- Road Database adds valuable information to traffic data in real time to ensure even more safety, comfort, and efficiency
- Vehicles communicate wirelessly with data centers
- connected Energy Management lowers fuel and energy consumption preemptively
"Even for experienced professionals in the automotive business, it is not always easy to show them how discernible benefits for the end user can be gained from Cloud and Big Data. But with Road Database, there are no such doubts: It collects from the numerous in-vehicle sensors just the information that can be added to high-resolution, digital road maps – for anticipatory, comfortable, and safe driving,” says Niemann.
Road Database utilizes the benefits of data sharing
Road Database, a product out of the Continental eHorizon family, is designed either to complement or act as an alternative to conventional digital road maps. It achieves its full strength in combination with eHorizon and advanced driver assistance systems. "We use a principle that has proven its value on the internet here: the more users provide information, the better the picture is for everyone. Applied to the Continental Road Database, this means that the more vehicles and manufacturers that use the system, the more accurate and up-to-date the information provided about the road course, state of the road, traffic jams, or obstacles. The result is a classic win-win situation for everyone involved," says Niemann.
Road Database uses the modern vehicle sensors such as optical cameras, radar, and increasingly lidar, which continuously record a vast amount of the information required. In the future, further information on the condition of road will be added from other electronic control units – for example, the electronic brake system. The route data obtained in this way is checked by the on-board computer and compared with information about the route that has already been saved. This creates a digital image of the road and its attributes, which is wirelessly transmitted in anonymous format to the Continental data center. This center thus receives traffic images from numerous vehicles and uses them to create an overall picture, which is then sent back individually to connected vehicles.
Future advanced driver assistance systems will build specifically on this very precise road information. They will cover a lot more than just road geometry and lane keeping and departure functions. Changing speed restrictions, temporary road works, or vehicles that have broken down will also be covered. In this way, individual travel routes and energy consumption can be optimized considerably. This is just as important for combustion engines as it is for vehicles with a hybrid or pure electric drive.
connected Energy Management for even more efficient hybrid drives
Continental’s connected Energy Management (cEM) system, which will be showcased at the IZB too, also uses the digital road information. This expands the gliding and recuperation phases in hybrid drives in which the combustion engine is switched off and disconnected from the drive train. cEM informs the driver when it makes sense to decelerate, e.g. in the event of speed limits. The vehicle then automatically adjusts its speed to the upcoming limit. Combined with automated driving functions, cEM will not only allow drivers to drive more comfortably, but also even more efficiently.
New interior design provides a basis for future human–machine dialog
A curved center console system will also be shown at the IZB. This is a sign that Continental is playing a pioneering role in the interior design for the connected car of the future. The system combines two 12.3-inch AMOLED touch displays with an active haptic feedback signal, pressure measurement, and integrated gesture recognition. These are all elements that will play a key role also in human–machine dialog during automated driving.