World News: Continental develops new pre-crash sensor

World News:  Continental develops new pre-crash sensor

Continental Automotive Systems has developed an optical sensor – the closing velocity sensor. The pre-crash system assists the driver in braking if there is the risk of a rear-end collision, thus reducing the severity or even completely avoiding accidents at low speeds.

This system has been prepared for production in conjunction with a major European car manufacturer.

As the world's first system of this type, it will be launched in a series production car in 2008.

Continental’s pre-crash system scans the space in front of the vehicle up to approximately ten metres ahead in three areas, to the right, the left and straight ahead. If the system detects an object, it calculates distance and closing speed.

If the distance between vehicles is closing so quickly that a rear-end collision is imminent, the brakes are put on alert mode, i.e. sufficient pressure is built up in the braking system that the brakes respond as soon as the driver applies the brake pedal.

If the driver takes his/her foot off the accelerator, the pre-crash system initiates automatic braking at up to 0.5 g.

If the driver operates the brake pedal with too little sustained pressure, the intervention of brake assist ensures the maximum possible braking power.

As a further driver protection function, the system can also tighten the safety belt.

During the development of the system it was demonstrated that these measures in combination can prevent a car travelling at up to 35 km/h towards a stationary obstacle from crashing into it.

The CV sensor is sensitive enough to register single-track vehicles (motorcycles or bicycles) and pedestrians.

This new sensor provides the automotive industry with a system that makes precrash functionality affordable even for small and mid-range vehicles, as it is easily integrated into the vehicle electronics and does not require any adjustment to the vehicle structure.

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