“IAA MOBILITY 2021:
Continental Celebrates World Premiere and Presents Pioneering Solutions for Autonomous Driving”
- World premiere of Conti GreenConcept: Continental unveils particularly sustainable tire concept
- Technology company showcases expertise in new platform architectures and high-performance vehicle computers
- CEO Nikolai Setzer: “Our goal is and will continue to be global technology leadership when it comes to assisted and automated driving”
- Retro meets future: AMBIENC3 concept vehicle is presented to the world for the first time and combines driving, working and relaxing in one interior
At this year’s IAA MOBILITY in Munich, Continental is presenting innovative and sustainable solutions for the future of global mobility. Under the tagline “Safe. Connected. Convenient. Driving the Future of Mobility for 150 Years,” the technology company is focusing on the safe, sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods, both in hall B1 (booth C20) and virtually. Continental will be showcasing its latest solutions in the innovation areas of assisted and automated driving, high-performance computers and software for server-based architectures, safety technologies, user experience, and sustainability. “The results of our mobility study prove how great the need for personal mobility continues to be worldwide – especially during the pandemic,” said Continental CEO Nikolai Setzer, on the occasion of the IAA press conference on Monday in Munich. “People enjoy the freedom of personal mobility while at the same time attaching importance to sustainability and emission-free driving. We offer groundbreaking solutions in these areas.”
Further step toward sustainability
At the IAA MOBILITY, Continental is presenting a world first in the form of a particularly sustainable tire concept: the Conti GreenConcept. Its integrated sustainability profile sets new standards. Continental’s development engineers and material experts have worked on three levels to achieve this: at more than 50 percent, the tire contains a particularly high proportion of traceable, renewable and recycled materials. The tire concept is based on innovative, resource-saving lightweight technology and ensures an extended service life thanks to a renewable tread.
The proportion of renewable raw materials used in the Conti GreenConcept is 35 percent. The organic materials used include natural rubber from dandelions, silicate from the ashes of rice husks, and various vegetable oils and resins, which significantly reduce the amount of crude oil-based materials. In addition, the Conti GreenConcept is made from 17 percent recycled materials. As well as processed steel and carbon black, Continental is using polyester from recycled PET bottles in the casing of a tire for the first time.
Thanks to a special lightweight design, the developers have significantly reduced the weight and rolling resistance of the concept tire. All the individual improvements together result in significantly lower rolling resistance for the Conti GreenConcept. Based on internal analysis, this is around 25 percent lower than that of a tire with class A rolling resistance according to the EU tire label, the best in this area. The Conti GreenConcept therefore has a measurable positive effect on the environment. Lower rolling resistance means the vehicle consumes less energy, which in the case of electric vehicles extends their range by up to 6 percent.
Another advantage of the tire is its renewable tread. The Conti GreenConcept can be replaced multiple times with little effort in terms of time and materials. This vastly improves resource conservation, because renewing the tread three times would ensure that the material used for the casing is halved in relation to its total mileage. Further information on the Conti GreenConcept concept tire is available in a separate press release.
Driving into the future on green Continental tires
“The cars of the future will still need tires, which we are making more and more sustainable, as our concept tire shows. The Conti GreenConcept demonstrates how Continental will completely convert its global tire production to the use of sustainable materials by 2050 at the latest. This underlines our goal of being the most advanced tire company along the entire value chain by 2030 in terms of social needs as well as our ecological and economic footprint,” said Setzer, adding: “Step by step, our solutions and technologies are enhancing sustainability and climate protection on the road.”
Sustainable and responsible business practices have been an integral part of Continental’s corporate strategy for many years and are leading to tangible results, as evidenced by a number of other innovations for sustainable and intelligent electric vehicles. “From as early as 2022,” confirmed Setzer, “we will make our global business for emission-free vehicles completely carbon-neutral. By 2040, we are aiming for zero carbon emissions at all of our plants worldwide. Finally, by 2050 at the latest, we plan to be carbon-neutral along the entire value chain.”
