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© Continental AG

Safe, Clean, Intelligent: Only by Working Together Can Industry and Politicians Pave the Way for New Mobility

  • Dr. Degenhart in the run-up to the IAA 2017: “Clean air and environmental protection are possible only with affordable technologies.”
  • The slogan of the IAA 2017 is Making Mobility A Great Place To Live”
  • Technology company focuses on electrification, automated driving and connectivity for an individual living space on wheels

Hanover, June 21, 2017. In the run-up to the International Motor Show Germany (IAA) 2017, technology company Continental is demonstrating the challenges and opportunities of individual mobility in the future. “Our industries and markets are currently going through a fundamental change. This transcends established technologies and tried-and-tested business models. Electrification, automation and digitalization: The interior of cars as we know them will be completely different in 10 to 15 years,” says Continental Executive Board chairman Dr. Elmar Degenhart with certainty. “We are tackling this challenge with courage and drive. From more than 146 years of experience, we know that new technologies are successful only if they are not just reliable, but also affordable, accepted by markets and society, as well as politically endorsed and permitted by law,” emphasized Degenhart during a press conference in Hanover at a technology preview of the upcoming IAA. “We are therefore convinced that only by working together and through mutual agreement can industry and politicians pave the way for electrified, automated and connected mobility and therefore for cleaner air and accident-free, comfortable driving.”

Continental CEO Dr. Elmar Degenhart: “Electrification, automation and digitalization - We are tackling this challenge with courage and drive.” © Continental AG

Degenhart used the amended road traffic act adopted by the German Bundestag and Bundesrat at the start of May 2017 as a positive example of this collaborative method of working. “A realistic political framework that is developed early on really helps our industry to maintain its position as the leading supplier of state-of-the-art technology on the global market,” said Degenhart, who, in this context, also acknowledged the guidelines on automated driving that were published just the day before. “The ethics commission’s report that was published yesterday meets our need for pioneering regulations for our programmers and developers in this field. It is important to take the next step to transfer the relevant guidelines into the existing national and international legal framework.”

F.l.: Dr. Felix Gress, Senior Vice President Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Nikolai Setzer, Member of the Executive Board responsible for the Tire Division, Dr. Elmar Degenhart, Chairman of the Executive Board, and Kurt Lehman, Corporate Technology Officer, at the preview press conference for the IAA 2017. © Continental AG

However, Degenhart also expressed criticism of the one-sided promotion of individual technologies. “The emission limits specified are extremely challenging. Consequently, car manufacturers are focusing on the large-scale expansion of electromobility. However, purely electric vehicles are still far too expensive.” From Continental’s point of view, purchase incentives are currently not helping with this. “This is because in the case of pure electric mobility, the breakthrough onto the market will be achieved only with greater range and lower acquisition costs. This breakthrough is not expected before 2023,” Degenhart added. In 2025, Continental therefore expects a market share of around only 10 percent for all-electric drive systems and almost 30 percent for the combination of electric drive systems and combustion engines (known as hybrid drives). “Clean air and environmental protection are possible only with affordable technologies,” said the CEO. “Emission regulations will do too little to protect the climate if new technologies are not accepted widely on the market.”

With its concept car, "The Pioneer", Continental is able to demonstrate its surface expertise. © Continental AG

Drive systems must be both efficient and affordable

Continental is therefore prioritizing the development of highly efficient drive systems and technologies that are affordable – everywhere and regardless of vehicle class. As a result of the increasing demand for mobility, this means that the combustion drive hasn’t actually yet reached its peak. In order to meet emission targets, we are making it even more efficient using, for example, exhaust-gas aftertreatment and particularly with our “people’s hybrid.” This 48-volt technology is a provisional solution. It relieves the burden on the internal combustion engine and can be integrated into vehicles with either gas or diesel engines,” explained Degenhart. “The proven fuel savings are around 20 percent in real-life urban traffic.

“In the run-up to the IAA, we are also presenting a diesel production vehicle certified to Euro 6, as modified by our experts. We are therefore reducing nitrogen-oxide emissions by more than 60 percent in real-life road tests and keeping well below the legal limits.”

Continental is now able to deliver over-the-air updates across the globe using a single network. © Continental AG


The IAA 2017 slogan: “Making Mobility a Great Place to Live”

The technology company is appearing at the IAA under the slogan “Making Mobility a Great Place to Live.” Continental is showcasing solutions for electrification, automated driving and connectivity in mobility. Using this mobility will enrich living spaces for people in the future. In the lead up to the IAA 2017, Continental is using several concept cars to demonstrate some fascinating ideas for the future of mobility.

“In the 20th century, our cities and living spaces were dominated by the needs of car traffic. In the 21st century, the needs of people have once again become the focus of mobility. This can be seen in the vehicles of the future, in which offices and living rooms merge into an innovative and completely individual living space on wheels. With our solutions, we want to show people how intelligent and connected mobility can open up brand-new design opportunities for them,” said Continental’s Executive Board chairman.

Super Clean Electrified Diesel – nitrogen oxide emissions reduced by 60 percent. © Continental AG

Among the ideas and products that Continental will present at the International Motor Show Germany in Frankfurt am Main in September are the “Super Clean Electrified Diesel” clean diesel drive, the “AllCharge” universal charging system, the “e-horizon weather” real-time weather service for the latest weather alerts in the car, the “CUbE” robo-taxi for autonomous driving in cities, the “Ac2ated Sound” sound system without loudspeakers, the “New Wheel Concept” for new, lighter wheels for electric cars, and the multi-award-winning “PremiumContact 6” tires.

Particular focus on automated driving and vehicle connectivity

One of the streams of innovation from the worldwide collaboration of more than 32,000 Continental engineers and software developers is automated driving. With the Cruising Chauffeur, Continental provides a system that supports drivers and allows them to relax during their daily commute. There is also an increasingly higher degree of automation in parking operations. With its technologies for robo-taxis, Continental is paving the way at the IAA for forms of vehicles for future urban mobility. Connectivity plays a vital role on the road toward automated driving. “Thanks to seamlessly connected mobility, communication between people will no longer be interrupted. As a result, mobility is becoming an additional living space, in which new mobility services are opening up a new multi-billion market that we are determined to break into,” said Degenhart.

