More Safety in Every Vehicle Category

The 24 gigahertz radar system makes it less expensive to integrate advanced driver assistance systems. 360-degree hazard detection increases comfort and safety

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Aug. 26, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — The development by Continental, the international automotive supplier, of a new mid-range radar reinforces the company’s strategy of making advanced driver assistance systems available to smaller vehicle categories as soon as possible. Until recently, technologies such as the intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system were mostly found in the premium segment vehicles. This new sensor generation will go into series production in 2011.

“The new mid-range radar system is tangible evidence of Continental’s belief in making all-round safety available to every car driver, and it represents an extension of our ContiGuard safety concept,” said Amrei Drechsler, Vice President of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems segment of the Chassis & Safety Division.

The radar sensor detects vehicles up to 160 yards away

The new mid-range radar generation, developed by Continental, can operate to the front, the rear and to the side, thus allowing the integration of a variety of advanced driver assistance functions. By monitoring the adjacent traffic lanes, it removes the element of danger inherent in lane changing. When facing rearwards, the radar sensor will detect a possible rear end collision early on. By detecting objects to the side of the vehicle, it can assist the driver when making turns. The radar system monitors the traffic ahead up to a distance of more than 160 yards. This makes it the ideal choice for use with ACC, not just in urban traffic or on country roads but also on freeways up to a speed of around 80 mph which applies in most countries. The multi-channel radar system works at a resolution frequency which can detect every relevant vehicle from two-wheelers to trucks. In addition, it offers cost benefits compared to radar technologies which employ higher frequencies. Savings on components and production costs and easier integration in the vehicle form the basis of a new pricing level, allowing the system to be fitted in all vehicles including the compact and sub-compact categories. One Japanese vehicle manufacturer has been successfully installing Continental’s 24 gigahertz technology for several years now as a blind-spot monitoring system.

Complete range of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) functions and Forward Collision Alert (FCA) functions

ACC based on mid-range radar provides all the usual comfort functions. Just like a standard cruise control system, it maintains a constant selected speed. It also monitors the traffic ahead and regulates both speed and vehicle distance. The radar sensor measures the speed of the vehicle in front, compares it with its own speed and determines the correct distance. Before it gets too close to the vehicle in front, ACC either reduces engine power or gently applies the brakes until the distance is again appropriate. If the vehicle in front speeds up or moves to a different lane, ACC automatically accelerates until the cruising speed previously set is reached again. If the road becomes very busy and the traffic is stop-and-start, ACC reduces the vehicle’s speed down to a standstill. This sensor is also designed to meet the NHTSA NCAP Forward Collision Alert/Warning requirements.

ACC also communicates with the Electronic Stability Control’s steering wheel sensor. As a result, in curves or multi-lane roads, it knows which of the vehicles in front it needs to keep an eye on. If the vehicle distance changes very rapidly, perhaps because the vehicle in front brakes sharply or because a car squeezes in from another lane, ACC will brake at up to 40 percent of the maximum possible braking power. If this by itself is not sufficient, the advanced driver assistance system will alert the driver to the imminent danger and request him to apply additional brake pressure. The warning may be in the form of an acoustic warning, visible information in the head-up display or instrument cluster, or felt as a slight vibration of the steering wheel, depending on whichever method fits in with the manufacturer’s philosophy.

Advanced driver assistance systems prevent accidents

The greater use of safety and advanced driver assistance systems is essential if the number of road accidents and the number of people killed or injured in road accidents is to be significantly reduced in the next few years.

Source: Continental

CONTACT: Kathryn Blackwell, Vice President, Communications and Marketing, Continental Corp., +1-248-393-6593
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