vehicles of all kinds, Continental is developing cross-divisional solutions for future mobility models. The development culminates currently in a self-driving microbus; the start of practical testing will take place as early as this year.
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

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According to a study conducted by consulting firm Roland Berger, approximately one quarter of the transport volume will be spent on the use of driverless vehicles by 2030. This potential revolution in the world of automotive industry was a motivation for Continental to initiate a development project called “Self-Driving Car”. To enable driverless mobility, especially in cities, Continental has set up a test vehicle, baptized CUbE (Continental Urban mobility Experience) which is about to be tested at Continental’s Frankfurt campus. The extensive factory and R&D premises include typical infrastructure such as road signs, cross traffic, pedestrian crossings and curbs, so that optimal conditions are provided for a realistic track layout.

The technology used in the vehicle is based in many areas on proven components of driver assistance systems, such as are already installed in series vehicles today. But also new technologies such as the laser sensor are used. These systems are further developed in order to control the vehicle completely autonomously. “The trial operation serves to identify all the essential technical requirements that enable the safe, safe transport of people in the urban area,” says Andree Hohm, Head of the Self-Driving Car project at Continental. “This helps us to find answers to questions about our product strategy and to offer leading technology for individual mobility – even for driverless systems”.

With the CUbE, Continental joins the group of pioneers in the field of robotic taxis. “In the last few months, the topic has been moving very quickly,” says Jourdan. A large number of technologies are used in which Continental has many years of experience – from sensors to electronic control units, algorithms, braking systems and drive technologies.


Some of the topics Continental is exploring are the design of redundant braking systems as well as an optimal and economical assembly of the sensor platform for a robo taxi. Taxis offers an effective and efficient solution to meet the challenges of urban mobility for large cities, which are increasingly stifled by today’s form of private transport. “It is more intelligent to operate driverless vehicles as permanently as possible than innumerable private cars, which on average often stand 23 hours a day and occupy valuable space – which can be used, for example, for parks and playgrounds,” says Hohm.

In Berlin, for example, each of the approximately 3.5 million citizens spend an average of 70 minutes a day in traffic – including all the means of transport used, including public transport. The car is here in everyday life a little used short-distance vehicle, which stands most of the time. On average, there are 1,3 persons in the car. The average daily distance of a citizen of Berlin in the traffic is about 20.2 km on average, divided on three trips per day. Self-propelled Robo-taxis, which you simply call when you need them, would be ideal to serve this mobility behavior, if they lead at least in part to the renouncement of the individual traffic in the city.

The trend towards autonomous driving will also have a significant impact on the interior of vehicles. “In the future, the car will be much more than just a means of transport. Privacy, relaxation, communication and work are the focus. The purpose of the interior will in the future be different. People who are in the vehicle go after activities other than driving the car, “says Alexander Jockisch, Head of Business Development and Marketing for Surface Materials in the ContiTech division responsible for the Continental Group.

Opportunities for interior materials result from their possibilities for individualization, their design freedom, the variety of color design and the possibility of functional integration, for example light integration with translucent surfaces. Today, the interior of the vehicle is characterized in that, for example, the steering wheel and instrument panel are arranged as functionally as possible. In the future, the interior will be more comfortable and living room-oriented, Continental believes.

The CUbE will be demonstrated at the IAA international automotive exhibition in Frankfurt (Main) in September.

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Bosch rounds up components for automated driving

 

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