The Cruising Chauffeur function gives vehicles the ability to take over the task of driving on highways in accordance with the national traffic regulations. © Continental AG

Continental connected the first vehicles to the Internet back in 1996, and in the meantime, there are now more than 30 million of them. By 2020, around 250 million connected vehicles will be on the roads across the world. “Where vehicle connectivity was once simply an added bonus, it is now becoming a key technology for intelligent mobility of the future. This is why we at Continental are focusing our efforts on holistic connectivity to create a seamless online connection and transform the entire vehicle into an open system,” explained Degenhart. Together with Carnegie Technologies, Continental presents a solution that enables seamless and disruption-free transition between different wireless networks (mobile telephony, Wi-Fi or satellite systems). It can also combine data connections, for example, the mobile end devices of car occupants, therefore adding to transmission capacities.

F.l.: Nicole Orgnon, Vice President Communications Chassis & Safety Division, Frank Jourdan, Member of the Executive Board responsible for the Chassis & Saftey Division, Hans-Jürgen Duensing, Member of the Executive Board responsible for the ContiTech Division, José Avila, Member of the Executive Board responsible for the Powertrain Division, und Helmut Matschi, Helmut Matschi, Member of the Executive Board responsible for the Interior Division, © Continental AG

Automated driving

Automated driving will provide an important contribution to making life easier for the driver, and to creating a more efficient overall traffic flow, with fewer critical situations or accidents.

© Continental AG

Continental Joins Autonomous Driving Platform from BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye as System Integrator

  • Goal of the BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye development partnership: Industrialization of technologies for highly and fully automated driving for various vehicle manufacturers worldwide
  • System integrator, function development, motion control, simulation and validation: Continental contributes a broad range of know-how along the entire process chain of automated driving
  • Worldwide development and production for locally adapted technology


Hanover, Germany, June 20, 2017. The technology company Continental becomes a development partner and system integrator of the collaboration between BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye for automated driving. It is the goal of the BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye to establish a new cooperation model for highly and fully automated driving that will provide scalable solutions for the entire automotive industry worldwide. As a system integrator, Continental plays a key role in the industrialization of the platform for other automotive manufacturers and to bring the joint solutions to the market more quickly. The BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye already bundled their resources and know-how in July 2016 to ensure series production of highly and fully automated BMW vehicles by 2021.

Continental drives forward automated driving and is developing intelligent technologies that take over more and more driving functions – as long as the driver wants them to. The advantage: increased safety, more comfort, more convenience, and more efficiency. © Continental AG

Continental contributes broad product know-how and its overall system competency along the entire process chain of assisted and automated driving. The focus is on function development and integration of automated systems including driver monitoring and motion control, as well as simulation and validation of the functions.

Frank Jourdan, Member of the Executive Board of Continental AG and Head of the Chassis & Safety Division. © Continental AG
“We have already had very good experience in working with the BMW Group through jointly successfully completed development and series projects. Contributing development and integration for the partnership is a recognition of our extensive competence in the field of automated driving. The cooperation with the core partners involved represents the unique opportunity to drive ahead and get this technology of the future to our roads more quickly,” said Frank Jourdan, member of the Executive Board of Continental AG and head of the Chassis & Safety division.

"Every new Tier One partner brings us a step closer to our goal: We intend to bring safe autonomous driving to series production by 2021 and actively shape this technology," said Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG for Development, on behalf of the cooperation of BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye. "With our non-exclusive approach to this technology of the future we will deliver a safe, fast and cost-efficient solution that is highly attractive also for other manufacturers."

Karl Haupt, Head of Business Unit Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Chassis & Safety Division. © Continental AG
“Such partnerships have a great advantage with regard to the complexity of the technology as well as the development efforts: we do not need to reinvent the solutions developed by any of our partners. After all, we can utilize their knowledge and draw upon already tried and tested examples on the road and adapt these to the most diverse customer needs. Together with the partners involved, we can work more efficiently on research and development tasks in order to realize the next generations of the technologies for automated driving. In addition, this collaboration will provide solutions that are more cost-effective for our customers and affordable to end users,” said Karl Haupt, head of Continental’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit.

Localized technology: global development teams/vehicles and production

The range and complexity of the technical systems required for automated driving are enormous. The competence of Continental extends to the full, necessary range of products and services: surrounding sensors, environment model, driving functions, system architecture, functional safety, control units, brake systems, tires, complete powertrain systems as well as systems for human-machine-dialogue and system validations. The components and systems required for automated driving are developed and produced at locations all over the world – in the U.S.A., Japan, China, India and Europe. Maintaining close contact across national borders and conducting tests with development vehicles on public roads in all regions are vital in ensuring that vehicle manufacturers can gradually bring this technology, which can be adapted to specific local requirements, into series production.


Since 2014 Continental tests automated driving on public roads in Japan. Such tests are vital in ensuring that vehicle manufacturers can gradually bring this technology - adapted to specific local requirements - into series production. © Continental AG

The area of advanced driver assistance systems is particularly strong at Continental. These include especially systems for multi-function cameras, for fish-eye cameras with surround view, as well as short range and long range radar sensors. In addition, this includes high-resolution 3D LiDAR technologies as well as central control units for assisted and automated driving. In 2016, the sales of advanced driver assistance systems amounted to over €1.2 billion. At the same time, the number of new orders increased to over €3 billion. By 2020, Continental expects sales of considerably more than €2 billion.

Automated driving will provide an important contribution to making life easier for the driver, and to creating a more efficient overall traffic flow, with fewer critical situations or accidents. © Continental AG


Sören Pinkow

Sören Pinkow External Communications Continental Division Chassis & Safety Phone: +49 69 7603-8492 E-mail:

Vincent Charles

Vincent Charles Head of Media Relations Phone: +49 511 938-1364 E-mail:

20170614 Ganzheitliche Fahrzeugvernetzung - Speakerless-Audio Concert

© Continental AG

Holistic Vehicle Connectivity for a Smart Mobility

  • More than infotainment: connectivity is becoming a key technology for future intelligent mobility
  • From over-the-air updates to speaker-less sound: Continental is developing the building blocks for holistic connectivity
  • The vehicle as a mobile weather station or rental car of the future: Continental is tapping into new business areas for mobility services

Hanover (Germany), June, 2017. Continental connected the first vehicles to the Internet back in 1996. Since then, the technology company has connected more than 30 million vehicles. And a glimpse into the future promises further growth: For the first time ever, this year will see half of all new cars rolling off the production line equipped with some form of connectivity solution, which means that by 2020 around 250 million connected cars will be on our roads all around the world.

Smart surface material: The translucent Acella Hylite trim material enables special light effects and therefore contributes to greater road safety. © Continental AG

“Where vehicle connectivity was once simply an added feature, it is now becoming a key technology for intelligent mobility of the future. This is why we are focusing on holistic connectivity for a seamless online connection and developing the entire vehicle into an open system,” says Helmut Matschi, member of the Executive Board at Continental and head of the Interior Division. He goes on to explain why Continental sees holistic connectivity as so much more than simply the development of new telematics solutions: “Holistic connectivity concerns all aspects of a connected vehicle – from the in-vehicle electronics architecture, through the seamless connection, to the services and the interaction between driver and vehicle. Today we are developing the building blocks for all areas of holistic connectivity and, in doing so, we are shaping future mobility.”