One step ahead of the megatrend that is autonomous driving
Another area Continental is focusing on at the trade fair is the megatrend of autonomous driving. For many years, Continental has been driving the development of and offering solutions for automated and autonomous mobility. These include radar sensors and camera technologies, LiDAR sensors, high-performance computers for automated driving and a full software stack for assisted and automated driving as well as in-cabin monitoring. Increasingly, Continental is augmenting the capabilities of these technologies with artificial intelligence and deep learning methods, as well as expertise gained from handling large amounts of data. “Our goal is and will continue to be global technology leadership when it comes to assisted and automated driving. The products and solutions for future mobility that we will be presenting here at the IAA MOBILITY are not only groundbreaking, but are also setting industry standards for the mobility of tomorrow,” said Setzer.
At the trade fair, the company will demonstrate to visitors how its innovations can help them in everyday driving situations, such as an automated parking feature that ensures greater safety and convenience as well as a service system that can independently wash their vehicle or charge their vehicle battery while parked.
High-performance computers and software are at the heart of modern vehicles
Continental developers are also in their element when it comes to driving the silent revolution in electronic vehicle architecture. More and more, modern vehicles are becoming part of the Internet of Everything, assuming the role of computers on wheels that are defined by software and wireless data exchange. Instead of a complex network of numerous microcontrollers, a handful of high-performance computers and zone control units are taking over the central management of all vehicle functions: in the cockpit, for chassis systems and for automated driving. “Everything depends on the software, which is one of the top skills of our approximately 20,000 software and IT specialists with their many years of experience in the application of information technology in all vehicle areas,” explained Setzer with reference to the company’s successful start of production in this area. “In 2020, we were the first automotive supplier in the world to put a high-performance vehicle computer into production. This key centerpiece has since evolved into many others that we are showcasing here at the trade fair,” he added.
AMBIENC3 effortlessly combines driving, working and relaxing in one interior
Seamless, barrier-free and intuitive: what applies to modern communication via the internet also applies to the future mobility experience. “Vehicle interiors of the future are set to become trendier and multifunctional, merging cockpit, living area and work space. In other words, they will become a versatile third living space. Consumers will expect the use of sustainable materials, appealing designs and, of course, convenient digital solutions,” said Setzer of the mobility trends that are important for Continental, adding: “With our AMBIENC3 concept vehicle based on a Volkswagen T2 Bus, we will be highlighting the strengths of our technologies and innovations, our sustainability and our designs in an emotional way here at the trade fair, in keeping with the ‘retro meets future’ theme.”
As part of the AMBIENC3 – a combination of “ambience” and “3rd space” – trade fair visitors will experience the future of vehicle interiors designed by Continental. The concept of the so-called third space refers to a common space that is different from the home (first space) and the workplace (second space), or combines the two. As such, the AMBIENC3 connects worlds and the current themes of design, functionality, sustainability and personalization. Everything about the concept car is new and innovative, including the design, the look and feel, and the lighting.
Smart surface solutions play a key role here, for example when they are enhanced by functional printing or combine greater comfort with passive climate control and breathability. The car also features the Ac2ated Sound system, offering immersive audio without speakers, and the ProViu360 driver assistance system, which gives the driver much better situational awareness thanks to a camera surround system. A further feature is its intelligent glass control with adjustable dimming and heating functions, which saves energy and ensures exceptional comfort and convenience. The built-in solar charger also uses photovoltaics to generate environmentally friendly energy. And the eTravel.Companion is a software-programmed travel companion that provides the driver with interactive and personalized support during the journey with tips and recommendations relating to the route, refueling or the condition of the vehicle. The special feature of the innovative technology is that the eTravel.Companion is connected to the user’s smartphone, not to a single car. In this way, the full range of services can be used in any vehicle – which is a great advantage, for example, when sharing or hiring cars. Thanks to artificially intelligent algorithms, the system is able to continuously learn and offer individually tailored support for many facets of travel. These connected and smart solutions offer improved climate protection and accident prevention.
More and more mobility-focused innovations are contributing to climate protection. Without connectivity and the internet, this would not be possible. Almost everything that moves will be connected and controlled by computer programs in the future. This is the only way to meet the requirements of the European Green Deal, achieve the necessary efficiency gains and reduce greenhouse gases sustainably. Smart solutions are therefore an integral part of future mobility, protecting us against accidents, preventing traffic congestion and reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The seamless smart mobility solutions developed by Continental show what is already possible today: from intelligent tires to vehicle sensors and actuators to connectivity and cloud services. They cover the entire process chain, including the next generation of driver assistance, braking and restraint systems. Apart from climate protection, such technologies contribute to Continental’s Vision Zero: a world without traffic accidents and victims, which is now no longer just a dream.