Continental demonstrates Predictive Connectivity Manager

Mobile World Congress 2018

Advertisements
continental automotive predictive connectivity manager
© Continental AG
  • Intelligent data and channel management for predictive, holistic connectivity
  • Network availability forecast ensures optimum connectivity even on remote roads
  • Technology serves need for Always On Connectivity

Barcelona, February 26, 2018. It’s a problem all too familiar to those who spend a lot of time driving in rural areas: Mobile network reception is poor, with phone calls suddenly cutting out or music streaming coming to a halt. In many regions, lower bandwidths and high latency still diminish the user experience and prevent drivers from seamlessly transferring their digital lifestyle into their car. In response, technology company Continental has developed a Predictive Connectivity Manager that “looks” into the future to determine network availability and reception quality along the route so that it can then take appropriate action.

“The intelligent mobility of the future depends on connectivity that is as gap-free as possible. To allow drivers to get the best out of the existing network coverage, we have developed a predictive data and connectivity management solution. This enables us to not only identify reception white spots in advance, but also take action for a better user experience,” explains Johann Hiebl, head of Continental’s Infotainment & Connectivity business unit.

The project is an evolution of the Smart Telematics solution that Continental developed together with Carnegie Technologies. With Smart Telematics, it is already possible to aggregate available communication channels to get more bandwidth or to seamlessly switch between the channels once the reception quality becomes poor. The Predictive Connectivity Manager is an add-on to not only handle connectivity issues once they arise, but to develop intelligent data management and download strategies for a more anticipatory drive.

Crowd sourcing to determine network quality

To calculate the quality of reception along the road ahead, the connectivity manager collects data on the availability and quality of the communication channels from vehicles traveling along the same route, based on their current GPS position as well as what time and day of the week it is. This data is then processed and analyzed in the backend using Continental.cloud. The resulting database contains a range of data including information on signal strength, bandwidth, cellular standard and latency, as well as the cost of establishing a network connection at a specific position and the availability of different networks and providers.

In order for the vehicle’s data and channel management system to respond predictively, the connectivity manager must also be capable of predicting the route that the driver will take. To determine this “most probable path,” the software analyzes the vehicle’s pre-calculated route continuously and also accesses the navigation data. “Thanks to the combination of crowd sourced data from vehicles already traveling on the same route and their calculated route ahead, our connectivity manager really can take a glimpse into the future,” says Hiebl.

Compensation for network outages to guarantee optimum user experience

If the connectivity manager sees that the connection along the road ahead is getting worse, or that network coverage will soon not be available, a number of possible actions may be taken. On the one hand, the software could alert the drivers of upcoming network outage and inform them when the connection will likely be available again. A digital assistant could even switch to another, data independent application instead. On the other hand, the solution could prioritize between data intensive applications according to defined guidelines. It could temporarily provide the download of a software update with less bandwidth, for example, so that the current music stream is not interrupted. In addition, predictive channel management makes it possible to switch seamlessly between the various available channels depending on network quality and cost – from mobile networks, available WLAN hotspots in big cities or even satellite connection. In other words, if one channel offers better reception quality than another, the connectivity manager can switch between the networks.

Intelligent software as a digital companion

The Predictive Connectivity Manager can either run discreetly in the background and make its own decisions or actively involve the driver so that they can decide which of the available options to use. “We are constantly refining and enhancing our innovations to take them to a whole new level. With the Predictive Connectivity Manager, we are introducing a new technology that is serving the constant need of Always On connectivity. That way, safe, efficient and comfortable mobility is no longer a vision,” says Hiebl.

Continental will be unveiling the Predictive Connectivity Manager at the Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona. Visitors can find all trade fair innovations and technology developed by the company in hall 6, booth 6B50 at the MWC 2018. In the outdoor area OA3B.40, Continental will also be showcasing two demonstration vehicles.

Source

Image Source

Continental introduces New Wheel Concept for electric vehicles

  • New division between wheel and axle: Continental presents the New Wheel Concept, which optimizes the braking system specifically of the electric vehicle (EV).
  • The design enables the use of a large aluminum brake disk and solves the problem of bad braking performance due to corroded brake disks.
  • The dual New Wheel Concept also reduces the weight of the wheel and brake and reduces service costs due to a lifetime brake disk and an easy brake pad change.

