Continental and BMW Group Working Together to Develop Freeway-Grade Highly
-- Agreement on research partnership through to end of 2014
-- Development targets co-pilot for highly automated driving on European
-- Project benefits from Continental's systems expertise in vehicle safety,
driver information and powertrain technology
HANOVER, Germany and MUNICH, Feb. 26, 2013
HANOVER, Germanyand MUNICH, Feb.26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --The international
automotive supplier Continental, based in Hanover, and the Munich-based BMW
Group are pooling their development capacities to define the long-term
prerequisites for series introduction of highly automated driving on European
freeways. In January 2013, the two companies signed an agreement to jointly
develop an electronic co-pilot for this purpose. The overarching aim of the
research partnership is to pave the way to highly automated driving functions
beyond the year 2020.
"Automated driving is a key element in future mobility. It will significantly
enhance safety, comfort and efficiency on the roads," said Dr. Elmar
Degenhart, Chairman of the Executive Board of Continental. "In collaboration
with BMW Group, we will work out an overarching technical concept that enables
highly automated freeway driving in a way that is safe, attractive, and
affordable for end customers. We are enriching the project with our systems
expertise in the areas of vehicle safety, driver information, and powertrain
technology," he added.
"The joint research project with BMW Group addresses the enormous need for the
kind of R&D required to realize the vision of automated driving. After all,
driving cannot be automated overnight. It is, much more, a gradual process,
stretching out over a period of over ten years," Degenhart continued.
The cooperative project between the BMW Group and Continental runs through to
the end of 2014. Several prototype test vehicles equipped for automated
driving are set to be built in the course of these two years. The research
prototypes will then be made available to a select team of trained test
participants. Employing close-to-production technology, testing will involve
analyzing highly automated driving functions not only on German freeways but
on freeways in other European countries as well. The tests will cover all the
challenges freeways pose, such as interchanges, toll plazas and roadworks.
Continental Brings Its Extensive Systems Expertise to the Project
As research partner, Continental will make key contributions in several areas
of the project. The company will provide the driving environment sensor
systems needed to operate the test vehicles, for example. The aim here is to
create a high-performance model of the vehicle environment. This will involve
the use of both long-range radar and camera systems already in series
production at Continental.
To ensure incident-free use of the test fleet at all times, Continental will
develop a safety architecture that allows for stable operation of test
vehicles even if malfunctions occur. In addition to helping with the
construction of the test vehicles, the company will play a key role in
defining both the functional and the electrical/electronic architecture (E/E
architecture). Continental will be involved in the development of functions
and in conducting the necessary backend research under BMW Group's guidance.
Automated Driving: Continental with Many Years of Research Experience
Today, more than 1,300 specialists at Continental are already working on the
basics of automated driving. They deal specifically with driver assistance
systems, such as adaptive cruise control and emergency brake assistance. These
make use of sophisticated technology like cameras and infrared and radar
systems to record the vehicle environment in various driving situations,
thereby alerting, assisting, and relieving the driver. In 2013, Continental is
investing more than EUR100 million in R&D.
Continental is already a leading manufacturer of driver assistance systems.
Since the first series project in 1999 for the Mercedes S-Class, the company
has realized more than 100 projects for automotive manufacturers worldwide.
What is more, Continental has racked up many years of experience in the design
of display and user interfaces and in the energy management of powertrain
systems. The strategic advanced development unit coordinates systems-level
integration on a cross-domain basis. In conjunction with its network of
partners in the field of information and communication technology, this setup
enables Continental to realize a holistic approach to automated driving. The
global supplier can also look back on many years of development activities in
the field of automation. In 2011, for instance, as part of the EU research
project HAVEit, the company developed a highly automated assist system for
driving in traffic jams and around roadworks. The project provided an example
of technology suitable for a complex traffic scenario.
Alongside its involvement in other research projects (AKTIV, DARPA Urban
Challenge), the company completed a two-week endurance test with already
close-to-production technology in the U.S. state of Nevada in early 2012. Over
15,000 miles of highly automated driving have been recorded on public roads,
primarily in Nevada. In December 2012, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles
(DMV) authorized Continental's use of this vehicle on the state's public roads
for the purpose of testing autonomated driving. This makes Continental the
first automotive supplier to receive this kind of license from the respective
With preliminary sales of €32.7 billion in 2012, Continental is among the
leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems,
systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation,
infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires, and technical elastomers,
Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate
protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile
communication. Continental currently has more than 170,000 employees in 46
SOURCE Continental Automotive
Contact: Vincent Charles, Spokesperson, Innovations & Technology Continental
AG, +49 511 938-1622, Fax: +49 511 938-1016, email@example.com, or
Soeren Pinkow, External Communication, Continental Division Chassis & Safety,
+49 69 7603-8492, Fax: +49 69 7603-3945,
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