Continental sketches car-to-x landscape

Continental sketches car-to-x landscape

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

Vehicles which can communicate automatically with each other as well as with the traffic infrastructure (for instance, with traffic lights) will create a great opportunity for new functions", said Continental board member Helmut Matschi. After past month 12 carmakers have agreed on a roadmap and a joint roll-out strategy for car-to-x communications, the industry is eager to provide equipment and software for the introduction of the technology in 2015. These carmakers include Audi, BMW, Daimler, Honda, MAN, Opel, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Continental is associated member of the C2X group – along with a large number of automotive tier ones, chipmakers and research institutes. The Hanover, Germany, based company now was the first one to announce something like a product strategy for c2x. In the perspective of the company, C2X shifts the focus of telematics systems from infotainment to optimizing traffic flow and traffic safety. All data acquired by on-board sensors such as speed, position and driving direction can be made available to other traffic participants or to infrastructure entities such as traffic lights and traffic guidance systems. In addition, vehicle systems can process these data and turn them to useful information for the driver as well as for other vehicle systems such as navigation and safety systems: If the vehicle ahead, for instance, performs an emergency brake, this can be interpreted as a hint that there is an obstacle ahead. "It turns other traffic participants into enhanced vehicle sensors" said Bernhard Klumpp, manager of Continental’s Passive Safety and Sensors division. "The C2X technology allows drivers to literally look around the corner".

Fig.1: Options in the Car-to-x communications world. For better resolution click here.

In order to support the C2X serial production roll-out, Continental currently develops a number of components which can be combined for a cost-effective system. The range of components includes the M2XPro sensor and an antenna module. The M2XPro (Motion Information 2X Provider) determines the vehicle’s position. By fusing data from the GPS system and the vehicle’s driving dynamics systems the system achieves very exact results. By means of a smart fusion algorithm, this sensor provides motion data and a very exact time basis to other on-board ECUs. In addition the M2XPro can compute the car-to-x functions, making a separate C2X computer redundant. In combination with the intelligent antenna module the system can make these data also available to nearby vehicles and the infrastructure. The antenna module also contains RF transmitter and receiver circuitry. Thus, it acts as a platform for multiple services – from C2X to mobile phone, FM and digital infotainment radio, GPS and WiFi.

On November 13 and 14, the Car 2 Car forum has scheduled its next meeting. The group will gather in Gothenburg, Sweden, to discuss he implementation of the C2X technology in serial production. Other topics include infrastructure investments, use cases and compliance assessment.

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