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How Continental is helping to create smarter, safer cities

It will also introduce its city fleet management solution which provides easy access to shared electric vehicles

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Continental's intelligent street lamp technology in action
Continental's intelligent street lamp technology in action

Continental plans to unveil a smart city portfolio including a comprehensive intelligent intersection pilot, city fleet management, an autonomous shuttle, and intelligent street lamp at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.

 

The tech company will demonstrate its solutions and key technologies for future cities around the theme: “Mobility at your service. Freedom to Live.”

 

“Intelligent mobility is an essential pillar of the smart city. The number of connected devices exceeds the world’s population today, facilitating real-time exchange of information between vehicles, infrastructure and people,” said Helmut Matschi, member of the executive board and head of the interior division, Continental.

 

“At CES 2019, [we] will demonstrate solutions that foster mobility intelligence, ease traffic congestion and reduce accidents and pollution, addressing the most critical challenges of urban mobility.”

 

Intelligent intersection in action

 

Continental’s comprehensive intelligent intersection pilot is operating in Walnut Creek, California. A three-dimensional view of the intersection, displayed using augmented reality, will let visitors experience data feeds from traffic at the junction and talk first hand with experts about the value intelligent intersections can bring to smart cities.

 

Introduced as a concept at CES 2018, the intersection is a real-world, end-to-end solution comprising a sensor set, sensor fusion algorithms to generate a comprehensive environmental model and dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) to transfer valuable information between the intersection and connected vehicles.

Continental claims it can increase safety beyond intersections to mid-block areas by detecting critical situations and transferring this information through V2X communication

According to Continental, the solution makes it possible to warn an oncoming driver about a crossing pedestrian outside the driver’s line of sight. Its data can also be used to control signal changes, streamlining traffic and reducing emissions and idling time at intersections.

 

The concept is integral to protecting vulnerable road users (VRUs) such as pedestrians and cyclists and supports drivers in complex intersection traffic scenarios, like preventing left-turning cars from running head-on into traffic that approaches from behind an occlusion. It can also inform drivers turning right about traffic approaching from the left, it said.

 

City fleet management for shared mobility

 

The city fleet management solution aims to provide users easy access to shared electric vehicles, optimising management for the fleet operator and offering excellent usability for end customers. For fleet operators, it reduces the burden of paperwork, physical handover of keys and even the task of vehicle maintenance.

 

The entire process can be completed end-to-end using a mobile app, from booking and granting access to returning the vehicle, from billing and payment to incident reporting.

"The number of connected devices exceeds the world’s population today, facilitating real-time exchange of information between vehicles, infrastructure and people”

The system optimises fleet usage for the operator. For example, if a customer needs to travel only a short distance, he/she does not need to waste time waiting for a fully charged vehicle or alternately feeling uncertain about the vehicle having insufficient range to reach the destination, as is sometimes the case today.

 

To optimise fleet usage, the operator can assign the same fleet of vehicles to two different customers with different usage time periods. For example, the same fleet of vehicles can be used by office workers during the day and a security company by night.

 

During the journey, the vehicle can be tracked and if a critical situation arises, the driver can immediately contact the operator. Continental said it is already running pilots incorporating different elements of the solution in Asia, US and Europe.

 

Intelligent street lamps

 

The intelligent street lamp is intended to simplify the management of lighting, while monitoring and analysing environment, traffic and parking information in smart cities.

 

Using secure connectivity and sensorics, the solution enables remote light control as well as adaptive street lighting depending on surrounding traffic participants. Furthermore, the new portfolio provides remote maintenance such as over-the-air updates and performance monitoring.

 

The lamp is also seen as a valuable source of data for future smart cities. Combining the synergies between the Intelligent Intersection and Intelligent Street Lamp, Continental claims it can increase safety beyond intersections to mid-block areas by detecting critical situations and transferring this information through V2X communication to connected vehicles.

 

Additionally, by identifying free parking space, the solution can reduce congestion and improve overall traffic flow. Finally, by measuring pollution levels like noise and air quality.

 

City-data-as-a-service

 

Continental said the city-data-as-a-service (CDaaS) platform enables it to provide interoperable, integrated and end2end services in the context of its smart city portfolio including intelligent intersection, intelligent street lamp, intelligent crossing, automated shuttle, smart parking and city fleet management.

“Intelligent mobility is an essential pillar of the smart city"

The platform provides access to a pool of common customer services like reservation, payment or routing to different solutions. All information generated as well as used by the solutions are shared through a data hub which meets the highest standards of privacy and security, according to Continental.

 

The platform collects, processes and fuses data from different solutions, creating mobility intelligence which can be used to develop new and relevant solutions to help improve the quality of life in smart cities.

 

For example, the intelligent street lamp can identify an available parking spot, CDaaS then leverages artificial intelligence to predict its availability for smart parking. Smart parking then guides the driver to the right parking spot.

 

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