tAUBURN HILLS — International automotive supplier Continental is on the road to realizing a world of accident-free driving. The company recently completed a two-week endurance test with more than 6,000 miles of highly-automated driving on public road in Nevada. The state is the first to explicitly permit automated driving on public roads.
tThe technology aimed to reduce the redundancy of long drives without serving as primary vehicle guidance. The vehicles were equipped with technologies for monitoring immediate surroundings, such as the MFC 300, a camera that measures the size and distance of potential obstacles, the MK 100, an electronically controllable braking system, and electric power steering (EPS).
tContinental's system is unique in that it differs from the laser sensors and tailor-made actuators in other highly-automated or autonomous vehicles.
t"The vehicle is able to use close-to-production sensors and logic to detect more complex scenarios and, consequently, is able to relieve drivers of the tedium of monotonous activities, such as driving in traffic jams, by automating," said Matthias Strauss, project engineer for advanced driver assistance systems in the Advanced Engineering department in Continental's Chassis & Safety Division.
tIn situations which exceeded the current capabilities of highly-automated driving, such as around tight bends or where road markings could not be detected, the system switched itself off and the driver had to resume control of the vehicle. If the driver failed to react, the vehicle's speed was gradually reduced until it came to a stop.
tContinental's sites in Frankfurt, Germany, and Auburn Hills, Michigan will work together to further test and develop the system.