Pioneer for autonomous trucks: Continental presents modular multi-sensor solution

Continental is presenting an innovative sensor solution for commercial vehicles at CES 2023 in Las Vegas. The commercial vehicle business is more complex than ever due to growing transport volumes, the rate at which trucks are equipped with new assistance systems and fleet management that is becoming ever more complex. The Continental Sensor Array provides an answer to the growing number of intelligent and automated driving systems in commercial vehicles. The multi-sensor system can be mounted over modern vehicle windshields to provide a compact, integrated solution to deal with the new complex environments of commercial vehicles.

In addition, higher levels of automation such as L4 require a larger number of different sensors that can be installed intelligently, quickly and safely. In the comprehensive sensor array solution from Continental, all integrated sensors – lidar, radar, cameras – are pre-calibrated and coordinated with one another. This supports adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, blind spot assistant and automated driving functions. The tuning significantly simplifies the installation of many sensors, their integration into the vehicle architecture and the complex process of calibration. In addition, the maintenance effort and downtimes of the vehicles are reduced. In this way, Continental is helping to make commercial vehicles and logistics companies fit for the mobility of tomorrow.

Compact, modular multi-sensor solution for safe driving with commercial vehicles

The market for automated driving is growing rapidly and commercial vehicles play a key role. Especially over long distances between logistics centers – from “hub to hub” – innovative assistance systems are already contributing to significantly more safety. The solutions will continue to revolutionize the transport business, including autonomous trucks on the highway. Sensors, software and intelligent connectivity concepts are the basis for this. As a leading system expert for radar, lidar and camera solutions for assisted and automated driving, Continental sees a decisive added value for safety, comfort and functional availability on the road in the intelligent combination of these different technologies in order to achieve Vision Zero.

“The Continental Sensor Array offers a tailored system solution approach for commercial vehicles,” said Vinh Tran, head of Autonomous Mobility business, Continental North America. “The potential of automated and autonomous driving in the commercial vehicle sector will change the industry, especially when it comes to dealing with a high number of downtimes. To realize this potential, highly complex sensor systems are required. Multiple sensor systems in a single, compact module, our solution will help companies prepare for the future of commercial mobility.”

Development, calibration, sensor maintenance, updates: everything from a single source

With the new multi-sensor system, Continental offers the entire safety-relevant sensor technology from a single source: sensors, central processing units for control, calibration of the individual sensors with each other and calibration of the overall solution when installed on the vehicle.

“A multi-sensor system in a compact solution offers vehicle manufacturers and users many advantages,” adds Tran. “Radar, lidar and cameras are pre-calibrated and coordinated with each other. This significantly reduces the effort involved in sensor assembly, sensor calibration and vehicle maintenance. And if, for example, trucks drive autonomously and are on the road around the clock, our sensor array can be easily replaced for maintenance work. That means no more costly downtime.”

In addition, the electronics architecture and wiring harnesses in commercial vehicles will be significantly streamlined – and later updates can be implemented quickly. Sensors for new assistance systems can be easily integrated into the compact solution. The overall sensor technology does not require any fundamental changes to the driver’s cab or vehicle body for future truck generations. It can also be installed on existing generations of modern trucks, provided the vehicle electrical system is prepared for this.

The cleaning and air conditioning of the sensor units is also simplified by Continental’s automatic “Camera and Sensor Cleaning, Cooling and Heating” system. All sensors independently monitor the degree of their contamination. Camera lenses are automatically cleaned by a water jet. In addition, intelligent thermal management ensures the smooth use of the sensors in all weather conditions.

Camera, lidar, radar – multi-sensor system for safe mobility

The combination of different sensor systems and their redundancy is crucial for the reliable use of driver assistance systems and autonomous driving. All sensors must be calibrated individually and matched to each other in combination. Continental sees the ideal solution for reliable detection of objects and holistic detection of the vehicle environment in the joint use of the three sensor systems camera, lidar and radar. The technology company has more than 25 years of experience in the development and integration of individually tailored, safe and robust sensor solutions from individual components to complete systems. To date, Continental has put more than 150 million sensors for assisted and automated driving functions on the road.

© BusinessWire 2023.

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