Updates: wireless, seamless and for the entire vehicle

Keeping a vehicle’s software up to date or downloading new features and functions without having to travel to the auto repair shop: what has long been standard for PCs and smartphones still seems to occupy the realm of science fiction in much of the automotive world. “Wireless software updates for the entire vehicle electronics constitute a central building block for holistic connectivity,” says Matschi. But for Continental, this is not simply about demonstrating how this capability can be implemented in vehicles securely and reliably. Continental has teamed up with Carnegie Technologies for a solution that enables seamless and disruption-free transition between different wireless networks (mobile telephony, Wi-Fi or satellite systems). To send data packages containing as much data as possible from the cloud to the vehicle and back, the solution can also combine data lines for example from the passengers’ mobile devices as a means of pooling transmission capacities. In a collaboration with Inmarsat, Continental is also using satellite communication – in addition to mobile telephony and Wi-Fi – to provide vehicle manufacturers and drivers worldwide with the best possible network connection at all times.

Continental is now able to deliver over-the-air updates across the globe through a single network . © Continental AG

Infotainment of the future: directly from the cloud

Holistic connectivity will also make in-vehicle infotainment smarter and more flexible. With the cloud terminal, applications that were once directly integrated in the head unit will now be moved to the cloud. This ensures that the system is always up-to-date and that new functions can be added at any time, allowing vehicle manufacturers to simply roll out the applications across different models and vehicle classes. The twist is that Continental has created a development framework within the cloud that uses standard development tools and therefore does not require developers to have any specialized automotive software expertise. As such, Continental is opening up the connected car to a broad developer community, creating the basis for a number of exciting functions. The cloud terminal also acts as the driver’s digital assistant, analyzing the driver’s habits and providing appropriate personalized functions.

With the Continental Cloud Terminal applications that used to be integrated in the head unit move to the cloud . © Continental AG

Get the best sound – even without speakers

“When it comes to the infotainment of the future, great sound is part and parcel of an attractive mobility experience,” says Matschi. Thanks to a speaker-less sound system, Continental has reinvented car audio systems, drastically cutting down on weight and installation volume in the process. Compared with conventional high-end 3D sound audio systems, the speaker-free system requires 95% less volume. Equipped with actuators that cause specific surfaces in the vehicle to vibrate, the system works in a similar way to stringed instruments and provides a high-end audio experience for every vehicle class.

Speaker-less car audio system with excellent acoustics. © Continental AG

Connectivity creates new approaches to design and interaction

Connected functions also entail bigger display screens in the vehicle, but fully digital instrument clusters offer little scope for design options. To enable drivers in the future to enjoy digital content without having to stare at a classic flat media display, Continental has developed a 3D display interface featuring optically bonded, topographical elements that restore a sense of quality and allow individuality to the classic display. In addition, the integration of digital functions in decorative surfaces for vehicle interiors is featuring more and more on customers’ radars. Light integration is a vital development step in this respect. The translucent cover material Acella Hylite produces special lighting effects that can be used, for example, for backlighting a vehicle door. Varying light sources can be used to create customized color effects or to light up warning signals. However, not only must displays adapt to the needs of connected functions – the way they are operated must also be geared toward the digital world. To improve wordless communication between drivers and their vehicles, Continental has developed user-friendly touch gestures for the cockpit.

Three-dimensional display surface for more design on the cockpit. © Continental AG

Holistic connectivity: the basis for new mobility services

Alongside new technological and design possibilities in the vehicle, holistic connectivity offers a range of additional benefits, as Matschi explains: “For us, holistic connectivity creates entirely new business models. In addition to our product business, mobility services will become the next key pillar of Continental.” A central principle for a range of mobility services is: the better a vehicle knows its environment, the safer, more efficient and more user-friendly it is on the road. With eHorizon, Continental demonstrates how a vehicle provides important traffic information to the cloud and other road users using a so-called crowd sourcing function in the driver assistance camera. Numerous mobility services can be implemented on the basis of the resulting database. It is also a central element in the development of automated vehicles.

Vehicle swarm uses and optimizes weather data for real-time weather information. © Continental AG

Another example of new applications that announces the concept of holistic connectivity in its name is the Holistic Connectivity Car from Continental. With this application, the company not only demonstrates how a vehicle becomes part of the Internet of Everything, but also offers an insight into the development of new services such as eHorizon.weather. Using eHorizon technology as a basis, this solution will turn your vehicle into a mobile weather station. The service, which was devised in collaboration with Météo-France, not only increases driving safety and comfort, but also acts as a data supplier for weather forecasts. Continental has also constructed a special-purpose, outdoor test field in France comprising 200 vehicles, which allows testing concepts like this and to develop new services.

Connected fleet management and rental cars of the future

In the world of fleet management in particular, connectivity opens up whole new possibilities and enables, for example, remote and anticipatory diagnostics. vAnalytics and Remote Vehicle Diagnostics are two examples of Continental services that are already available. Through the application of VoicR, Continental is also transforming the 40-year-old analog CB (citizens band) radio technology into a digital, speech and location-based social ad hoc network with real-time functionality. In so doing, the technology company is creating new solutions for efficient, secure and future-oriented fleet management, especially aimed at fleet operators and the commercial vehicle market.

The cloud-based service platform vAnalytics provides mobility-related services to car dealers and workshops as well as drivers. © Continental AG

Whether rental via an app, vehicle access via a smartphone, personalized seat adjustment or even remote diagnostics: Continental will demonstrate how holistic connectivity is changing the mobility experience of rental car users by means of a vehicle that brings together the technologies making up the rental car of the future into a single ecosystem.


