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Smart mobility powered by greater connectivity

Smart mobility powered by greater connectivity
  • Continental taps into new business areas for mobility services
  • 3D display surfaces for new-generation digital content, greater personalisation
  • Connected vehicles serve as a mobile weather station, or rental car of the future

Continental is pushing the boundaries of vehicle connectivity as it strives to deliver next-generation smart mobility solutions for the automotive industry.

"For Continental, holistic connectivity creates entirely new business models. In addition to our product business, mobility services will become the next key pillar of Continental," says Helmut Matschi, member of the Executive Board at Continental and head of the Interior Division.

To enable drivers in the future to enjoy digital content without having to stare at a classic flat media display, Continental has developed a 3D display surface featuring optically bonded, topographical elements that restore a sense of quality and allow individuality to the classic display.

In addition, the integration of digital functions in decorative surfaces for vehicle interiors is featuring more and more on customers' radars. Light integration is a vital development step in this respect.

The translucent cover material Acella Hylite produces special lighting effects that can be used, for example, for backlighting a vehicle door. Varying light sources can be used to create customised colour effects or to light up warning signals.

To improve wordless communication between drivers and their vehicles, Continental has developed user-friendly touch gestures for the cockpit to ensure the displays are geared towards the connected functions, as well as the digital world.

Holistic connectivity: the basis for new mobility services

Alongside new technological and design possibilities in the vehicle, holistic connectivity offers a range of additional benefits.

A central requirement for a range of mobility services is the acknowledgement that the better a vehicle knows its environment, the safer, more efficient and more user-friendly it is on the road. With eHorizon, Continental demonstrates how a vehicle provides important traffic information for the cloud and other road users using a so-called crowd-sourcing function in the driver assistance camera.

Numerous mobility services can be implemented on the basis of the resulting database. It is also a central element in the development of automated vehicles.

Another example of a new application that announces the concept of holistic connectivity in its name is the Holistic Connectivity Car from Continental. With this application, the company not only demonstrates how a vehicle becomes part of the Internet of Everything, but also offers an insight into the development of new services such as eHorizon.weather.

Using eHorizon technology as a basis, this solution will turn a vehicle into a mobile weather station. The service, which was devised in collaboration with Météo-France, not only increases driving safety and comfort, but also acts as a data supplier for weather forecasts.

Continental has also constructed a special-purpose, outdoor test field in France comprising 200 vehicles, which allows testing this and other services and to develop new services.

Connected fleet management and rental cars of the future

In the world of fleet management in particular, connectivity opens up whole new possibilities and enables, for example, remote and anticipatory diagnostics. vAnalytics and Remote Vehicle Data are examples of Continental services that are already available.

Through the application of VoicR, Continental is also transforming the 40-year-old analogue CB (citizens band) radio technology into a digital, speech and location-based social ad hoc network with real-time functionality. In so doing, the technology company is creating new solutions for efficient, secure and future-oriented fleet management, especially aimed at fleet operators and the commercial vehicle market.

Whether rental via an app, vehicle access via a smartphone, personalised seat adjustment or even remote diagnostics: Continental will demonstrate how holistic connectivity is changing the mobility experience of rental car users by means of a vehicle that brings together the technologies making up the rental car of the future into a single ecosystem.