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Continental applies innovative technologies to the driver assistance systems for the new BMW 7 Series

Oct 6, 2008

Three functions are now combined in a single camera – this integrative approach reduces costs and saves space.

Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The new BMW 7 Series is equipped with sophisticated driver assistance systems. Developed by Continental, the international automotive supplier, the system uses a single HDR-CMOS camera to carry out three functions simultaneously: Speed Limit Monitoring (SLM), Intelligent Headlamp Control (IHC) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).

In recent years, Continental, one of the world's leading suppliers of driver assistance systems, has been working towards a solution which would be suitable for different types of roads and road markings and which would operate in the most varied weather conditions in different parts of the world. It consists of a digital HDR-CMOS camera, which Continental has led the way in developing and manufacturing. Following several years of intense development and testing, Continental has approved the driver assistance system and it is now ready for installation in vehicles.

Speed Limit Monitoring (SLM), Intelligent Headlamp Control (IHC) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). The new Speed Limit Monitoring function is the first of its kind in the world to meet this requirement. SLM makes the driver aware of the current speed limit, interprets every type of speed limit sign (both permanent signs and the electronic variable speed limit signs, plus additional symbols) and verifies this information with data from the navigation system before displaying it. The speed limit which applies at any particular moment is shown in the BMW 7 Series` instrument cluster and in the optional head-up display on the windshield.

The camera system also monitors the road ahead for the headlamps of oncoming vehicles, the tail lamps of vehicles in front and for street lighting and automatically changes between main and dipped beam depending on the situation. This IHC function helps to ensure that greater use is made of the main beam to illuminate the road and to provide the driver with the clearest possible view. Studies have shown that the main beam, which can contribute to stress-free and safe driving, is used too rarely.

The LDW system employs once more the well-tried Continental technology which was first introduced in March 2007 in the BMW 5 Series. In the BMW 7 Series, however, the system will benefit from additional functions such as road edge detection.

"Always one step ahead – once again, Continental is the first automotive supplier to introduce an innovation with its multifunctional camera for driver assistance systems", explained Amrei Drechsler, Vice President of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems segment of the Chassis & Safety Division. "The special feature of our solution", according to Drechsler, "is that it combines the three functions - SLM, IHC and LDW - into a single unit and all three functions are served by the same camera and the same microprocessor".

"Combining these functions makes driving safer under a variety of circumstances since this can produce a more accurate assessment of the traffic conditions". And, according to Dr. Ralf Cramer, President of the Chassis & Safety Division, "this integrative approach represents a further important step on the road towards our ContiGuard ® safety concept".

Press Release (MS-Word, 60 KB)

Press Image to the issue Driver Assistance Systems in the Continental Media Center.

Nicole Geißler

External Communications


Division Chassis & Safety

Guerickestraße 7

60488 Frankfurt am Main

Phone: +49 69 7603-8492

Fax: +49 69 7603-3945