With half the world’s population living in cities – and the urban population expected to grow by another 2.5 billion in three decades – more and more vehicles are being added to already overcrowded roads.
As more cities approach “the population tipping point,” digitalization will lead the shift to a new mobility ecosystem, says Continental.
At CES 2019, Continental 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,” said Helmut Matschi, member of the Continental executive board and head of the Interior Division. “The number of connected devices exceeds the world’s population today, facilitating real-time exchange of information between vehicles, infrastructure and people. At CES 2019, Continental will demonstrate solutions that foster mobility intelligence, ease traffic congestion and reduce accidents and pollution, addressing the most critical challenges of urban mobility.”
Continental will present its first comprehensive Intelligent Intersection pilot, which is operating in the heart of 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 with experts about the value intelligent intersections can bring to smart cities.
First introduced as a concept at CES 2018, Continental’s Intelligent Intersection is “a real-world, end-to-end solution comprising a sensor set, powerful 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,” according to the company.
“The solution makes it possible to warn an oncoming driver about a crossing pedestrian outside the driver’s line of sight,” Continental explained in a news release. “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.”
Additionally, Continental’s Intelligent Intersection enables the collection of information and statistics from intersections – often congested, high-incidence zones – which then can be used for traffic flow, safety and environmental improvements.
“Like Continental, Walnut Creek prioritizes safety, efficiency, and accessibility for its road users,” said Jeremy McClain, director of systems & technology, Continental North America. “The city has high vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and a longstanding focus on transportation innovation, creating a perfect environment for piloting our Intelligent Intersection technology.”
City Fleet Management
Car-sharing is expected to experience sustained growth for the foreseeable future. In smart cities, electric-vehicle sharing is an especially attractive option to reduce noise and environmental pollution. Moreover, it provides an alternative to individual car ownership, reducing the number of cars, congestion and need for parking spaces in cities.
The City Fleet Management solution provides users easy access to shared electric vehicles, optimizing management for the fleet operator and offering excellent usability for end customers, according to Continental. 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 system optimizes fleet usage for the operator.
For example, if a customer needs to travel only a short distance, he or she doesn’t 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 optimize 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. City Fleet Management ensures proper recording of the fleet usage and if required, invoicing and payment, according to Continental.
If recharging the vehicle is necessary during the trip, the customer can earn an incentive for taking on the task, which is a significant value-add for the fleet operator. During the journey, the vehicle can be tracked, and if a critical situation arises, the driver can immediately contact the operator. Continental said it already is running successful pilots incorporating different elements of City Fleet Management in Asia, the United States and Europe.
Intelligent Street Lamps
Intelligent street lamps are a key element in the development of a safe, clean and smart city. At CES 2019, Continental will present its Intelligent Street Lamp concept.
“Transferring its automotive competency into the infrastructure of tomorrow’s cities, Continental’s Intelligent Street Lamp simplifies the management of lighting, while monitoring and analyzing environment, traffic and parking information in smart cities,” Continental explained.
Using secure connectivity and sensorics, Continental’s Intelligent Street Lamp 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. These features allow smart cities and operators to save energy and reduce cost by working more efficiently, according to Continental.
The Intelligent Street Lamp also is a valuable source of data for future smart cities. Combining the synergies between the Intelligent Intersection and Intelligent Street Lamp, Continental can increase safety beyond intersections to mid-block areas by detecting critical situations and transferring this information through V2X communication to connected vehicles, according to the company.
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, Continental’s new Intelligent Street Lamp portfolio can improve the quality of life in tomorrow’s cities, according to the company.
Going beyond infrastructure and mobility in the smart city, Continental is developing solutions to address the needs of city workers with Intelligent Wearables – smart electronics integrated into textiles.
Intelligent Wearables can contribute to lower energy consumption in vehicles and increase safety and comfort for drivers, according to Continental. Embedded within battery-powered working jackets, heating pads provide the perfect solution for warmth and efficient energy consumption. To keep the battery small and unobtrusive and to avoid the inconvenience of plugging in for recharging, the jacket is equipped with an inductive charging system that can be charged by the vehicle itself, ensuring the jacket is always ready for use.
This technology is especially suitable for rescue or construction workers. One of the main occupational hazards these individuals face is being overlooked in traffic. To increase their safety, their jackets can be equipped with active light sources, like LED strips, which ensure visibility even in the most visibly limiting conditions, such as in smoke, bad weather or at night.
“Intelligent Wearables can open a range of new possibilities in smart cities, and contribute to a safer, more economical and sustainable future,” Continental said.
City Data as a Service
The City Data as a Service (CDaaS) platform enables Continental to provide interoperable, integrated and end-to-end 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, according to the company.
The platform provides access to a pool of common customer services such as reservation, payment or routing to different solutions.
“All information generated as well as used by the solutions is shared through a data hub which meets the highest standards of privacy and security,” Continental explained. “Further, easy integration of services of third parties can be achieved by appropriate SDKs and open APIs.”
The platform collects, processes and fuses data from different solutions, thereby creating mobility intelligence, which can be used to develop new and relevant solutions to 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.
CES 2019 runs from Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas. Continental will be in North Hall booth No. 7519.