Continental Begins Series Production of Autonomous Sensors

Continental is readying itself for series production of the sensors required to deliver commercially available driverless mobility.

It sees the vanguard of the technology being small autonomous shuttle buses or robo-taxis with room for several passengers driven on short, straightforward public routes during pilot projects and in designated areas at airports, hospitals, universities and exhibition grounds. Already this year, Continental’s technology for driverless vehicles will be in production for the first time in French company EasyMile’s EZ10 autonomous shuttle.

Continental’s CUbE radar sensor system claims to be able to detect the vehicle’s environment within a radius of up to 218 yards. The shuttle is equipped with a total of seven radar sensors, as well as laser sensors and cameras. This allows the location to be precisely determined and, at the same time, early detection of obstacles and potentially critical situations.

Naturally, safety is paramount and the company claims its braking portfolio includes technologies, such as the MK C1 one-box brake system, which in autonomous vehicles is combined with a Hydraulic Brake Extension that, with ABS, stops the vehicle in the event of primary brake failure. In this combination, they form the redundant and production-ready MK C1 HAD brake system for highly automated driving and for driverless mobility applications. The MK C1 HAD also boasts electro-mechanically generated maximum brake pressure after only 150 milliseconds. This means that automated vehicles without driver intervention can be brought to a standstill more rapidly than with conventional brake systems.

“The technological building blocks that enable robo-taxis to operate are available in principle and have been tried and tested in practice. However, we now have to intelligently, safely, and efficiently put them together to form an overall picture,” said Andree Hohm, director of driverless mobility at Continental. “Customers developing driverless mobility systems should be able to draw from a wide array of high-performance products and solutions with Continental. We are setting the course for that. At the same time, our global activities are addressing local particularities.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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