Sebastian Fillenberg

Sebastian Fillenberg External Communications Interior Division Phone: +49 6196 87-3709 E-mail:

20170614 Energieoptimiert fahren
© Continental AG

Optimized Energy Efficiency: Continental Presents Innovations for the Fast-Growing Electric Mobility Market

  • 48V mild hybrid technology already in production for gasoline and diesel vehicles; volume production of integrated high-voltage powertrain to start in 2019
  • Continental’s world-first AllCharge system allows EVs to use any charging technology
  • New inductive charging system adds comfort and convenience
  • Optimized wheel system: PremiumContact 6 tires plus innovative New Wheel Concept
  • Variable engine mounts for stable cornering
  • Efficient hose lines for range enhancement of EV batteries

Hanover, June 2017. With the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show coming round again, in the course of 2017 Continental will be showcasing examples of new production applications in the field of electrification and taking a look ahead to what the near future holds in this respect. Continental is one of the world’s leading electrification pioneers both in terms of production applications that are already up and running and of the breadth of its portfolio of solutions. These range from 48V mild hybrid applications to high-voltage powertrains for electric and hybrid vehicles. Continental’s components have reached a high level of production maturity and are used among other things in high-performance high-voltage powertrain modules. With their compact dimensions and low weight, these modules set new benchmarks in terms of power density. Elsewhere, some of the technologies on show at the Continental Tech Show and at the IAA – for example in the field of EV charging technology – are world-first solutions. “The future of mobility is electric,” says José Avila, Member of the Executive Board of Continental AG and President of the Powertrain Division. “We are embracing this transformation with environmentally friendly, electrified and all-electric drive systems, as well as with ground-breaking new charging solutions. Efficiency and everyday practicality are a major focus of all these solutions.”

Innovative charging technology turns electric powertrain into ‘universal charger’ catering to all types of cable-based charging station. Now, at every charging station maximum charging is possible. © Continental AG

Continental’s engineers are already developing components to meet the requirements that electric mobility will in future present for vehicle systems outside the powertrain itself. “Electric mobility has implications for the entire vehicle – and the powertrain is at the heart of electrification,” says Dr. Elmar Degenhart, chairman of Continental’s Executive Board. “But electric mobility also requires appropriate solutions in many other areas, such as engine mounts, brakes, wheels and tires. Continental’s extensive cross-divisional expertise in these areas gives it a holistic understanding of electric mobility.”

48-volt Eco Drive shows the potential of hybridization

48V technology facilitates smart hybrid operating strategies that can be implemented in both gasoline- and diesel-engined cars. Continental’s 48V technology achieves documented fuel savings of approximately 21 percent in real world urban driving. One of the most recent production breakthroughs for electrification came with the launch of 48V diesel hybrid versions of the Scénic and Grand Scénic models from French manufacturer Renault. These models already boast a highly efficient engine and this is now being taken a stage further through their electric drive system from Continental.

Continental will also be presenting a new demonstrator vehicle, the Super Clean Hybrid Diesel, which shows how 48V hybridization and innovative catalytic converter solutions can be used to combine increased efficiency with simultaneous reductions of up to 60 percent in real-world NOx emissions. The initial in-vehicle tests at the Continental Tech Show will also feature direct emissions monitoring using the Portable Emission Measurement System (PEMS) to enable fuel consumption to be checked on site.

High Voltage Components for Hybrids and EVs © Continental AG

Innovative high-voltage drive systems

On the all-electric front, innovative solutions from Continental include the highly integrated electric powertrain module, which was specially developed for electrification of the high-volume mid-sized segment of the Chinese car market. With its compact dimensions (with electric motor, gearbox and power electronics combined in a single unit) this high-voltage drive system for all-electric vehicles or full hybrids is not only lighter but also more powerful than comparable concepts. This also means that it delivers a high level of driving pleasure – a significant factor for the acceptance of electric mobility – to complement its favorable cost. This innovative drive system boasts a high power-to-weight ratio thanks to an output of up to 150 kW and electric torque of up to 400 Nm, with a mass of just 75 kg.

Key component for the elctric drive: power electronics for hybrid and electric vehicles © Continental AG

EV charging made easy

Bearing in mind how important charging technology is for EV users in terms of stress-free everyday operation, Continental is now presenting innovations for this aspect of electric mobility too. The all-new AllCharge system, which is easy for automakers to integrate, turns the vehicle’s electric powertrain into a universal ‘charging system’. Drivers can then charge their vehicle at any type of cable-based charging station, and can always use the station’s maximum output rate. At urban AC charging stations in particular, this can cut the required charging time by a factor of 12. In addition, the bidirectional AllCharge system’s feedback capability will open up whole new applications for the electricity stored in the vehicle battery. For example this energy can then be used as a mobile power supply for electrical/electronic devices, such as a laptop, an electric drill or a refrigerator. 

Inductive charging solution includes vehicle positioning, electronic communication, charging management, safety monitoring and data retrieval © Continental AG

Using a new prototype, for the first time Continental will also be showcasing the wireless (inductive) charging of electric vehicles. With the Continental system, EVs can be comfortably and conveniently charged at rates of up to 11 kW. The system also guides the driver to the ideal charging position with great precision. Thus, inductive charging involves not only the electronics tasked with the charging and safety of the vehicle, but also the provision of additional information for the driver.

Innovative solutions meet the special requirements of vehicle electrification

Electrification brings both benefits and also new challenges. For example, although long engine shutdown phases in a hybrid vehicle save fuel, they also cause the engine to cool down. A key role in the overall energy management strategy thus falls to the electrically heated catalyst (EMICAT) from Continental, which ensures that NOx reduction nevertheless operates at full efficiency the moment the engine is switched back on.  

Electric vehicles have special requirements in terms of their brake systems too. Intensive use of braking energy recuperation (whereby braking energy is used to generate electricity) results in much less frequent use of the wheel brakes. With this in mind, Continental is showcasing a new weight-reduced wheel and brake design in the form of the New Wheel Concept. A corrosion-free aluminum brake disc and specially adapted brake components prevent any risk of impaired brake performance due to corrosion. Ideally, the New Wheel Concept can be combined with Continental’s PremiumContact 6 tires, whose reduced friction improves overall vehicle efficiency, while also reducing tire/road noise. This makes an already inherently quiet electric vehicle even quieter.

Another area where hybrid vehicles present special challenges compared with conventional combustion-engined vehicles is engine mounting systems. These must be elastic enough to isolate vibration when the engine is restarted after a shutdown phase, but at high speeds they must also be rigid enough to stabilize the vehicle when cornering. Here Continental combines the best of both worlds with a variable engine mounting system. In addition, Continental’s hose development engineers have created efficient hoses and lines for electric vehicles that increase the range and service life of the batteries. Almost four meters long, the battery coolant lines are installed in the underfloor paneling of electric and hybrid vehicles. They ensure that the batteries do not overheat and that they reach their maximum service life, as well as helping to provide the necessary heating for the vehicle occupants.


Simone Geldhäuser

Simone Geldhäuser External Communications Powertrain Division Continental Phone: +49 941 790-61302 Fax: +49 941 790-9961302 E-mail:

20170614 Nathlos Mobil - CUbE
© Continental AG

Automated Driving at Continental – Seamless Mobility

  • Different types of automated driving complement each other to create the seamless mobility of tomorrow.
  • Cruising Chauffeur – Long drives on the highway become more relaxing.
  • Automated Parking – Every parking space is mastered.
  • Self-Driving Cars – Solutions for autonomous vehicles in urban areas.

