Tech CARS’ Nominee Continental demos new mobility solutions AV, AR & CB radio social network

Auto Connected Car News’ Tech CARS Award nominee Continental will be demonstrating its new future digital solutions at CES. Technology shown will include, in-vehicle biometrics, cloud solutions, new “Intelligent Glass Control,” 3D display surface, new vehicle surroundings sensor and control unit for automated driving,  Zonar and augmented reality systems. Continental is also introducing a CB radio app through real-time, ad hoc voice-and location-based digital social network. Continental is expanding as the automotive industry continues its rapid shift towards software and mobility services.

If you like what Continental is doing, be sure to vote for the company in the Tech CARS Awards.


Innovative access systems can do so much more than simply unlock car doors or start the engine. Through the combination of the keyless entry and start system PASE (Passive Start and Entry) and biometric elements, Continental offers enhanced security and real personalization. For example, to start the engine it might not be enough to simply have the right key inside the vehicle, depending on how the automotive manufacturer’s system is configured.

Only once the driver has confirmed their identity via a fingerprint sensor will they be able to start the engine. This two-factor authentication system offers significantly enhanced protection against theft. In addition, an interior camera enables enhanced vehicle personalization. A face recognition feature automatically personalizes a range of vehicle settings such as the seat and mirror position, music, temperature and navigation. Biometrics can be integrated in any intelligent system, regardless of which access technology is used in the vehicle (Bluetooth® Low Energy or Low Frequency).

Depending on the system configuration, automotive manufacturers can introduce another level of security to their vehicles using biometrics. Introducing a biometric element could mean, for example, that the presence of a valid key inside the vehicle is no longer enough to start the engine as the driver is also required to provide authentication using a fingerprint sensor. This two-fold authentication process significantly increases the vehicle’s anti-theft protection measures.

Biometric elements also allow drivers to personalize their vehicles. The system is connected to an interior camera, which recognizes the driver’s face and automatically personalizes vehicle settings, such as seat and mirror position, music, temperature and navigation for the driver. Continental’s Intelligent Glass can also be integrated, which allows drivers to gradually darken almost all windows of the vehicle and lightens them automatically when the driver approaches.

It is possible to integrate the biometric system in all intelligent systems, regardless of the access technology used in the vehicle (Bluetooth Low Energy or low frequency).

Cloud Terminal

The new Continental cloud terminal offers maximum flexibility in the cockpit. Applications that used to be integrated directly into the head unit have moved over to the cloud where they are processed before being displayed on a powerful browser. This ensures that the system is always up-to-date and that new functions can be added at any time.

In addition, the terminal uses HTML5 technology to develop and display the cloud applications, which not only enables platform-independent development of applications, but also allows data to be shown on different displays with different resolutions. As a result, vehicle manufacturers can roll out the applications across different models and vehicle classes.

The cloud terminal also acts as the driver’s digital assistant, analyzing the driver’s habits at different times of the day and week and, as an example, automatically playing the driver’s favorite radio station on the way to work in the morning. Other applications can be similarly optimized. Another convenient option is if the driver goes to the gym every Wednesday afternoon, the route to the gym is displayed automatically when the system is started.

Even the standard radio can be optimized in important ways through the addition of extra cloud services and artificial intelligence systems. Continental’s service unites multiple offerings in one crowdsourcing concept designed to make the radio an intelligent system. This means that drivers can view the schedule of any station at any given time and choose exactly the station they’re in the mood for. Also, stations can automatically switch to the driver´s favorite artist. The package is rounded off by the system’s ability to provide other recommendations of specialized radio stations based on the driver’s listening habits.

Intelligent Glass

Continental’s Intelligent Glass, which enables the selective and incremental shading of nearly all car windows at the touch of a button, just got smarter. Continental has added a range of new functions designed to further enhance passenger comfort. Thanks to the integration of Intelligent Glass Control in the vehicle’s electronic communication system, the glass dynamically adjusts itself to different traffic situations. For example, because the system is connected to light sensors, the glass can be tinted at exactly the point where the sun is shining.

The keyless entry and start system PASE is also linked to Intelligent Glass Control, which means that the window tinting can be adjusted as the driver carrying the key approaches the car. Continental’s solution is not limited to specific types of film and is compatible with different technologies such as SPD (Suspended Particle Device), EC (Electro-Chromatic) or PDLC (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal).

High-quality 3D Display Surface

The growing demand for functions and digital content in the cockpit means that in-vehicle display surfaces are getting bigger all the time. Fully digital instrument clusters may be ideal for flexibly displaying digital content, but they offer less design flexibility. To enable future drivers to enjoy digital content without having to stare at an old-fashioned flat media display, Continental has developed a 3D display surface featuring optically bonded, topographical elements that restores a sense of quality and design individuality to the classic display.

High-resolution 3D Flash LIDAR

The high-resolution 3D Flash LIDAR (HFL) vehicle surroundings sensor enables real-time 3D vehicle surroundings monitoring and does not contain any mechanical components. The technology, which has already been tried-and-tested in the field of aeronautics, provides a significantly more comprehensive and detailed view of the entire vehicle surroundings – both during the day and at night – and works reliably even in adverse weather conditions. The HFL expands Continental’s portfolio of vehicle surroundings sensors for advanced driver assistance systems to support highly and fully automated driving in combination with other sensors. Continental was also the recipient of the CES 2017 Innovation Award in the category “Vehicle Intelligence” for its vehicle surroundings radar featuring “Trailer Merge Assist” and “Trailer Length Detection.”

