Under the slogan “Mobility. Our Heartbeat for 150 Years.” Continental is profiling itself as a technology company in the field of sustainable and connected mobility at the 19th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition. In the 150th year of its existence, the company will be presenting a large number of innovative software and affiliated hardware solutions, with which Continental facilitates the integration of software functions in vehicle components. This ranges from high-tech radar sensors, high-performance computers as central control units in the vehicle and data communication through to the cloud as part of telematics systems.
Innovative technologies enhance safe driving
With its new, more powerful generation of surround radar and long-range radar sensors, Continental is taking another step toward safer and more autonomous mobility. A more compact design, higher scanning rates and 360-degree vehicle surroundings monitoring with ranges of around 200 meters or around 250 meters depending on the radar sensor add up to much greater safety at short and long ranges. The new radar sensor solutions thus enable anticipatory applications for Euro NCAP requirements through to higher automated driving functions such as automated lane changes. Since the start of production around 20 years ago, Continental had produced more than 100 million radar sensors for short and long-range applications by April of this year. The technical features of the sixth generation, which will go into production in 2023, include an improved detection range and a higher resolution for accurate detection of the vehicle’s surroundings.
Radar sensors are just one example of dynamic growth in the field of advanced driver assistance and automated driving systems as part of state-of-the-art mobility solutions. Whereas before the car used to be primarily a comfortable means of transport, today it depends above all on connectivity and human-machine dialog.
Flood of data in the vehicle requires management by high-performance computer
In some of today’s vehicles, more than 100 electronic control units are responsible for the functions – from the electronic car-entry system or infotainment system and connectivity through to cruise control or lane departure warning and speed assistants. In addition, there is specific software that handles communication within the vehicle units and with the cloud. Today, more than 90 percent of automotive innovations can already be ascribed to software developments.
To make it possible to handle the increasing data streams in the vehicle, Continental was the first automotive supplier to develop a compact high-performance computer which is used in Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 electric cars, for example. The server bundles data communication between different vehicle domains.
End-to-end network solution – pioneer for autonomous and intelligent mobility
At the Shanghai Exhibition, Continental will now be presenting its end-to-end network solution for connected cars for the first time. From the sensor, the high-performance computer and the connectivity unit to the cloud, this solution implements a reliable function integration. In particular, the fast and low-latency connection of the vehicle network to the outside world enables real-time processing of all data that enters the vehicle and is processed by high-performance processing units in the vehicle. Software functions are distributed between the cloud, the high-performance computer and what are called zone controllers. This allows Continental to offer maximum flexibility and functional safety at the same time. Functions from advanced driver assistance systems can also be integrated into the system to a limited extent. Continental’s self-developed 5G mobile radio module (network access device) offers scalable computing power with improved cyber security. It also supports various hardware options to assist with the requirements of different customers and regions. The system allows flexible options for system integration for OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers – from stand-alone network access devices to complete integration in telematics control units or intelligent antenna modules. Continental is already working with several global automotive manufacturers for 5G telematics on the basis of its successful 5G hybrid V2X platform.
Standardized, modular hardware and software platform enables function updates
The development of the Continental Automotive Edge Platform (CAEdge), a modular hardware and software platform, will make it convenient for drivers to obtain the new functions they want in the future through software updates throughout the entire service life of the vehicle. CAEdge connects the vehicle to the cloud and, thanks to a virtual workbench, offers numerous opportunities for the development, provision and maintenance of software-intensive system functions.
With this platform, Continental is strengthening its leading role in the development of the latest vehicle architectures and software. In the future, it will provide vehicle manufacturers and partners with a development environment for software-intensive vehicle architectures that can be used to implement software, sensor technology and big data solutions in a fraction of the previous development time. This means that the vehicle software can quickly and safely be developed, tested and installed directly in vehicles. In the future, all developers and the companies involved will work with the Continental platform in a standardized and automated development environment using the same tools, testing and safeguarding procedures
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