Continental Develops Technologies to Connect Drivers, Pedestrians


Continental, a global automotive supplier with its North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, is developing technologies to connect vehicles and pedestrians via smartphones to help make drivers more aware of passive and moving objects.

“Protecting non-vehicle road users is one of the greatest challenges on the road to accident-free driving,” says Bernhard Klumpp, head of the passive safety and sensorics unit at Continental. “Short-range communication can play a major role in bringing us one step closer to our goal of zero traffic-related fatalities.”

Klumpp says the technology will allow cars and trucks will be able to identify the location of pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists. He says short-range communication will make it easier to quickly exchange accurate position data.

The position and movement predictions of pedestrians will be transmitted anonymously to the vehicle. Incoming messages are authenticated and processed in less than one-tenth of a second. Klumpp says the higher-level control unit in the vehicle decides whether the driver needs to be warned or if a braking intervention is necessary.

The short-range communication technology can detect pedestrians within a range of 900 to 1,500 feet, and predict their location more accurately than a GPS-based localization of a pedestrian. Klumpp says short-range communication is essential for exchanging information such as pedestrian location, vehicle position, dynamics, and brake operation.

Germany-based Continental is a developer of tires, brake systems, automotive safety systems, and powertrain components. The company has more than 205,000 employees in 53 countries.