Continental Claims Cloud Automated Speed Control

A message from the cloud could take over the speed of a vehicle judged to be travelling too fast for road conditions under a system developed by Continental.

The automotive technology supplier claims its system builds on capabilities already being used in commercial fleets to promote efficient driving and forms an important stepping-stone towards full autonomous driving. Its Road Condition Observer uses the systems already present in the vehicle, such as the electronic stability control (ESC) and camera systems to assess prevailing road conditions. It then judges the tires’ estimated grip levels and transmits the data in near-time to the

At this level its eHorizon platform processes the data collected from the entire commercial fleet of vehicles with the aid of AI and other technologies to increase the reliability of the predictions. The appropriate information is then transmitted back to the vehicles where the car will employ its PreviewESC to take over the speed of the vehicle if the system judges the driver is approaching a potential hazard too quickly.

While many human motorists may feel this is an unwarranted invasion into their personal driving traits, Jakov Sprljan, technical project manager at Continental, said: “PreviewESC provides support in situations in which the driver is approaching the bend too quickly, whether because it’s a blind bend, the driver is distracted, or he or she misjudged the road surface conditions.”

However, the system’s real advantage would be less as an intrusive ADAS in a human driven car than in a Level 4 and above autonomous vehicle alerting the vehicle’s robot brain about what the optimum speed should be in the current weather conditions.

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

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