Continental AG : Continental Receives Testing License for Automated Driving in Nevada
12/20/2012| 05:48am US/Eastern
Test vehicle to display the special red license plate with an infinity symbol.
The highly automated vehicle provides a safer, more comfortable drive.
Frankfurt am Main, Germany /Auburn Hills, USA.The international automotive supplierContinental, received on Wednesday Nevada's'Autonomous Vehicle Testing License'- a stateapproval from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to test automated driving on the state's public roads. Continental's testing license is for the company's highly automated vehicle, and represents the first license granted by the Nevada DMV to an automotive supplier.
The vehicle is equipped with close-to-production technologies for monitoring immediate surroundings and actuators.
"At Continental, we continue to invest in research and development for next generation technologies - such as our highly automated vehicle - that will drive us toward a safer, more efficient and more comfortable future," said Dr. Elmar Degenhart, chairman of the executive board of Continental. "As a company, Continental's strategy is clearly focused on making this type of future technology a reality. It's clear to us that automated driving will be a key element in the mobility of the future. As a system supplier, we are perfectly positioned to develop and launch series production of solutions for partially automated systems for our customers by 2016. We will be able to develop the first applications for highly and ultimately fully automated driving, even at higher speeds and in more complex driving situations, ready for production by 2020 or 2025."
After completing driving demonstrations on December 18 in Carson City, Nevada, USA, the DMV's Autonomous Review Committee approved Continental's safety plans, employee training, system functions and accident reporting mechanisms. Following approvals, Continental will receive its testing license and red license plate featuring an infinity sign to represent the car of the future. The plate is designed to be easily recognized by law enforcement and the public at large. It will only be used for licensed test vehicles for automated driving.
The automated vehicle can accommodate multiple driving scenarios as cruising down an open freeway.
"This vehicle demonstrates what modern technology can do to provide a safer, more comfortable drive. Earning this license represents an important intermediate step towards automated driving for Continental," said Dr. Peter Rieth, Head ofSystems & Technology in Continental's Chassis & Safety Division. "Continuing our research and testing in the most challenging environment - public roads - will allow us to continue to assess and develop our highly automated vehicle."
Continental's current highly automated vehicle is designed to always have a driver monitoring the vehicle behind the wheel, unlike a completely driverless vehicle. The automated vehicle can accommodate multiple driving scenarios. Utilizing four short-range radar sensors (two at the front, two at the rear), one long-range radar and a stereo camera, the vehicle is capable of cruising down an open freeway as well as negotiating heavy rush-hour traffic. Taking advantage of Continental's sensor fusion technology as part of the ContiGuard safety concept, the vehicle is able to track all objects as they enter into the sensors' field of view. The object information is then processed and passed on to the control unit (Continental Motion Domain Controller) to control the vehicle's longitudinal and lateral motion via signals to the engine, the brakes and the steering system.
The equipment in Continental's highly automated vehicle differs from the customized sensors and tailor-made actuators in other automated vehicles. The vehicle, which has logged more than 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers), is built primarily with equipment that is already available in series production. Continental's short term goal is to relieve the driver of tedious and monotonous activities, such as driving on highways with minimal traffic or in low-speed situations like traffic jams.
Although the concept of complete fully automated driving is valid, it is not yet fully viable. Continental's highly automated vehicle, however, is an intermediate step toward fully automated driving. Continental's vehicle brings Continental closer to achieving the company's Vision Zero - the goal of reaching zero accidents and zero fatalities on the roadways. Continental will continue real world evaluations with this vehicle.From 2016, partially automated systems may therefore be assisting drivers in "stop & go" situations on the freeway at low speeds of up to 30 km/h.
I guess this is the main positive effect, that suddenly handicaped people can drive a card, besides that it is a great advantage and opportunity to safe some time. I heard Contis, partner Schaeffler is also woking on a similar project.
What hasn't been said so far is that Continental's effort on producing fully automated cars is a great step into the independence of disabled people. Imagine there might be mobiles that can carry blind/ deaf/ immobile people wherever they wish to go without bothering any other people to care for them.
I do agree with 1419242 that R&D could really improve the profitability of one’s company. Like Continental in this case, this automotive navigation system enhances all those people on driving to destination. Besides, driver could stop driving over the speed limit as the navigation system will do all the things. I am not sure about this but I hope it would include sooner or later.
Innovations and quality are the 2 most important factors to be success nowadays for EU companies. As people are talking more and more about environmental protection nowadays, traditional machineries must be opt out and replaced by greener one. How much money is being spent on R&D budget reflects a company's goal on how far they would like to go, to named a few example in Germany, Volkswagen's R&D is 3.8% of their revenue, Daimler is 4.3%, Schaeffler is 7.3%, Continental is 4%, Bosch is 7.9% and Siemens is 7.2%.
At this point and great innovation moment of the whole auto industry during human history ,I strongly agree with 1419242. Because he already proves Conti’s great contribution to whole humanbeing and utilize the automation mechanical to the fullest. Now I can imagin the physical disability and handicapped people in Nevada State of USA are the 1st group of benefited users of this new technology and their most important safety regulation and rule during all new innovations which they declare the goal of reaching zero accidents and zero fatalities on the roadways in the near future. So the commonality feature of both great german auto industry contributor like Conti and Schaeffler is the specialty of innovation, I believe they will realize many new humanbeing’s dreaming about real automated vehicle in near future .
IMO, automated driving is not that easy to achieve, as it doesnt have its own track like rails. I believe a renewal of our transportation infrastructure is a must in order to reach 0% fatality and 100% safety on the road. There are some flying vehicles in our time now, but this involves aviation, and intensive training must be made unless new solution approaches (like in the moive Total Recall). An automated driving is just a technology showcase of a company, the WOWing factor is greater than its original purpose. Right now we, as customer and ordinary people, should focus of what is offer to us. Like Schaeffler, they have this eWheel Drive, eDifferential and mechatronic systems, which make driving more comfortable, efficient and reliable. These are more important and tangible changes to our daily life now.
I'm not so sure that they do have far to go - I rather think that this is the prelude to the fully automated vehicle. After that maybe the sky is the limit as I have a feeling that it will not be too long in the future, with congestion as it is these days, that either Continental, Schaeffler or another company start to develope a car that can fly - now that would be something would'nt it !!!
These self driving vehicles have a long way ahead. The system will mature with time, bigger database and experiences with problems. I believe there should be emphasis on pollution reduction, electric technology and inventions to address every conditions of world. For example, Schaeffler, the major shareholder of Conti, is working in India to build electric cars for Indian road condition.
I saw something about this the other day and find the concept, whilst being extremely exciting, rather scary. I have total confidence that Continental have come up with a superb, safe and reliable system, but what worries me, as and when it becomes available to the general public, is how it can be abused. I remember reading in the previous article about a fully automated vehicle - the driver being able to do their Christmas shopping en-route. Whilst the system that has been approved for testing will require driver participation, this is obviously the first step towards fully automated driving. Would fully automated driving mean that one could get drunk, fall into the vehicle and allow it to legally take them home ? As I said - scary !!!