Frankfurt/Main, Germany. The technology company Continental has again expanded its solution portfolio for electric vehicles, developing the New Wheel Concept to meet the specific requirements of these vehicles. The wheel rim consists of two aluminum (Al) parts, the inner Al carrier star with the Al brake disk and the outer Al rim well with the tire. In contrast to conventional wheel brakes, the New Wheel Concept brake engages the Al disk from the inside. This allows it to have a particularly large diameter, which benefits the braking performance.

To increase the vehicle’s range, deceleration in the EV generates as much electricity as possible through recuperation (= braking using the electric motor), so the wheel brake is used less frequently. The corrosion-free Al brake disk also prevents the formation of rust (as is normal on cast-iron disks) which can impair the braking effect.

“Electromobility needs new solutions for braking technology too,” says Matthias Matic, Head of Continental’s Hydraulic Brake Systems Business Unit. “Using conventional brakes is not very effective in this case. The New Wheel Concept meets all the demands that electric driving places on the brake. We used our braking know-how to develop a solution that provides a consistently reliable braking effect in the electric vehicle.”

Thanks to the lightweight material, the New Wheel Concept reduces the weight of the wheel and brake, enabling lightweight construction in EVs. Advantages of the concept are much easier wheel and brake pad changes and that the disk is not subject to wear.

Rethinking the wheel

The New Wheel Concept is based on a new division between the wheel and the axle. Here the wheel consists of two parts, the aluminum carrier star, which remains permanently bolted to the wheel hub, and the rim well, which is bolted to the star. The wheel brake is fastened to the wheel carrier of the axle and engages from the inside with an annular aluminum brake disk, which in turn is bolted to the carrier star. The internal brake permits a wide brake disk friction radius, since the space available in the wheel is optimally utilized. During its development, the New Wheel Concept’s braking performance was initially designed for medium and compact class vehicles. In accordance with today’s requirements for this application, the brake is sturdy and fulfills all the established criteria – although it is used much less frequently in an EV.

Continental New-Wheel-Concept-Wheel
The dual New Wheel Concept also reduces the weight of the wheel and brake and reduces service costs due to a lifetime brake disk and an easy brake pad change.

“In EVs, it’s crucial that the driver expends as little energy as possible on the friction brake,” says Paul Linhoff, Head of Brake Pre-Development in the Chassis & Safety Business Unit at Continental. “During a deceleration, the momentum of the vehicle is converted into electricity in the generator to increase the vehicle’s range. That’s why the driver continues to operate the brake pedal – but it certainly doesn’t mean that the wheel brakes are active too.” The deceleration torque of the electric motor is only no longer sufficient by itself when the driver brakes more energetically, or braking also has to carried out with the non-driven axle for driving dynamics reasons. The wheel brake is needed in this situation – and it must be available. “Drivers want to be able to rely on a consistent braking effect – and too much rust on the brake disk in particular can really make this difficult,” Linhoff emphasizes. The reason behind the reduced performance is less friction between the brake pad and the brake disk. The automatic emergency braking function also has to fully rely on the availability of the friction brake effect.

In perfect harmony – material and design

The design of the New Wheel Concept uses the strengths of lightweight aluminum material for the brake. Thanks to the long leverage effect on the large brake disk, relatively low clamping forces are enough to provide a high level of braking efficiency – and since aluminum is a very good heat conductor, the heat generated in the disk during braking is quickly dissipated.

Continental New Wheel Concept
The design enables the use of a large aluminum brake disk and solves the problem of bad braking performance due to corroded brake disks.

Continental assumes, after the results of the initial practical tests, that the Al disk itself is not subject to wear, unlike cast-iron disks. With the New Wheel Concept, abrasion only takes place on the pads, and the design of the Concept makes replacing them – and the wheels – much easier. The New Wheel Concept has yet another positive: “Because the brake disk is fixed on the outside and the brake engages from the inside, the brake caliper can be designed particularly light and stiff. The force is transmitted largely symmetrically into the center of the axle, and this has a favorable effect on the noise behavior of the brake,” says Linhoff – and that’s a side effect which is particularly attractive in a quiet EV.

Continental will also demonstrate the New Wheel Concept during the International Motor Show, IAA in Frankfurt/Main (Hall 5.1. Booth A07 / A08).

Source: Continental AG