Continental substantiates automated driving
The different flavors auf automated driving will serve a broad range of use cases. The company has shown a Cruising Chauffeur for long-distance motorway driving, a range of short-distance assistance systems for situations like valet parking, assisted parking and something Continental calls “trained parking”. In addition, several techniques will facilitate the integration of the car into seamless mobility schemes which combine multiple means of transportation under the umbrella of a smartphone app.
The Cruising Chauffer is designed to assume the task of driving the car during long, relatively uniform travels at high speed. The system combines (fuses) the input of various sensors like camera, front- and side-looking radar and lidar. At the same time, it combines the functionality of adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane keeping and active steering. Only when the vehicle is approaching the highway exit, it alerts the driver to slip back into its function at the wheel. In cases when the driver is unable to take over, the system brings the vehicle to a safe stop at the curbside. The redundant architecture of the system includes a Safety Domain Control Unit (SDCU) as well as a fall-back level for brakes and steering. The system will be available for series production in 2020, Continental said.
Trained Parking is a system that records a parking process, like backing up into a narrow garage entry. To make use of the system, the driver brings the vehicle close to the point where the record started. The system then replays the driving decision flow and repeats the process autonomously. During the automated part of the ride, the driver can stay outside the car; through a smartphone app he can stop the vehicle at any time.
To foster driverless mobility in urban areas, Continental has built an experimental vehicle, called CUbE (Continental Urban mobility Experience). With the CUbE, Continental has started test drives at its Frankfurt campus. At the same time, the company is currently developing Robo taxis. Besides the spectrum of homegrown sensors, the tier one is running a joint venture with Nexteer for the development of Motion Control Systems to complete its set of tools for automated driving.
In the area of electric mobility, Continental is focusing on transitional solutions from electric and internal combustion engines. “Because of the growing demand for mobility, the combustion drive is still in its prime,” said Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart. In 2025, Degenhart expects a market share of around 10 percent for purely electric drives, while the hybrid drives will be just under 30 percent.
The supplier has only recently begun serial production of the first 48 low-voltage hybrid drive; it is used in the Renault Scenic Hybrid Assist.