CES 2018: Continental contributes Intelligent Intersection Technology to Smart Cities for Safer Roads

Intersections and T-junctions are notorious traffic trouble spots. Many accidents, which occur at intersections, are due to human error. Problems such as lack of attention, misjudging the situation, and occluded cars or other vulnerable road users account for many accidents and road fatalities worldwide. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 51 percent …

Intersections and T-junctions are
notorious traffic trouble spots. Many accidents, which occur at
intersections, are due to human error. Problems such as lack of attention,
misjudging the situation, and occluded cars or other vulnerable road
users account for many accidents and road fatalities worldwide. In fact,
according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 51 percent of all
injury crashes and 28 percent of all fatal crashes in the United States
occur at intersections. Technology company Continental is committed to
address those horrific statistics with its advanced driver assistance,
Vehicle-to-X communications, and sensor technologies to turn today’s
dangerous intersections into safer, more intelligent intersections. The
technology detects road users within a 360° perimeter of intersections
and communicates the position and movement of these objects to all
approaching vehicles, which are equipped with V2X technology.

The Continental Intelligent Intersection concept is an end-to-end solution:
It comprises the complete sensor set for an intersection, the powerful
sensor fusion algorithms which generate the environment model, and the
Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC) units, both at the
intersection, and in the vehicle. One focus is on protecting vulnerable
road users (VRUs) such as pedestrians and cyclists. Another focus is on
supporting drivers in complex intersection traffic scenarios like preventing
left-turning cars from running head-on into traffic that approaches from
behind an occlusion.

The Intelligent Intersection technology was first demonstrated on a test
track in October 2017 at Continental’s development center in Brimley,
Michigan (MI). The next steps include a broader test roll-out and pilot
implementation of the technology at an intersection in the City of
Columbus, Ohio.

“We are proud to contribute our Intelligent Intersections technology to a
highly innovative city like Columbus as our contribution to the US DOT’s
Smart City Challenge,” said Jeremy McClain, Head of Systems &
Technology Chassis & Safety, Continental North America. “Our solution is
based on transferring and adapting vehicle-proven hardware and
software solutions to an infrastructure application. Cities will be able to
deploy this technology to increase safety for their citizens and visitors
alike. In the longer term the technology can also serve to improve
inner-city traffic flow, thereby reducing travel time and vehicle emissions.”

Intelligent intersections reduce the number of accidents due to
human error

Sensor-based driver assistance makes driving safer and more
comfortable with each step of advancement. However, pedestrians or
cyclists, for instance, will only benefit from this technology if they can be
detected by vehicle sensors. Often, traffic situations typical at
intersections make that difficult. Other vehicles and city infrastructure can
easily occlude vulnerable road users and even other vehicles. The
underlying challenge is posed by effects like sensor shading and
obstruction of view. By bringing vehicle-proven technologies to the
infrastructure, Continental is addressing this challenge. “With the
Intelligent Intersection technology we offer a new safety element with a
perfect fit for future smart cities,” said Bastian Zydek, Project Manager
Intelligent Intersection. “The Intelligent Intersection is a showcase of
collaborative safety and a further step towards reaching our Vision Zero –
our vision of accident-free driving.”

Early warning to the driver makes streets safer

Sensors such as camera, radar and Lidar are positioned at the corners of
an intersection. They detect every road user in the area and deliver a list
of relevant objects to a sensor fusion unit, which generates a
comprehensive 360° environmental model. Relevant objects are then
broadcasted via Dedicated Short-Range Communication to every vehicle
approaching the intersection. A DSRC control unit in the vehicle receives
the messages, then an onboard system checks it for relevance and
triggers and appropriate action if a critical situation is recognized. “Active
monitoring of intersections provides the driver and/or intelligent vehicle
system a very important time advantage to take action, even before a
problem would have otherwise become visible”, added Zydek.

According to a study of the University of Michigan Transportation
Research Institute (UMTRI) many thousands of accidents in the U.S.
alone could be avoided through Intelligent Intersection technologies such
as VRU protection and DSRC Intersection Safety Functions. The benefits
of the Intelligent Intersection technology for V2X equipped vehicles is that
each of those will benefit immediately from the Intersections Safety
Functions – already when only a single V2X equipped vehicle enters the
Intelligent Intersection – so from the beginning, even at an early phase of
V2X penetration: “The cars equipped will help to protect other road
users”, said Steffen Linkenbach, Managing Director of Continental Safety
Engineering International. Continental will also leverage of that 360°
understanding of the traffic situation at intersections and upload such
information into its backend. Here Continental will analyze and provide
such data as a service enabling for example a better understanding of
traffic flow and congestion. “In the future the granular understanding of
traffic, like density, distribution of the traffic flow per lane and so on, which
results from the Intelligent Intersection technology, can also help to
improve the flow of inner-city traffic, supporting drivers and other road
users with further new or enhanced services”, added Linkenbach.

Continental at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018

The Intelligent Intersection is also a topic at the CES 2018 in Las Vegas.
Visit Continental at CES, Tuesday, January 9 through Friday, January 12,
at North Hall Booth #6106. The Continental press conference will be held
at Mandalay Bay, Level 2, Ballroom A at 10 a.m. on Monday, January 8.

Click here for Word-file download and high resolution pictures.

Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and
connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology
company offers safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles,
machines, traffic and transport. In 2016, Continental generated sales of
€40.5 billion and currently employs more than 233,000 people in 56 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 43,000 people worldwide and generated
sales of approximately €9.0 billion in 2016.

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