By APA Bureau:
Continental, the technology company and manufacturer of premium tyres, presented the further development of its digital tyre monitoring platform, ContiConnect Live. To be available from the second quarter of 2019, the system will inform operators of truck and bus fleets immediately if there is a problem with the temperature or pressure of a tyre, even when the vehicle is on the road. The data are transferred to the servers and the web portal by the ContiConnect Driver app, which is also new. Before the end of this year, the app will be able to show tyre information on Daimler Fleetboard and TomTom Telematics devices as well as other Android devices, such as smart phones and tablets, initially in the driver’s cab.
Continental Executive Board Member and Head of the Tyre Division, Nikolai Setzer, said, “ContiConnect Live integrates our digital solutions for commercial vehicle tyres into the existing in-vehicle systems and displays. Fleet customers can thus embark on digital tyre management on the basis of their existing devices. Finally, we are enabling them to draw an even greater benefit from digitalisation and achieve a new level of efficiency in tyre management.”
Volvo FH As Demo Truck
As part of the IAA 2018 show, the company presented a demo vehicle from Volvo Trucks called ‘Mjölner,’ named after the hammer of the Norse God, Thor. Klaus Kreipe, Head of Truck Tyres Original Equipment at Continental, said the company produces many more components for trucks than just tyres or tyre-pressure monitoring systems. “With this demo vehicle, we want to demonstrate the wide range of components that we can supply for a modern truck,” (such as air springs and hoses, ContiConnect driver app installed in a TomTom PRO 8275 Driver Terminal and others), he said.
In Mjölner, the company demonstrated how its components are designed to cope with the extremely high level of waste heat generated by Euro-6 engines. The sleeve air springs for the cab suspension are temperature-resistant, and special heat covers protect the air springs on the front axle. Another special feature of the air springs is the special powder coating on the surface of the metal components.
The company also demonstrated its comprehensive expertise regarding the management of media in the truck – from oil for the hydraulic power steering system and refrigerant lines to compressed air for the brakes. Highly temperature-resistant solutions for the optimum transportation of oil, air containing oil and pure air for use in compressors are also installed in the truck.
Continental, Knorr-Bremse Tie-up
Continental and Knorr-Bremse AG have entered into a partnership to develop a complete system solution for highly automated driving (HAD) in commercial vehicles. Accordingly the partners will be able to offer HAD solutions for truck series production of any size. The cooperation includes all functions for driver assistance and highly automated driving. The system consists of environment recognition, driving planning and decision-making, as well as the control of the actuator systems in the vehicle (such as steering and brakes) and human-machine interaction. The latter includes the exchange of information between man and vehicle. The cooperation between the two companies will initially involve automated convoy driving (platooning). Later development work will deal with automated driving on the freeway (Highway Pilot). In addition to system solutions, both companies will continue to offer their respective functionalities, components and subsystems individually on request and can thus react very flexibly to customer requirements.
Knorr-Bremse will offer the complete system to commercial vehicle manufacturers in Europe, North America and Asia. From the beginning of 2019, the joint platooning demonstrator, a convoy of three coupled trucks from different manufacturers, will demonstrate its capabilities to selected customers.
Frank Jourdan, Member of the Executive Board of Continental and Head of the Chassis and Safety Division, said, “At the moment, the public is more aware of the use of automated driving in cars. However, we see great potential in making the intensively competitive freight transport sector significantly more efficient and, above all, safer. Continental and Knorr-Bremse are two specialist companies which are at the forefront of their respective market segments and complement each other perfectly with their portfolios. Continental brings many years of experience in assisted and automated driving and an extensive product portfolio for driver assistance sensors and system architecture – for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles.”
Dr Peter Laier, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG and responsible for the Commercial Vehicles Division, said, with this partnership both the companies are creating the first-ever total system for highly automated driving in the commercial vehicle sector. The components of the jointly developed and pre-validated systems are very well matched to one another and considerably reduce the effort and complexity of integration on the part of the manufacturers. In the future, Knorr-Bremse will provide customers with these turnkey solutions for automated driving from a single source.
HAD System Competence
At the level of environment recognition, Continental supplies the various radar and lidar sensors, cameras and connectivity technologies for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) communication. The company also provides the intelligence that uses the acquired data to create a model of the respective environment. The model is a main prerequisite for automated driving, because it enables the truck to orient itself in its environment; it recognises objects, defines lanes, complies with valid rules and uses connectivity to contribute additional information that lies outside the range of vision of the sensors. The Hanover-based technology company is also responsible for human-machine interaction, which enables communication between the driver and the truck.
At the driving planning and decision-making level, the company supplies the basic functions used in the passenger car market, including the high-performance control unit for automated driving functions. The driving dynamics of commercial vehicles are considerably more complex than those of passenger cars, due to the wide variety of different vehicle types. Knorr-Bremse’s Truck Motion Controller based on the new brake system control brings this know-how to the new partnership. In addition, Knorr-Bremse has in-depth knowledge of the factors that have a great influence on driving characteristics such as the tractor/trailer combination, vehicle length, the number of axles, combinations of one or more units, load distribution, the height of the centre of gravity, torsionally soft frames, etc. It also has expertise on all the relevant components at the actuation level, i.e. the conversion of the driving decision into actual control processes in the vehicle. These include the steering and the braking system and components in the powertrain.
On the opportunities for Continental in the changing dynamics of the commercial vehicle industry, Jorg Lutzner, Interior Systems and Technology, Commercial Vehicles, Continental, told AutoParts Asia that firstly there is no one type of customer in the ever-changing world. “Some need component solutions and others need system solutions. For autonomous driving, customers look forward to systems solution with lot of expertise. We partnered with Knorr-Bremse for this.”
“When we partner with companies, we always look for a minimal overlap but maximum fit, in terms of systems and products. We ensure that there is no clash of interest,” he said.
Even within a market the dynamics are changing and this “is a huge challenge.” The opportunity for a system or platform solution is economies of scale, especially in a fragmented market. The cost will be high if individual solutions, not derived from system or platform, are provided.
Talking on the futuristic solutions for the autonomous vehicles, beyond Radar and Lidar, he said the company is working with a few cities in developing solutions for the traffic lights to transmit digital signals, which will be much more accurate. “We see massive opportunities with small cities; it is also very similar to the approach of Continental: Sense, Plan and Act. As it is necessary to know what is happening, the number of sensors in cities will grow from cameras that are being widely used today, to other kinds of sensors. This will make the city more efficient.”
The main focus of the company at the IAA show, Lutzner said, was on automation and digitalisation of trucks making transportation more efficient, safer and secure since cyber security is gaining significance.