Hanover, Germany, June 2017. The future of individual mobility is faced with many challenges: Nearly 1.3 million traffic fatalities worldwide per year. Rising traffic levels cause emissions and air pollution, which have a negative impact on life expectancy. More than 1.2 billion people spend more than 50 minutes per day driving in their vehicle – but most of the time in traffic jams. In addition, society is ageing and the proportion of older people is growing among the drivers.

Automated driving will provide an important contribution to making life easier for the driver, and to creating a more efficient overall traffic flow, with fewer critical situations or accidents. © Continental AG

The technology company Continental faces these challenges and is working on solutions. “Automated driving will provide an important contribution to making life easier for the driver, and to creating a more efficient overall traffic flow, with fewer critical situations or accidents”, said Continental Chairman of the Executive Board Dr. Elmar Degenhart. Continental sees an evolutionary and revolutionary path. With the Cruising Chauffeur, Continental offers an autopilot for highway and secondary roads that supports the driver on longer distances and allows the driver to relax during daily commute. There is also an increasing degree of automation at lower speeds when it comes to parking. From assisted -, remote -, garage -, trained - up to valet parking, new functions will take over the stressful parking from the driver. Searching for a parking place will be a thing of the past and parking space will be used more efficient. With Self-Driving Cars (robo taxis) – that are expected to represent a significant market share of worldwide individual mobility in 2030 – the technology company is also concentrating on new forms of future urban mobility.

Automation on highways – Relaxed and stress-free driving

Long drives on the highway become more relaxing with the Cruising Chauffeur. Once activated, the vehicle takes over from the driver and cruises along the highway adjusting its speed to traffic conditions and regulations. The vehicle stays safely in the lane. The driver does not have to take over again until exiting the highway – which the vehicle announces ahead of time.

The Cruising Chauffeur function gives vehicles the ability to take over the driving task on highways in accordance with the national traffic regulations. © Continental AG

Automation in the low speed range: The vehicle parks itself

Different automated parking functions, such as Trained Parking, let any driver easily cope with any parking space. Upon request, the function records and stores the sequence of a parking procedure. When the procedure is to be repeated, the driver drives the vehicle near where the recording began and, at the touch of a button, the vehicle independently performs the previously learned parking procedure.

The Trained Parking function records and stores the sequence of a parking procedure. When the procedure is to be repeated, at the touch of a button, the vehicle independently performs the previously learned parking procedure. © Continental AG

Automation in urban area: Driverless mobility with robo taxis

Continental has built a demo vehicle to enable driverless mobility, especially in cities. The vehicle, named CUbE (Continental Urban mobility Experience) will start its trials at Continental’s Frankfurt location. Solutions for driverless robo taxis are developed cross-divisional. The company has therefore access to an almost complete product portfolio of its own sensors, actuators, control units and communication and networking technology.

With the CUbE Continental develops technologies for driverless vehicles and is already testing them at the Frankfurt site. © Continental AG

The range and complexity of the participating technical systems for automated driving is great and can only be provided by a technological company with a very broad base and an integrated approach. Continental is driving the development of all types of automated driving forward so that, in future, it can offer solutions to everyone.

With the systems and components – like surround sensors, control units, tires, brake systems, entire powertrain systems up to Human-Machine Interfaces as well as a Joint Venture with Nexteer in motion control systems – Continental provides the complete portfolio for automated driving.

Continental develops and produces the necessary components and systems for automated driving worldwide – in the U.S. as well as in Japan, China, and Europe. All in all, the company is well positioned to serve the needs of a seamless mobility – from the doorstep to the final destination.


Sören Pinkow

Sören Pinkow External Communications Continental Division Chassis & Safety Phone: +49 69 7603-8492 E-mail:

Miriam Baum

Miriam Baum External Communications Continental Chassis & Safety Division Phone: +49 69 7603-9510 E-mail:

© Continental AG

Continental as partner on the path to the city of the future

  • Continental is driving forward the transformation of urban centers into smart cities through its innovative mobility services
  • 'Smart City Solutions' headed by Dr. Hermann Meyer
  • Cities are already benefiting from Continental's intelligent city solutions

Regensburg, June 16, 2017. The global trend toward urbanization is continuing unabated: According to the United Nations, half of the world's population already lives in cities and this figure will grow to over two-thirds by 2030. Large, complex metropolitan regions are faced with challenges such as a significant increase in traffic volumes, combined with the need to make human life comfortable, safe and energy-efficient. As a technology expert, Continental is accompanying cities on this path and is helping them develop into so-called 'smart cities' thanks to its innovative mobility services. That is also Continental's message at the ITS Europe Congress in Strasbourg from June 19 to 22, 2017.

Continental is driving forward the transformation of urban centers into smart cities through its innovative mobility services. 'Smart City Solutions' headed by Dr. Hermann Meyer © Continental

"We are already working together with a number of cities and supporting them with a range of 'smart city' solutions. The aim is to make these cities even safer, more environmentally responsible and more productive and to meet the demanding mobility needs of their inhabitants. To allow us to address this task in the best possible way, we have set up our 'Smart City Solutions' unit," explains Ralf Lenninger, head of the Continental Intelligent Transportation Systems business unit.

Smart City Solutions is headed by Vice President, Dr. Hermann Meyer, who has many years of experience in the field of intelligent traffic systems. Among his roles, he has been CEO of ERTICO ITS Europe and has managed the Volkswagen AG office in Brussels. In this new business sector, Dr. Meyer is responsible for strategy and global market development. "As a strategic automotive partner to cities, we want to support them as they implement digitalization. Together, we implement forward-looking solutions that focus on benefits for citizens," says Meyer, who goes on to explain: "In the future, we will gradually extend integrated solutions for fields such as sharing, parking, automation, fleet management, intelligent street lighting and safe intersections in order to drive the smart city concept forward."

Networked cities with efficient traffic planning

Together with the Urban Software Institute, Continental is already working on implementing data platforms in cities in order to develop applications that are intended to make vehicle use more comfortable, safer and more efficient. For example, thanks to eHorizon (electronic horizon), cars are becoming both the receivers and transmitters of anonymous traffic data so that drivers and vehicle electronics are supplied with up-to-the-minute traffic and traffic light data.

