Continental confirms expectations placed upon driver assistance systems in the ur: ban project

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Press Release

Continental confirms expectations placed upon driver assistance systems in the UR:BAN project

Live demonstrations at the concluding presentation of the UR:BAN project in Düsseldorf show the effectiveness of innovative assistance systems for lateral and longitudinal vehicle control.

Practical experience has shown that hazardous traffic situations in built-up areas can be detected and the associated risks reduced by providing support for drivers.

Vehicle-to-X communication and the “electronic horizon”: UR:BAN tests how vehicle networking can help drivers negotiate intersections safely and efficiently.

Düsseldorf, October 7, 2015. Today, at the concluding presentation of the UR:BAN research project (Urbaner Raum: Benutzergerechte Assistenzsysteme und Netzwerkmanagement = Urban Space: User oriented assistance systems and network management) at the Düsseldorf exhibition site, the international automotive industry supplier Continental demonstrated how the driver assistance and vehicle networking functions, that were examined during the project, can make driving in built-up areas safer, more efficient and more comfortable.

City traffic has many pitfalls: Unforeseeable hazards, road users approaching from different directions, distracting road signs, sudden traffic light changes and many other demands mean that drivers have to concentrate fully at all times. They are expected to be ready to control their vehicle in the longitudinal and lateral directions at all times and as the situation demands. Sometimes, the task is too great – as the accident statistics show. “People are not machines,” said Dr. Stefan Lüke, Continental Chassis & Safety division and head of the Safe Lateral and Longitudinal Vehicle Control subproject at UR:BAN. “That is why we are deploying high-performance assistance systems in order to combine the reliability of a machine with the flexibility of a human being.” Approximately 150 visitors invited to the Düsseldorf exhibition site were able to test out for themselves the situations in which the new assistance systems can prove their value. Test drives in the presented research vehicles revealed the protective capabilities of the assistance systems in potentially hazardous traffic situations. The demonstrated systems included narrow passage, oncoming traffic and lane change assistants as well as situation-dependent speed recommendations based on tactile feedback.

Assistance systems for safe lateral and longitudinal vehicle control in cities

The key to assistance functions lies in the reliable detection of the environment, as well as in the recognition of other active and passive road users and the sometimes very complex surroundings that occur in cities. In this regard, a crucial role is played by the environment sensors used in the research vehicles: Four short-range radars located at the corners of the vehicle, a forward-looking long-range radar and a stereo camera, record and recognize the environment in front of, next to and behind the vehicle and consequently provide a 360-degree view.

The narrow passage assistant supports the driver in narrow lanes, as well as when driving past lines of vehicles, fixed obstacles or parked vehicles. The assistance takes the form of steering interventions similar to those used in lanekeeping assistants. The driver is warned in good time by an acoustic signal and a display in the instrument cluster if the bottleneck is too narrow for the vehicle to pass through and, if there is no reaction, automatic safety braking may even be initiated.

The oncoming traffic assistant assesses whether oncoming vehicles might pose a problem when driving through narrow passages. If it is not possible to pass through the constricted area, then the driver is alerted that it is necessary to stop.

The lane change assistant with 360-degree vision reduces the burden on drivers in inner-city traffic scenarios with multiple lanes. The system determines the position of the host vehicle in the lane and uses environment sensors to monitor the space around the vehicle – including behind it. This information enables the assistant to detect whether a safe lane change is possible and assist in doing this if the driver wants to. The aim of this function is to guide the vehicle safely and smoothly into the neighboring lane. However, drivers can override these steering and longitudinal vehicle control systems themselves at any time by steering or braking.

The situation-dependent speed recommendation function is intended to make driving in city traffic safer and more efficient wherever the vehicle is located. Tactile feedback at Continental’s active accelerator pedal – the Accelerator Force Feedback Pedal (AFFP) – provides the driver with a recommendation to reduce the vehicle speed directly at his or her foot. This function provides drivers with continuous support, enabling them to adopt forward-looking, anticipative driving behaviors, recognize critical situations earlier and arrive relaxed at their destination.

