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Continental products are used extensively in the new VW Golf model generation

Dec 8, 2008

An airbag system employing new crash impact sound sensing technology, common-rail piezo injection to meet the new Euro 5 standard and an innovative touch screen multimedia system - these are the technical highlights.

Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The Automotive Group of Continental, the international automotive supplier, has been closely involved in the development and production of the VW Golf's sixth model generation, providing it with a wide range of components and systems. The Chassis & Safety, Interior and Powertrain Divisions have all contributed to the new model's high safety and comfort standards and to its excellent fuel consumption and low emission levels. One example is the Crash Impact Sound Sensing system, developed by Continental, and which uses the structure-borne sound caused by an accident to optimize the triggering of the airbag; the splendid result achieved by the VW Golf in the EuroNCAP crash test was very largely due to this system. "By its extensive involvement in Europe's best-selling vehicle, Continental has reminded us again of its expertise in all those aspects of vehicle electronics which enhance the end-user's safety and comfort and which reduce the cost of driving", stressed Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, Chief Executive Officer of Continental AG.

Chassis & Safety: first series production use of crash impact sound sensing for airbag control

A faster way to determine accident severity - Crash Impact Sound Sensing. This is the first time that crash impact sound sensing has been installed in a production vehicle. This technology, which was awarded the German 2008 Bavarian Innovation Prize, uses the sound waves, transmitted through the bodywork in the event of an accident, to rapidly and accurately work out the nature of the impact and the extent of any deformation. This makes it possible to calculate the severity of the accident and the likely stresses suffered by the vehicle occupants even more quickly than previously. In the event of a frontal collision, the airbag control unit (ACU) has between 10 and 40 milliseconds to decide precisely when and with what force the life-saving airbags need to be activated. The earlier this decision can be taken, the more effective it can be in protecting the vehicle occupants. Triggering the side and head airbags in the event of a side crash demands even quicker reaction times (5 to 10 milliseconds); for this eventuality, the Chassis & Safety Division uses the pressure satellite which measures the air pressure change in the door due to an impact. The advantages for vehicle manufacturers of the pressure satellite's re-designed mechanism are quicker and simpler assembly, i.e. cost-optimized installation. In the EuroNCAP test, the VW Golf was awarded 36 out of 37 points for occupant protection. This was the best result achieved by a compact model and it was given the best possible assessment of five stars. "This extraordinarily good result is due to the excellent collaborative partnership which VW and Continental have enjoyed for years. With each successive model generation, we have introduced innovative technologies; in the current model, it was the crash impact sound sensor which gave us the outstanding result in the frontal crash test", stressed Burkhard Ortmann, Vice President Segment Passive Safety in the Chassis & Safety Division.

Continental also supplies the Golf's complete Electronic Stability Control (ESC) electronics and the anti-lock braking system (ABS); and for braking systems, the company supplies brake calipers for the front axle, the brake booster and brake lines. Components for windshield washing systems complete the list of items supplied by the Chassis & Safety Division.

Interior: the navigation system as a multimedia centre

The outstanding feature of the RNS 510 navigation and multimedia system, available as an option in the VW Golf, is the 6.5 inch monitor, whose menus can be intuitively accessed via the touch-sensitive screen. The high-resolution color display offers a variety of screen views, including suggestions for alternative routes to your destination in addition to two-dimensional, three-dimensional and topographic maps. A high-performance processor calculates distances and can zoom in on the map display virtually in real time. At 30GB, the integral hard disk not only has enough storage capacity for the navigation and map data plus supplementary information, but it can also save and play MP3 format music files; and films can be played using the integral DVD drive. The equipment's modular design means that further technical developments and variants applicable to specific countries and regions, such as HD and satellite radio for the USA, can be integrated without difficulty. "What's more, the RNS 510 can also be extended to include a TV receiver, reversing camera, sound system or a hands-free phone system; it thus acts as a hub for all audio, video and communication applications, providing the greatest possible flexibility", said Dr. Michael Ruf, head of the Multimedia business unit in the Interior Division.

The Interior Division supplies four other products for the VW Golf: a gateway, the easy to read instrument cluster, the controls for the climate control system and the direct-measurement tire pressure monitoring system for the Golf GTI (North American market).

Powertrain: common-rail systems with piezo injectors meet the Euro 5 standard

The Euro 5 standard presents engine developers with even greater challenges than before. From 1 September 2009, all new vehicles coming onto the market must comply with these more stringent emissions standards which, particularly for diesels, specify significant reductions in nitrogen oxides and soot particulates. At the same time, both fuel consumption and CO2 emission levels must fall. By installing Continental's common-rail injection system, the VW Golf is able to meet these requirements. A piezo actuator consisting of a stack of over 300 wafer-thin ceramic platelets, controls the opening and closing of the nozzle needle in the injector. Very brief response times split the injection process into many smaller sub-events; this optimizes combustion, lowers fuel consumption, reduces pollutant emissions and increases the efficiency of the particulate filter. The injection procedure in the Golf has six phases, underlining Continental's position as the market leader in common-rail systems with piezo injection. The VW Group is also using the mass airflow sensor (MAF) in series production for the first time. This sensor, also known as the hot film mass airflow sensor (HFM) and located in the engine's intake duct, consists of two metal film resistors, one of which operates at a higher temperature. The heat flow required, which is dependent on the mass of the air flowing through, is converted into a voltage signal which acts as a regulating and control variable for exhaust gas recirculation and the diesel injection pump. The advantages of this design are extremely high measurement accuracy, insensitivity to dust, an additional measuring range and the ability to calibrate the system via a programmable memory.

The Powertrain Division also supplies the engine control units for the two gasoline engined models, the Golf 1.6 and the 1.2 TSI. For various other models, Continental produces knock and temperature sensors, injection nozzles (injectors), the fuel system and the actuator for the electric accelerator pedal. Other components supplied are the transmission control units for all-wheel drive vehicles (4Motion) and the control electronics for direct manual transmissions.


Press Release (MS-Word, 70 KB)

Press images of the products Crash Impact Sound Sensing , navigation and multimedia system and piezo injector you find in the Continental Media Center.


Nicole Geissler

External Communications


Chassis & Safety Division

Guerickestrasse 7

60488 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Phone: +49 69 7603-8492

Fax: +49 69 7603-3945

Enno Pflug

External Communications

Interior Division

Continental Sodener Strasse 9

65824 Schwalbach/Taunus, Germany

Phone: +49 6196 87 2515

Fax: +49 6196 87 79 2515

Katja Mattl

Vice President Communications


Powertrain Division

Siemensstrasse 12

93055 Regensburg, Germany

Phone: +49 941 790 4192

Fax: +49 941 790