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automotive electronics Continental to showcase first concepts jointly developed with IBM By Christoph Hammerschmidt At the forthcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, automotive tier one Continental plans to demonstrate the first results of its strategic collaboration with IBM. Examples are a ‘connected electronic horizon’ for the vehicles as well as natural voice processing. The electronic horizon is a platform aiming at enabling and improving a foresighted driving style - not so much for the human driver but for the electronic control systems. Using digitized precision road maps, the system knows the further course beyond the driver’s visual horizon and offers these informations to the vehicle’s relevant control systems. This enables, for instance, to gear down and / or decelerate in due time before a vehicles reaches a slope and adapt the speed to the respective situation. In its current state, the electronic horizon utilizes static map data with topographical information, enabling the most efficient driving strategy and thus reducing fuel consumption. In contrast, the connected electronic horizon optimizes the map data by means of crowdsourcing techniques - other vehicles, traveling nearby, contribute their ‘knowledge’ of topographic and traffic situation and thus enable a more detailed situation assessment. The enhanced utilization of multiple vehicle sensors will make the electronic horizon a central function in future vehicles, believes Continental. Eventually, this approach will enable the vehicles to “look around the corner” and anticipate road conditions. This technology is also regarded as another precursor of automated driving. Beyond the electronic horizon, Continental and IBM plan to collaborate on the field of controlling vehicle functions through human voice. By merging the expertise of both partners, the duo plans to devise a cloud-based voice control solution which will be more intelligent and adaptive in comparison to today’s available solutions. Towards this end, Continental will provide its expertise in vehicle voice processing interfaces while IBM contributes its interactive dialog and content-finding techniques. My merging these ingredients, the partners intend to create an interactive, highly personalised solution based on artificial intelligence. In this solution, the dialog between the vehicle and its passengers will be unique for each user, its interaction patterns and usage history. Within the scope of their collaboration, ‘Big Blue’ IBM and Continental are developing software, technical services for vehicles and a back-end platform which will form the cornerstone of intelligent transport systems. Such scalable cloud platform services will enable automotive OEMs to offer a broad range of new vehicle-based services aiming at better utilizing the time enroute for the drivers, said Helmut Matschi, General Manager of Continental’s Interiors Division. Carmakers test C2X under winter conditions in Finland By Christoph Hammerschmidt If safety-critical technologies such as car-to-x communications eventually will be used in series vehicles and everyday transport, they have to be reliable and must not fail if weather conditions are less than excellent - and the messaging system itself must be pragmatic and useful. For this reason, several carmakers jointly test C2X under winter conditions in Finland. The DRIVE C2X project, currently conducted in the city of Tampere, includes large-scale testing of automated data communications among vehicles and between roadside infrastructure systems and vehicles under slippery and demanding weather conditions. Participants are carmakers Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Opel as well as the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT is responsible for the test site and participates in project steering, data management and impact analysis. First-stage field trials were completed at the Tampere test site past May. The current second stage tests a system whereby the drivers receive information on slippery road surfaces and traffic signs over a 22 kilometre stretch of road. Measuring points along the road transmit warnings of slippery stretches and traffic signs such as right of way or speed limits. These warning messages are displayed at the vehicle’s dashboard about 400 to 500 metres in advance. 30 drivers generate enough data material to gain statistical relevance. While the data will be analysed only in spring 2014, preliminary results seem to indicate that the tested systems have a positive effect on overall road safety, explained VTT scientist Harri Koskinen. 18 Electronic Engineering Times Europe January 2014 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE JAN 2014
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