Continental, Knorr develop autonomous driving platform for trucks: Page 2 of 2

September 19, 2018 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Continental, Knorr develop autonomous driving platform for trucks
Automotive suppliers Continental and Knorr-Bremse AG have entered into a partnership to develop a complete system solution for highly automated driving (HAD) in commercial vehicles of all sizes. The initial focus will be on platooning, followed by a platform for completely autonomous driving.

At the level of trajectory planning and decision making, Continental supplies the basic functions used in the passenger car market, including the control unit for automated driving functions. Due to the wide variety of different vehicle types, the driving dynamics of commercial vehicles are much more complex than those of passenger cars. Knorr-Bremse is contributing know-how to the partnership with its Truck Motion Controller based on its brake system control GSBC. In addition, Knorr's expertise has mastered the following factors which have a major influence on driving characteristics: the combination of towing vehicle and trailer, vehicle length, number of axles, single- or multi-unit combinations, load distribution, height of center of gravity, torsionally soft frames, etc. Knorr-Bremse masters all relevant components at the actuator level, i.e. the implementation of the driving decision in the specific control processes in the vehicle. This includes above all the steering and braking systems, but also the control of individual components in the driveline.

In addition to the development of automation functions, the intelligent redundancy concept is crucial to the success of highly automated driving. If the automatic system takes over the control, it must be designed in such a way that the vehicle does not get out of control even if electronic subsystems fail. The simple doubling of critical components is not economically feasible. The redundancy concept for steering developed by Knorr-Bremse shows that the necessary vehicle know-how can compensate for the failure of the active steering system without having to install the corresponding components twice. Only if the entire system - including the redundancy structure - functions as intended can the driver turn to other tasks while driving.

By collaborating on highly automated driving, the two companies are also making a contribution to more efficient driving, for example through platooning, which can save up to 15 percent fuel and reduce vehicle emissions accordingly. In addition, the automation of individual driving functions such as lane change, driving on the construction site or emergency braking will ensure that commercial vehicles drive more safely in the future. The partners regard a period of 3-4 years, depending on the vehicle manufacturer, as realistic until platooning columns could drive on selected roads in series production. The legal framework conditions, such as the minimum distance between vehicles, will play an important role here.


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