In Columbus (Ohio), Continental is preparing a pilot project for safe intersections, where advanced sensing, vehicle-to-vehicle and infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) communication technology are used to increase traffic safety as part of the US DOT’s Smart City Challenge. A Continental service for intelligent parking is already being used in Singapore: The Park&Go app shows all the currently available parking spaces, allows pre-booking of the parking space and offers a navigation function and other mobility services for drivers. This allows Singapore to manage its pool of parking spaces efficiently.


Eva Appold

Eva Appold Head of Communications ITS BU Interior Division Phone: +49 6196 87-2593 Fax: +49 6196 87-792593 E-mail:


Service platform vAnalytics

© Continental AG

Continental’s Remote Vehicle Data platform live, facilitating data collection for connected services

  • The collection of multi-brand vehicle data in a unified format targets a wide range of potential customers and facilitates various innovative services
  • Scalable cloud solution, developed from the ground up to securely process and store millions of data streams in real time
  • Software Development Kit (SDK) and powerful APIs allow easy data integration into customer environments
  • RVD connects fully with Continental’s vAnalytics platform for data management, analytics and connected services to provide an end-to-end solution
  • German car workshop supplier and spare parts distributor Matthies uses this solution to provide workshop relationship services to its repair shop customers

Frankfurt/Silicon Valley, June 14, 2017. Continental has launched its Remote Vehicle Data (RVD) platform, which is the foundation for innovative connected services. The platform permits unified access to multi-brand vehicle data via various hardware options and targets a wide range of potential customers. RVD is fully integrated into Continental’s modular cloud approach for connected service solutions, providing customers with an end-to-end solution along the complete value chain of connected services.

Continental’s modular cloud approach can serve customer use cases in the most flexible way, ranging from data access thanks to the RVD solution to additional modules like data analysis and connected services via Continental’s vAnalytics service platform. There is a wide range of services on offer, including customer relationship management, geolocation, geofencing, remote vehicle access, diagnostics and fleet management.

Being one of the first adopters of the combined solution consisting of RVD and vAnalytics, the German car workshop supplier and spare parts distributor Matthies uses the complete platform to provide workshops with a turn-key solution for connected customer services.

Continental’s Remote Vehicle Data platform (RVD) provides customers with an end-to-end solution along the complete value chain of connected services. © Continental

Standardized vehicle data access for rapid development of connected services

Offering different retrofit hardware options, e.g. a Bluetooth® OBD-II dongle, Continental’s Remote Vehicle Data solution targets the millions of cars in the field which are not yet connected. The solution provides in-depth access to vehicle data by standardizing manufacturer-specific vehicle information across a wide variety of models and brands.

The full end-to-end connected vehicle solution provides:

  • a cloud-hosted platform, fully scalable and capable of handling millions of connected vehicles,
  • device, license and update management,
  • a comprehensive Software Development Kit (SDK) and powerful APIs to enable many applications,
  • out-of-the-box or customized services to suit business needs

Potential customers of the connected vehicle cloud solution are OEMs, workshops, fleet operators, repair shops, insurance companies, rental car and car sharing providers, and many more besides. They can implement innovative connected services based on vehicle data, such as special offers on upcoming service requirements and customized insurance tariffs, or make the work of car rental companies more efficient, to give just a few examples. 

The cloud-based service platform vAnalytics provides mobility-related services to car dealers and workshops as well as drivers. © Continental

Large German distributor among first customers to use RVD and vAnalytics

One of Continental’s first customers for this innovative holistic solution is the German car parts and workshop demand distributor Matthies. They will offer a turn-key system that enables car repair shops to make their service offerings more efficient and tailored to the needs of their customers. In this innovative use case, the RVD platform provides the dongle-based connectivity, the vehicle-specific configuration of the Bluetooth® OBD-II dongles and device management of the dongles. Continental’s vAnalytics platform adds the service’s backend functionality.

“We are very pleased that our customers are already starting to adopt our brand new vehicle data platform. The RVD platform completes Continental’s offerings and enables us to provide a versatile end-to-end solution. We can now offer virtually any service along the connected services value chain, and also the hardware necessary to connect cars to the backend. This also means that we are extremely flexible with regard to the solutions offered”, says Patricia Stich, who heads the Diagnostics and Services department at Continental.

Error detected, appointment scheduled: Thanks to Continental’s cloud solution, customers can implement innovative connected car services. © Continental

“Continental’s technologies create a powerful connected car platform that can be the backbone of a large number of innovative connected services”, adds Pasula Reddy, head of product of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) at Continental. “With these innovative offerings, we support a variety of applications and business models, ranging from new services for traditional businesses like car repair shops or commercial fleet management to shared economy approaches like car sharing, onsite refueling, on-demand maintenance or package delivery. A wide choice of integration options supports virtually any existing or newly developed services, processes and systems.”


Christopher Schrecke

Christopher Schrecke Head of Media Relations and Internal Communications Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket Continental Phone: +49 69 7603-2022 Fax: +49 69 7603 88-2313 E-mail:

Eva Appold

Eva Appold Head of Communications ITS BU Interior Division Phone: +49 6196 87-2593 Fax: +49 6196 87-792593 E-mail:

Seamless Connectivity

Continental is now able to deliver over-the-air updates across the globe through a single network

© Continental

Traveling through networks: Continental expands telematics portfolio with seamless connectivity

  • Continental and Carnegie Technologies team up for network convergence, bringing fast, reliable and gapless connectivity to connected vehicles
  • On the road to holistic connectivity: Continental provides solutions for over-the-air updates for multiple electronic control units in the vehicle 
  • Inmarsat’s global communication network delivers highly efficient and cost effective satellite connectivity to vehicles

Wetzlar (Germany) / Deer Park, June 13, 2017. Today’s vehicles include up to 100 computing units and millions of lines of code. Keeping this digital network up-to-date or installing new functions has up to now most often required a trip to the repair shop. “With vehicles being more and more digitized and drivers being used to a digital lifestyle, it is essential to keep the vehicle software up-to date at all times and to provide a convenient solution to install updates and new functions”, says Johann Hiebl, head of the Continental business unit Infotainment & Connectivity. The technology company Continental is helping vehicle manufacturers across the globe to solve this challenge by developing an over-the-air update solutions capable of updating the entire vehicle from powertrain to infotainment systems.

To achieve this, Continental is further expanding its portfolio towards holistic vehicle connectivity, teaming up with Carnegie Technologies, a leading wireless connectivity solutions provider, to ensure that vehicle manufacturers and drivers can always make use of the fastest, most reliable network connection available to the automobile.

Bridging connectivity gaps

Under the agreement, Continental is reselling Carnegie Technologies’ Network Convergence Platform and integrating it into Continental’s Smart Telematics solution for vehicle manufacturers. The solution runs on Continental’s next generation telematics control unit (TCU) with a supporting cloud-based component for analytics and diagnostics.

