Continental has begun production of a series of technologies for Robo-taxis
Continental technologies such as ABS, radar and redundant brake system used in the series production for the first time Robo-taxis
With Cube Development Platform, real-world testing is conducted in a wide range of application areas for technology development
A new pilot project has begun in Auburn Hills, Michigan
Auburn Hills, Mich .– At the technology company Continental, researchers and developers in North America, Europe, and Asia are working to produce a series of proven production technologies for use in Robo-taxis. Although rare in public roads today, driverless robot-taxis have become an important part of urban centers’ mobility, helping to reduce traffic congestion and increase efficiency. This year, Continental technology for driverless vehicles will be produced for the first time in the French company EasyMile’s EZ10 Autonomous Shuttle. Continental has been a shareholder in this driverless vehicle maker since 2017.
Tailor-Made Technologies for Driverless Mobility Systems
Continental has developed a product-ready radar system designed specifically for driverless vehicles. By combining data from different sensor technologies, the vehicle is able to create a 360-degree image of its environment by determining redundancy and higher-level accuracy. These radar systems operate independently of visual conditions and can “see” objects such as parked cars.
Image Source: Continental
The central development platform for this purpose is a small driverless shuttle based on the CUbE, EZ10 platform. Not only does the cube develop into a production vehicle, but the continental technologies, such as brake systems and ambient sensors, are market-ready so that they can be used in the production of the Robo-Taxi series.
“The technology building blocks that enable robotics are derived from the production of high-volume cars and are adapted to this new type of movement,” said Jeremy McClain, director of systems & technology at Continental North America. “While driverless vehicles are revolutionary in their nature, the process is in the process of evolving, in this case drawing a wide range of high-performance products and solutions from Continental.”
Continental’s radar sensor, used later this year on EasyMile’s EZ10 Autonomous Shuttle, detects the vehicle’s atmosphere at a radius of 200 meters. The vehicle has seven radar sensors, laser sensors, and cameras. These sensors allow the vehicle to determine its exact location, while at the same time detecting obstacles and potential conditions.
Recursive Brake Systems and ABS Functions for Robo-Taxis
Continental’s braking portfolio includes robot-to-taxi technologies, such as the MK C1 One-Box Brake System. The system has been in series production since 2016 and combines ABS, ESC and brake boosters. In autonomous vehicles, the one-box brake system is combined with hydraulic brake extension, which, together with the ABS, can safely brake the vehicle in the event of primary brake failure. Together, these systems create a product-ready MK C1 HAD brake system for automated driving and driverless mobility applications. The MK C1 HAD offers an additional safety benefit: the electromechanically generated maximum brake pressure is achieved only after 150 milliseconds. This means that without driver intervention, automated vehicles can now be stopped quickly compared to conventional brake systems.
This is the first time Robo-taxis are fitted with the ABS function, which is especially important when driverless vehicles are on the road in winter conditions. Vehicle dynamics systems such as ABS, ESC and Traction Control allow vehicles to safely pull on icy roads and provide maximum traction on slippery slopes or braking.
Additionally, smaller bus-sized robot-taxis have a higher center of gravity than conventional cars, allowing passengers to enter and exit the vehicle in an upright position. A driving dynamics system can ensure safe and consistent handling around the bend – now part of a range of innovative and high-performance vehicle control systems from Continental.
Research in locations worldwide with a single goal: the Robo-taxi of the future
The global network in the US, Germany, China, Japan, and Singapore is leading the development of these technologies. In these areas, research and development work is carried out with different priorities, each using the Cube Platform as a joint goal of future generations of safe and efficient robot-taxis. Driverless mobility services are being implemented today, in particular, areas such as on company premises or on specially defined urban areas. However, it could take another decade for the robot-taxis to change