Frankfurt, Germany – Continental has made significant advances in its work on human-machine interaction, intelligent intersections, and special driving functions for inner-city intersections as part of the @CITY joint project for automated driving in cities. A total of 15 companies, universities and research institutes, supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection, were involved in @CITY. Mastering urban traffic is considered the key discipline of automated driving. The highly complex traffic situations common there can only be mastered with immense software expertise and high-performance sensor technology and processing capacity.
“Continental has long since ceased to be a pure hardware supplier. There are already more than a billion cars on the road worldwide that are running on Continental software. We want to expand this,” says Gilles Mabire, Continental’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Automated driving in the city is getting closer
Continental is at the forefront of automated driving technology, with cutting-edge innovations that enable safe and efficient mobility in urban environments. Our @CITY project is developing prototype technologies that will revolutionize transportation in cities, making it easier and more convenient than ever before.
This is made possible by, for example, merging data from a car’s environmental sensors – such as the front camera, surround-view cameras, long- and short-range radars, and lidar – with other external data. This allows digital maps or weather and traffic information to be used to further sharpen the vehicle’s “senses”. This enables the vehicle’s electronics to determine the exact position of the car, for example, independently of external sources such as GPS – an essential prerequisite for being able to optimally react in unclear or critical situations.
It is not only critical for an automated vehicle to know its own position with precision, but also the positions of all other road users in its vicinity – especially cyclists and pedestrians. To further improve safety, Continental has developed an infrastructure sensor concept that can detect weaker road users even when they are obscured by other objects, like parked trucks or advertising pillars. This involves installing additional sensor technology at key urban junctions, which then communicates the location of road users to the vehicle via radio waves. This measure significantly increases safety, especially in unclear situations. prototypes of these systems are already being tested on public roads in Frankfurt.
Intelligent software protects pedestrians and cyclists in particular
Continental is committed to developing the software necessary for automated vehicles to safely and effectively interact with pedestrians and cyclists. In @CITY, we relied on artificial intelligence and neural networks to train and validate our algorithms. CTO Gilles Mabire emphasizes the importance of such measures, saying that “it is crucial for automated driving to train and validate the algorithms.” With this in mind, we will continue to create safe and reliable solutions for all road users.
The automated vehicle uses light signals from a light strip to communicate with other road users and passengers. For example, the vehicle will brake for a pedestrian. This information is also communicated to the passengers so that they can understand the reason for braking.