As vehicles move along the roadways, this technology provides bandwidth aggregation and gapless handover of calls and data for faster speeds and seamless switching between different networks, such as Wi-Fi, LTE, 3G, and satellite. These capabilities are essential for new data-intensive applications such as autonomous driving and over-the-air vehicle updates. In addition to terrestrial networks, Continental is developing over-the-air updates via satellite communication together with the mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat. By using Inmarsat’s global satellite network, Continental enables its customers to remotely update vehicles anywhere in the world, allowing them to easily run global update campaigns without the complexity of dealing with multiple mobile network operators.

“Over-the-air updates are an essential requirement for holistically connected vehicles and smart mobility. To turn wireless updates into a standard for future vehicles, updates need to be seamless, fast and available everywhere. Together with Inmarsat and Carnegie Technologies we are now able to fully support our customers and provide the best solutions for drivers around the globe”, says Johann Hiebl.

Smart Software for seamless connectivity

Carnegie’s intelligent software solution, that is now part of Continental’s Smart Telematics portfolio, continuously scans and measures available networks and the vehicle’s bandwidth requirements, and then automatically aggregates the networks to provide the fastest, most reliable and cost-efficient connection. Additionally, it includes VehicleLink, which uses in-vehicle bandwidth from devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, or even external Wi-Fi, when available, to manage data costs and provide the best connection possible.

Carnegie’s Gapless Handover allows Continental’s Smart Telematics solution to deliver continuous data flow. If a cellular connection gets weak, but a Wi-Fi hotspot or smartphone with a different provider is available, it automatically switches the data flow to the most efficient data provider. If the connection is lost temporarily, such as driving through a tunnel, a call can stay activated in the background until a connection is re-established, providing session persistence. Vehicle manufacturers can have full control over when and how bandwidth aggregation and gapless handover are configured. They can choose which applications can use the embedded mobile network solution, prevent applications from using unsecured networks or set other parameters and rules. For example, media sync may be limited to the home Wi-Fi connection, passenger tablets can be prevented from using the embedded mobile network, or video conference calls can be set to seamlessly transition between embedded LTE, Wi-Fi or even satellite to avoid interruption in service.

“As cars become more and more integrated with the Internet, we’re pleased that Continental will be reselling Carnegie’s technology to deliver the reliable, secure and cost-efficient connectivity they need,” said Paul Posner, CEO of Carnegie Technologies. “Through the Smart Telematics platform, automobile manufacturers will now have an end-to-end solution to allow cars and riders to interact with their environment from the road.”

Reliable, efficient and cost effective: regarding updates via satellite network communication together with Inmarsat, the industry leader in global, mobile satellite communications, Continental is able to deliver another important piece to handle over-the-air updates globally through a single network. The growing number of connected vehicles worldwide are driving an increased frequency of updates that demand a scalable, global solution. Inmarsat operates multiple geostationary satellite constellations that provide a two-way data connection combined with a global broadcast capability to enable rapid, responsive and efficient over-the-air updates to vehicles everywhere. This will allow Continental’s customers to deploy worldwide update campaigns at the push of a button, bypassing the complexity of dealing with multiple mobile network operators. The collaboration between Continental and Inmarsat will also enable vehicles to leverage intelligent routing over satellite and terrestrial wireless (mobile, WiFi) networks to achieve the best quality of service, least cost, and highest availability.

Antennas, telematics units and gateways: the architecture for holistic connectivity

The vehicle’s connection to the outside world is provided by a so-called network access device developed by Continental. This can either be integrated into the intelligent antenna module or used as a standalone telematics unit. Gateways are intermediaries between the various network domains in a vehicle and act as communication routers.

They are centrally connected to all vehicle communication buses and have access to all relevant information. In this way, they provide the infrastructure required for over-the-air updates and distribute it to relevant electronic control units. The gateway can also be transformed from a pure information router to a central networking interface if the networking unit is directly integrated into the gateway.

Continental will also showcase its next generation telematics and connectivity portfolio at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA), held in Frankfurt/Main (Germany) in September (hall 5.1, booth A07 / A08).


Sebastian Fillenberg

Sebastian Fillenberg External Communications Interior Division Phone: +49 6196 87-3709 E-mail:

China’s Automated Driving Communications Platform 2025AD.cn

© Continental AG

Continental Unveils Automated Driving Communications Platform for China

  • 2025AD.cn is China’s neutral, public online platform dedicated to information-sharing and discussion around automated driving
  • The sister project to 2025AD.com now fosters discussions on social, business and technology topics relating to the future of mobility in China as well
  • Targeted expansion for the international automated driving Internet platform

Hanover/Shanghai, June 9, 2017. At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show Asia (CES Asia), technology company Continental launched the 2025AD.cn Internet platform for China. 2025AD.cn is an independent online platform designed to encourage people to share information relating to automated driving in China. The platform unveiled in Shanghai has been conceived to keep users abreast of the latest news and insights in the global automated driving industry and initiate discussions concerning relevant topics. The content for China is closely interlinked with the global 2025AD.com platform, which was launched in January 2016 at the International Auto Show in Detroit. The global platform has also been overhauled and is now online, featuring a new design with even more functions for interaction and discussion relating to automated driving, at www.2025ad.com.

2025AD.com now with more functionalities for discussions on automated driving. © Continental AG

“Our view is that the rapid and widespread success of automated driving depends on its acceptance by potential buyers, drivers and the public,” explained Continental’s Corporate Technology Officer Kurt Lehmann at the launch of 2025AD.cn. “Automated driving will bring many benefits to society. If there is going to be a discussion on this new form of mobility, this is the best prerequisite for enabling automated driving to make mobility safer, more efficient and more comfortable for us all.”

2025AD offers people the opportunity to share their opinions, concerns and expectations with regard to all the issues surrounding automated driving. By addressing such contributions early on, researchers and developers have the opportunity to devise appropriate solutions. Continental launched 2025AD.com in 2016 to engage stakeholders all over the world. “This specific, neutral and public online platform already reaches more than 10,000 consumers, experts and industry and government representatives every month,” commented Lehmann in Shanghai.

Continental unveils China’s Automated Driving Communications Platform 2025AD.cn © Continental AG

“The Chinese automotive and technology industries have been strongly focused on developing automated driving technology in recent years. Automated driving has become a popular topic of discussion amongst industry insiders and the public. China, as the world’s largest automotive market, is playing an increasingly important role in the development of driving. That’s why Continental is now launching the Chinese version of 2025AD – 2025AD.cn – as a long-term initiative inviting stakeholders in China to join a global public discussion on this dynamic area,” said President & CEO of Continental in China, Enno Tang.

