“Making future mobility happen, today!” is Continental’s tagline for this year’s IAA MOBILITY in Munich, where the technology company will present its unique portfolio of software-based and sustainable mobility solutions. These range from innovative high-performance computers and solutions for the rapid, cost-efficient implementation of digital mobility, to sustainable vehicle interiors of the future and concept tires for extremely energy-efficient urban driving. “From the road to the cloud: our technology portfolio ranges from premium tires to software solutions, putting us in a unique market position,” said CEO Nikolai Setzer. Pointing to the technologies to be presented at the IAA, he added: “We’re developing the new horsepower for the mobility of the future. Today, four out of every five new cars worldwide are already fitted with hardware and software solutions from Continental – ensuring safety, comfort and convenience, and sustainability.”
Visitors to the trade fair will be able to experience Continental’s latest solutions firsthand at booth B10 in hall A2. To kick off the fair, a press conference will be held with Philipp von Hirschheydt, member of the Executive Board and head of the Automotive group sector, at the Continental booth on September 4, 2023, from 10:10 to 10:30 a.m. CEST.
The superbrain: intelligent high-performance vehicle computer
As well as advanced hardware, software is becoming increasingly important for the automotive industry. Continental is proactively helping to shape the transition to software-based cars, with around 21,000 software and IT specialists working on new and improved products such as high-performance computers (HPCs).
A new addition to Continental’s extensive HPC portfolio is the Smart Cockpit HPC, a preconfigured system combining the instrument cluster, infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems. At the IAA MOBILITY, Continental and a tech-industry partner will show, using a demonstration vehicle (hall B2/booth A12), how the Smart Cockpit HPC can make the mobility of the future a reality at minimum cost and within a short development time.
Virtual development made easy with Amazon Web Services
With automotive manufacturers bringing new models to market faster and providing customers with regular software updates, we need new approaches to accelerate and broaden the development and testing of automotive software. Until now, most functional and safety problems could only be remedied once the physical electronic control unit (ECU) was available. Fixing problems in later phases sometimes resulted in up to a tenfold increase in development costs.
The solution is the new virtual Electronic Control Unit (vECU) Creator based on Continental Automotive Edge (CAEdge), a platform for hardware and software development launched by Continental and Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2021. Automotive software developers are already able to use the vECU Creator to decouple hardware and software decision-making, while the virtual simulation of digital functions enables engineers to quickly and continuously improve microcontroller-based ECUs, zone controllers and high-performance computers. Thanks to vECUs, software applications can be 90% programmed before they are deployed on the target hardware, greatly increasing the efficiency of product launches. The new vECU Creator thus marks the next step in automotive system development.
Toward an autonomous future
Continental continues to drive forward autonomous driving. In partnership with US semiconductor specialist Ambarella, the technology company is developing integrated full-stack systems for assisted and automated driving. These scalable multisensor systems operate using AI and a particularly powerful, energy-efficient chip system from Ambarella, as well as high-resolution cameras, radar and lidar sensors and associated control units from Continental. Continental and Ambarella recently received the first customer order for these jointly developed solutions as a complete Level 4 fallback system. At the trade show, Continental will provide insights into how the system solutions interact and make mobility more autonomous and safer.
Greater protection for vulnerable road users
The safety of vulnerable road users remains a top priority for Continental. Its main focus is on preventing and protecting against accidents due to driver error when turning, reversing and parking. In Germany alone, according to the Federal Statistical Office, such driving maneuvers accounted for over 50,000 accidents involving personal injury last year. At the IAA MOBILITY, Continental will present a compact, easy-to-integrate system solution for dynamic near-field projections based on micro-LED technology. This system will be able to signal when a vehicle is changing direction, for example, by projecting dynamic warnings or vehicle dimensions in the vehicle’s immediate surroundings with micro-LEDs.
Safe and sustainable brake systems
Brakes remain one of the most important safety features in vehicles. They not only have to contribute to driving safety in hazardous circumstances, but they must also enhance vehicle efficiency. In other words, they must help to reduce CO2 emissions and particle emissions (in the case of friction brakes). At the IAA MOBILITY, Continental will present its roadmap for future brake systems that increase safety and sustainability in equal measure.
One example is a semi-dry brake system, which uses “dry” electromechanical brakes on the rear axle that do not require brake fluid. The advantage for automotive manufacturers is that there is no need to fill and bleed the brake system during production. What is more, this reduces the amount of hazardous old brake fluid that has to disposed of properly after every change by many millions of liters.
SPACE D design concept for wellness in the vehicle
The trend of cocooning emphasizes the importance of our homes as places of retreat, safety and comfort, with a big part of this being sustainable and convenient solutions. Wellness is set to play a major role in vehicle interiors as well, transforming vehicles into a new space to live in and enjoy. At the exhibition in Munich, Continental will offer a glimpse into the interior space of autonomous mobility with its SPACE D design concept. The “D” in the name “SPACE D” stands for the high design standards of this visionary concept.
Also on show will be the surface materials Benova Eco Protect, which makes a lasting visual impression and is certified with the PETA label for vegan products, Acella, which is especially sustainable thanks to its bio-based raw materials and recycled content, as well as being highly customizable, and Xpreshn Hylite Concept, a translucent surface material that allows for new designs and functions. With their sustainability, attractive and natural design and versatile technology, these surfaces take comfort and driving to a whole new level.
Enhanced sustainability on the road thanks to Continental tires
The UltraContact NXT shows how quickly sustainable products at Continental are going into production and onto the road.Continental first unveiled the most sustainable production tire in the industry at its TechShow this summer. Comprising up to 65 percent renewable, recycled and mass balance-certified materials, the UltraContact NXT combines a high share of sustainable materials with maximum safety. Production of the tire started in July, and all 19 sizes are now available to buy. They also have the highest possible rating (“A”) of the EU tire label in the categories of rolling resistance, wet braking and exterior noise.
Continental’s exceptional materials expertise is also reflected in a new concept tire that the company will present to the public for the first time at the IAA MOBILITY, with a focus on particularly energy-efficient urban driving.