Assisted & Automated Driving Control Unit

As a central computer comprising a network of multiple heterogeneous processing units, the Assisted & Automated Driving Control Unit (ADCU) can play a major role in the interconnectivity of electronic chassis and safety systems, increasing the functional scope by interconnecting systems that used to operate in isolation. Since intervention decisions are centrally coordinated, simultaneous interventions in different systems harmonize perfectly with each other.

For Continental, the ADCU is a central element for implementing the required functional safety architecture and, at the same time, a host for the central environment descriptions and driving functions needed for automated driving.


Continental’s latest acquisition Zonar will be showcasing its portfolio of intelligent fleet management technology for goods and passenger transportation. The new ZonarConnect system is a permanently networked, next-generation tablet that gives operators of commercial vehicle fleets greater control over their business processes. The tablet is certified according to the Automatic On-Board Recording Device Regulation (AOBRD) and is ready for certification by the future US standard for electronic logging devices (ELD). ZonarConnect also features the patented EVIR application, the only program in existence for verified electronic vehicle inspections.

Continental and DigiLens Augmented Reality

Continental has entered into a strategic partnership with DigiLens Inc., a leader in holographic projection technology for application in automotive and consumer electronics. The partnership has been formed to develop ultra thin Augmented Reality Head-up Displays that will further enhance a wider market penetration in cars of different segments.

“With this strategic partnership Continental aims to accelerate and boost the adoption of Augmented Reality in the automotive industry,” said Helmut Matschi, member of the Executive Board of Continental and head of the Division Interior. “More and more drivers will have all relevant information in their line of sight; thanks to the advanced technology Continental and DigiLens will bring to Head-Up Displays. This will bring us closer to our vision of zero accidents.” The technology will be displayed for the first time at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2017.

Compared to currently available systems, the ultra thin holographic Head-up Display from Continental and DigiLens will be smaller by a factor of three. It will need less space while at the same time providing a larger image with all the relevant information.

DigiLens, a Silicon Valley based company, is a proven leader in holographic optical waveguide technology and materials. The knowledge DigiLens has in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will enhance and compliment the expertise of Continental in the field of automotive Head-up Displays.

Mobile CES Continental CB Radio App

Continental is debuting its VoicR application at CES 2017. The app, which will be exclusively available to attendees through an access code, transforms the 40-year-old analog CB (citizens band) radio communication technology into a real-time, ad hoc voice-and location-based digital social network.

Using an “Internet of Everything” (IoE) style publication and subscription network, VoicR enables subscribers to create short voice messages and broadcast them to other nearby users or on personalized “CB” style channels to users worldwide. Virtually, an unlimited number of user-defined channels can be created based on user interests, including friends’ lists, destinations, events, shared interests and specific services. Certain closed channels can also be used for business, public services or governmental use. Subscribers can choose to join public channels and listen to or respond to voice messages about upcoming travel events, conditions and activities. This information and more can be shared far beyond the broadcast range of traditional analog radio to help drivers stay safe and informed about the road ahead with the click of a button.

“At Continental, we are always looking for ways to improve the driving experience and we are excited to be the first to transform a vintage technology into a modern cloud-based social network using GPS location,” said Johann Hiebl, Executive Vice President, Infotainment and Connectivity business unit. “We think of VoicR app as CB radio 2.0. With an easy and safe user interface, it allows the driver to stay focused on the road while still connected to what matters most while traveling.”

VoicR supports Bluetooth hands-free operation in vehicle and push-to-talk via the wireless smart button known as Flic© button. Continental is also investigating the possible integration with existing CB radios and the implementation of the software into embedded automotive infotainment systems, the use on special products in the area of commercial vehicles, public services and fleet management. With the integration of VoicR on a next-generation fleet management tablet solution like Continental’s Zonar Connect™, the software can even be used to replace old CB radios, add value and offer a smooth and enriched communication between the managers and drivers.

Another example of how VoicR can enrich the driving experience among private vehicle owners is by allowing them to join brand specific channels. For example, if a user of VoicR has purchased a motorcycle and wishes to find some other riders of the same brand to go on a weekend ride, he or she can search through the list of brand-related channels. Among the list, he or she can find two different results: a channel with the same OEM brand of owners that are planning a trip to a national motorcycle rally or a channel of a local group of the OEM brand owners. The user is able to connect with either group or both to share ride details, coordinate group trips and more.

Continental at CES
Continental will outline its latest developments in digital mobility and automated driving during CES 2017 Media Days on January 4, from 10 – 10:45 a.m.

Visit Continental at CES 2017, Thursday, January 5 through Sunday, January 8, at North Hall Booth #3128. Continental will also showcase its latest automotive innovations and technologies in a private exhibit at the Renaissance Hotel. An invitation only media event has been scheduled on January 5. Please contact Mary Arraf for details.

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