Delivering content that will be of interest to stakeholders in China, 2025AD.cn will be dedicated to all social, commercial, technological and legal aspects of automated driving. The website will foster a transparent environment where users will be able to share their opinions on automated driving and engage in meaningful discussions on the topics that are of interest to them. They can also access the platform through WeChat, Weibo, QQ Zone and other major social media platforms in China.

The name 2025AD combines the abbreviation for automated driving, AD, and 2025, the year widely anticipated to be the year that fully automated driving on public roads becomes a reality.

“2025AD.cn is intended to provide a space for lively and productive public discussions. We are inviting all interested parties to share their views and engage in in-depth discussions on 2025AD.cn so that we can work together to shape the future development of automated driving,” added Enno Tang.


Enno Pigge

Enno Pigge Spokesman, Innovation & Technology Phone: +49 511 938-1622 E-mail:


Using the input device, the driver is able to start the automated driving mode or driving maneuvers

© Continental

Just Let Go? Continental Tests Interaction Concepts for Automated Driving

  • Intuitive interaction concepts create trust, transparency and mode awareness on the road towards automated driving
  • Continental is conducting intensive simulator- and road-based testing to research the user acceptance of new displays and control concepts
  • Holistic human–machine interface with multimodal elements ensures communication with and without words

Babenhausen, June 8, 2017. Letting go of the steering wheel and reading a book in peace and quiet while the car chauffeurs you through the rush-hour traffic after a long day at work: both vehicle technology and the human factor play a key role to realize this dream. To find the right solutions to the upcoming challenges that automotive manufacturers will be facing in this area, the technology company Continental is intensively researching and testing a range of display and control concepts for automated driving.

Diverse questions concerning car–driver interaction

As the car takes control of more and more driving tasks, the human gradually transitions from the role of driver to observer. This raises entirely new questions and challenges concerning the interaction between humans and vehicles. To what extent do drivers have to know what is happening on the road around and ahead of them? What is the best way for cars to prompt drivers to intervene? How do drivers interact with cars in order to perform certain maneuvers? And what kind of non-driving-related activities will drivers be able to do while their car is driving itself? The wishes of drivers, their safety, and of course the safety of all road users around them are of top priority here.

Further information in our video

A specially trained driver sits at the actual steering wheel on the right © Continental

“On the road towards fully automated driving, our biggest challenge will be the new role of drivers and the resulting new needs and requirements,” explains Dr. Karsten Michels, who heads System and Advanced Development in the Interior division at Continental.

Up to now, drivers are solely occupied with the task of driving; in the future, however, they will become critical users and monitors in the cockpit. To meet this challenge, they have to know at all times how the vehicle is behaving and the vehicle’s current driving mode.

“Transparency and an awareness of the current situation are our watchwords when it comes to developing new concepts for a holistic human–machine dialog. Only in this way can drivers place their trust in fully automated driving systems,” says Michels. “What’s important here is the appropriate degree of trust: If drivers overestimate the system’s capabilities, in extreme cases they might not take back control of the vehicle at the end of an automated driving phase even if they are required to do so,” says Guido Meier-Arendt, Principal Technical Expert human-machine interface in Continental’s Interior division.

The technical components of interaction concepts for automated driving not only have to be interlinked dynamically and in a multimodal manner, but also have to be intuitive to use and capable of taking into account the driver’s current state of readiness at all times. For example, drivers might need more time and assistance when taking back control of the vehicle if they have been engaged in non-driving-related activities over a long period of automated driving.

© Continental

Driving simulators and test vehicles deliver detailed test results

Particularly for the sensitive transition process at the end of an automated driving phase, Continental is already working on innovative concepts that require extensive testing – both in the lab and on the road – before they can be used for real. Because it doesn’t matter how good the technology is, human behavior will always play a critical role in the transition to fully automated driving (level 5). Extensive testing performed by test subjects, who are not trained test drivers, enables a realistic estimation and evaluation of the technology.

For real-life driving out on the roads, Continental uses a method that gives the test subjects the feeling that they are working with a highly automated system. The extensively prepared test vehicle uses numerous sensors to record the behavior of the driver and analyze their reactions. The test subject sits behind a dummy steering wheel on the left of the vehicle; sitting at the actual steering wheel on the right is a specially trained driver.

Continental tests elements of the human-machine interface with an extensively prepared test vehicle in real-life driving situations © Continental

During manual driving phases, the trained driver is informed of the test subject’s actions via a combiner head-up display and converts these to actual maneuvers. During automated driving phases, the trained driver takes full control of the steering wheel, creating the illusion of highly automated driving. This method means that, even today, certain elements of the human–machine interface for automated driving can be tested in real-life driving situations. This is because, precisely due to the interaction required, highly automated test drives on public roads, without trained test drivers, can put test subjects at risk. The results are helping the developers at Continental to formulate the necessary control algorithms for fully automated driving.

The driving simulator – Continental’s “ergonomics lab” – allows the researchers to observe and analyze their test subjects in even greater detail, for example by measuring their heart rates or by precisely recording their eye movements. This data is gathered without any outside interference and enables the researchers to establish whether the test subject is comfortable or whether a particular situation is causing them stress. The lab environment also means that the test subjects can be put under much more pressure, for example to test their response to hazardous situations and critical maneuvers that would not be possible on real-life roads.

Elements of holistic human–machine interaction

Already today, Continental is employing multimodal – that is, multisensory – solutions to transfer information to drivers. Visual presentations via a range of displays in the cockpit, head-up displays, or changes in the color of LED light strips are supported by audio signals that, for example, inform drivers about the end of an automated driving phase or alert drivers via a specific audio signal. If the interior cameras establish that the driver is still not paying attention, haptic elements are activated – for example, the seat starts to vibrate or the seat-belt tensioner tightens.

To control automated driving phases, Continental has also developed a control element designed to rule out the risk of confusion regarding the drive modes and to further enhance transparency. “With our test series and products, we are continuously improving the holistic human–machine interface to ensure seamless communication and to lay the foundations for ensuring that drivers know exactly what their responsibilities are at any given time and what the system is currently doing,” says Meier-Arendt.

Continental is developing and producing the necessary components and systems for automated driving worldwide – in the U.S.A. as well as in Japan, China, and Europe. The engineers involved are working on six key elements: sensor technology, cluster connectivity, human-machine dialog, system architecture, reliability and the acceptance of automated driving.


Sebastian Fillenberg

Sebastian Fillenberg External Communications Interior Division Phone: +49 6196 87-3709 E-mail: