Continental is Turning its eHorizon into a Weather Service
- eHorizon.Weather supplies real-time weather information in partnership with Météo-France
- Enhanced safety due to early warning of rain, storms or icy roads
- Weather-dependent route planning increases convenience and efficiency
- Vehicle swarm uses and optimizes weather data
- Continental created real-life test field for innovative mobility services
Who has ever experienced standing in glorious sunshine in thick layers of clothing or having to walk in pouring rain without an umbrella: with Continental’s latest innovation to the electronic horizon (eHorizon), the technology company has a solution. Vehicles equipped with eHorizon.Weather supply exact weather information to optimize short-term forecasts and integrate real-time, location-specific weather data to alert drivers in advance of critical weather conditions. Continental is working in partnership with the French national weather service Météo-France on this project and is currently testing eHorizon.Weather in more than 200 vehicles in France to adapt and further improve the technology through direct user feedback. With this connected fleet, Continental is creating an open test field for mobility services to test different applications for connected vehicles in a real driving environment, and is also expanding its connections with new partnerships. Alongside the eHorizon.Weather, for instance, data concerning predictive maintenance can be analyzed.
“Together with Météo-France, we are working on a range of mobility services for more safety, efficiency and convenience. By integrating information from our vehicle sensors with external data to bring real-time weather warnings to vehicles, the joint solution eHorizon.Weather is helping here particularly well,” explained Jean-Yves Le-Gall, Design & Innovation Manager in Continental´s Interior Division.
Weather small talk in the holistic human-machine dialogue
The eHorizon.Weather technology uses existing connected vehicle architecture such as windshield wiper sensors, fog lights, or ABS and ESP to obtain data on temperature, air pressure and visibility or information on road conditions.
This data is then loaded to the Continental backend via integrated telematics units and is processed by Météo-France. This allows the weather service to improve the service it provides and send location-specific weather warnings back to vehicles in real time where they reach the driver’s attention with the help of an interactive road map that integrates safety-relevant and other information, such as places of interest.
Within the meaning of a holistic human-machine interface, drivers are not only informed of critical road conditions visually, but also acoustically via voice prompt. This ensures that information reaches drivers in advance so that they can adapt their driving style to suit weather conditions such as heavy rain and snow, storms or icy roads. At the same time, they can either acknowledge the instructions given by the interactive road map or give the all-clear once they have passed the section of road with the issued weather warning.
Improvement of severe weather warnings and convenient travel planning
The vehicle swarm records data at the precise location of the weather event and makes it available in the cloud. Météo-France is able to expand its conventional weather monitoring methods (satellites, radars, weather stations, etc.) thanks to eHorizon.Weather. This produces a swarm intelligence, which improves the quality of short-term weather forecasts (0 to 3 hours) and the effectiveness of severe weather warning systems. At the same time, the weather service obtains vital information allowing it to continuously enhance its weather knowledge and develop innovative warning methods.
For private and professional drivers, eHorizon.Weather also directly represents a significant gain in safety and convenience. Receiving the information in advance about hazardous road sections can reduce the risk of traffic accidents and ensures that drivers are more vigilant. Weather forecasts for the target destination and a weather-based route allow drivers to optimize their journey planning. This means that the solution is also of interest to fleet operators and drivers of two-wheeled vehicles. In France, the innovative solution recently won the Auto Moto Innovation Award 2016.
Continental’s eHorizon makes advanced use of navigation data for controlling vehicle systems to enable intelligent and safe vehicle navigation. The aim is to inform drivers of traffic conditions in advance to increase safety, convenience and efficiency. Continental will also demonstrate the eHorizon during the International Motor Show, IAA in Frankfurt/Main (Hall 5.1. Booth A07 / A08).
Météo-France is the French national weather and climate service and is in charge of the meteorological safety of people and property in France. Météo-France has several major missions: the development and maintenance of an observation network, the collection and processing of climatological data, weather forecasting, elaborating climate projections and lastly research and training in the different areas of meteorology and climate.
Météo-France also supports professionals from multiple economic sectors (energy, agriculture, construction & civil engineering, tourism, sport, transport, insurance, etc.) in their provision of tailored prediction services and warning products, which allow them to take into account the meteorological issues in their activity.
Continental Automotive GmbH
Continental develops intelligent technologies for transporting people and their goods. As a reliable partner, the international automotive supplier, tire manufacturer, and industrial partner provides sustainable, safe, comfortable, individual, and affordable solutions. In 2016, the corporation generated sales of €40.5 billion with its five divisions, Chassis & Safety, Interior, Powertrain, Tire, and ContiTech. Continental currently employs more than 220,000 people in 56 countries.
Information management in and beyond the vehicle is at the very heart of the Interior division. The product portfolio for different types of vehicles includes: instrument clusters, multifunctional and head-up displays, control units, access control and tire-information systems, radios, infotainment systems, input devices, control panels, climate control units, software, cockpits as well as services and solutions for telematics and Intelligent Transportation Systems. The Interior division employs more than 43,000 people worldwide and generated sales of approximately €8.3 billion in 2016.