Cooperative intersection assistant – the lights are always green with intelligent infrastructure

Negotiating intersections is not only a traffic situation that frequently increases the likelihood of accidents but is also the cause of much inner-city congestion. It is also one of the most demanding scenarios for driver assistance systems. “That is precisely why we took on this challenge. To allow drivers to traverse intersections more smoothly and thereby free up the traffic flow, we use Vehicle-to-X networking via WLAN or, if required, the mobile phone network and Internet,” said Dr. Hongjun Pu, Continental Interior division, from the UR:BAN subproject Networked Traffic System. For reasons of practicality, the vehicle assistance functions for adaptive deceleration using traffic signal phase data on urban roads was demonstrated at a stand in the exhibition hall, while an in-vehicle demonstration of an intersection solution for the “smart intersection” subproject was presented in a real driving scenario on the outdoor exhibition site.

Using real-time data from the city of Düsseldorf, the in-vehicle “electronic horizon” was extended by information about the switching times of traffic light installations in order to support the cooperative intersection assistant function. One of the capabilities of this extended eHorizon from Continental is to make it possible to calculate in advance the speed range in which the vehicle has to travel in order to pass through forthcoming lights on green. Depending on the vehicle manufacturer’s assistance concept, this information may be passed to the driver as a tactile signal at the AFFP or the assistant may intervene directly in the longitudinal control of the vehicle. Further optimization of stop/start operation to enhance fuel consumption and driving comfort is also possible thanks to the vehicle networking solutions.

About UR:BAN: Urban Space: User-oriented assistance systems and network management.

Involved in the research initiative are Adam Opel AG, Audi AG, BMW AG, BMW Group Forschung und Technik, Robert Bosch GmbH, Federal Road Research Institute, Continental Automotive GmbH, Continental Safety Engineering International GmbH, Continental Teves AG & Co. oHG, Daimler AG, German Aerospace Center e.V., Fraunhofer Institute of Labor Economics and Organization IAO, GEVAS Software GmbH, Heusch/Boesefeldt GmbH, University of Technique and Economy of Saarland, ifak Magdeburg e.V., MAN Truck & Bus AG, PTV Group, Institute of Automotive Engineering RWTH Aachen, Cities of Düsseldorf and Kassel, TU Braunschweig, TU Chemnitz, TU Munich, TomTom Development Germany GmbH, TRANSVER GmbH, University of Federal Armed Forces Munich, Universities of Duisburg-Essen, Kassel and Würzburg and Volkswagen AG. Numerous universities and research institutes as well as small and medium-sized companies are working as subcontractors in the project.
Continental develops intelligent technologies for transporting people and their goods. As a reliable partner, the international automotive supplier, tire manufacturer, and industrial partner provides sustainable, safe, comfortable, individual, and affordable solutions. In 2014, the corporation generated sales of approximately €34.5 billion with its five divisions, Chassis & Safety, Interior, Powertrain, Tire, and ContiTech. Continental currently employs more than 205,000 people in 53 countries.

The Chassis & Safety division develops and produces integrated active and passive driving safety technologies as well as products that support vehicle dynamics. The product portfolio ranges from electronic and hydraulic brake and chassis control systems to sensors, advanced driver assistance systems, airbag electronics and sensorics as well as electronic air suspension systems all the way to windscreen washer systems and headlight cleaning nozzles. The focus lies on a high level of system competence and the networking of individual components. Thus products and system functions are developed along the SensePlanAct chain of effects. They form the foundation for automated driving. Chassis & Safety employs more than 38,000 people worldwide and generated sales of approximately €7.5 billion in 2014.

In the Interior division, everything revolves around information management and beyond. The range of products for various vehicle categories includes instruments, multifunction displays, head-up displays, control devices, access and tire information systems, radios, infotainment and operating systems, climate control units, software and cockpits, telematics solutions and services, and intelligent transport systems. Interior employs over 36,000 employees worldwide. In 2014, it recorded provisional sales of approximately €7.0 billion.

Contact for Journalists

Miriam Baum

External Communications


Chassis & Safety Division

Guerickestraße 7

60488 Frankfurt am Main

Phone: +49 69 7603-9510

Fax: +49 69 7603-3945


Sebastian Fillenberg

External Communications


Interior Division

Sodener Straße 9

65824 Schwalbach am Taunus

Phone: +49 6196 87-3709

Fax: +49 6196 8779-3709


This press release is available in the following languages: English, German


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Your contact:

Miriam Baum, Phone: +49 69 7603 9510 / Sebastian Fillenberg, Phone: +49 6196 87 3709

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