The complexity of car radios is increasing due to smartphone integration, new controls and integrated features. To cope with new challenges, Continental has developed a progressive vehicle radio platform, which allows control of numerous functions on one processor and functions that are based on software. To make the cost-effective platform, Continental removed the CD player, uses a flat panel that supports a touchscreen and connects to smartphones via Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Mirrorlink.
The main approach behind Continental’s radio platform is simple: Replace cost intensive hardware with software, wherever possible. To achieve this reduction the Continental radio platform is built on a highly optimized system on chip (SoC). It has a multi core processor at the heart of the platform that is handling all human machine interface, connectivity and audio-post processing related functions, as well as an integrated vehicle controller and a digital signal processor (DSP) that is enabling the core radio technology of the new platform – the Software Defined Radio (SDR).
The SDR integrates analog and digital radio standards such as AM/FM, DAB/DAB+/ DMB, DRM and HD radio worldwide on a single hardware. New standards can be enabled by software update as they become available in different regions, for example Chinese Digital Radio (CDR) in China.
With audio coming today typically from broadcast, as well as from drivers’ or passengers’ digital devices connected via Bluetooth or USB / iPod connection, Continental’s new radio platform does not include a CD player. Thanks to the reduction of hardware components achieved by using an optimized SoC, it features a 40mm deep flat panel design head unit, supporting capacitive touch creen, HD resolution and class D amplifiers. For vehicle manufacturers, this flat panel approach allows for great freedom when it comes to interior design.
Drivers can enjoy a great variety of functions and connected services in a safe way, since the platform is capable to mirror applications and content from smartphones via different standards such as MirrorLink, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay or Baidu Carlife.
To enhance safe operation Continental individualizes applications so they can be controlled on the touch screen, via buttons on the steering wheel, or via voice control.
Continental provides tuner technologies for optimal entertainment in every driving situation. As far back as 1953, the company was producing the first car radios in Wetzlar, Germany, followed by many other successful products such as Continental’s first high-end color radio, launched in 2011, featuring the first software-based DAB solution – a predecessor of today’s Software Defined Radio. Since 2007, Continental has sold more than 40 million radio units to customers worldwide.