Continental Develops Affordable ADAS Solutions for Emerging Markets

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  • The new affordable and reliable radar solution by Continental uses perception algorithms, making it suitable for markets like India
  • Rear View Systems (RVS231) is a cost-effective, compact, and highly intelligent camera with built-in features and functions
  • Continental strengthens localization of R&D in India to offer more affordable solutions 

Bengaluru, India- Continental’s Technical Center India (TCI) demonstrated a true sense of innovation by developing affordable ADAS solutions – radar sensor and Rear View Systems (RVS231), focusing on emerging markets. Both the systems were developed based on the proven platform meant for high-end passenger cars. The development and introduction of affordable radar sensors and rear-view systems will pave the way for the penetration of Continental’s ADAS technologies into the entry- and mid-segment passenger cars, thus enhancing the safety quotient of the vehicle.

Continental is at the forefront of developing safety-critical technologies. To make safety technologies affordable and accessible, Continental has been steadfast in innovation, utilizing the competence of TCI to adapt sophisticated technologies into more affordable and functional systems. Thus, moving closer to Vision Zero – Zero Fatalities, Zero Injuries, and Zero Crashes. The goal is to ensure the vehicle’s safety, occupants, other vehicles and its occupants, road users including pedestrians, cyclists, animals, and the surrounding infrastructure.

For Continental, Radar Sensors Have Been A Success Story for More Than 20 Years

In a short span, the technology company has introduced more than 100 million radar sensors in the market worldwide. The affordable and reliable radar sensors can be fitted in front or rear of the car depending on the usage and functionality, it provides safety as well as comfort. For example, flashing alerts when there is a danger suspected and similarly, enhances the driving comfort through cruise control function especially during long journeys. This radar sensor is specifically designed to suit road conditions such as in India, through a detailed study of the traffic patterns, available infrastructural facilities, and considering the limitations that the Indian roads pose, the perception algorithms were developed to overcome unpredictable traffic conditions and inconsistent driver behavior.

The algorithms use simple concepts such as prediction theory and low-speed traffic participant management. Since the nature of traffic is haphazard and uneven, these algorithms are designed to be highly adaptable to the traffic density, velocity conditions, and road types. For instance, these algorithms adapt themselves to traffic on the city roads with a high density of traffic participants as well as highways where density isn’t much but the speed conditions which can be modified to bring about efficiency- in crucial parameters like fuel or energy consumption. 

This nature of adaptability enables a sophisticated environment to be built for cars using affordable radar systems. The automotive algorithms have been optimized to have smaller memory and runtime resources, making them efficient enough to fit on the low-cost microprocessor. The radar is secured with best-in-class cybersecurity features, stable performance on highly dynamic traffic scenarios with tolerance for extreme temperature, weather conditions, and vibrations. 

Jaidev Venkataraman, Head of Engineering – Sensorics, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Continental Automotive India, explains, “This radar sensor is a perfect example of value engineering without compromising on functionality. With this affordable radar sensor, we are re-emphasizing the message that safety is for all and not simply an add-on premium feature. The radar is built with robust hardware and state-of-the-art software, making it the best in class thus far. Our engineering team in India is working on many such cutting-edge ADAS technologies for both developed, as well as emerging markets. These radars-based solutions also give a sense of innovation in autonomous driving to the Indian market, which has not been seen before in terms of the ease with which they can be incorporated in the present traffic conditions and available infrastructure.” 

The radar sensor has been tested on over 1.5 million kilometers of road data, including 8,000 kilometers of Indian roads. Such extensive and elaborate testing helps Continental meet safety standards such as the Global NCAP 2018 regulation and United Nations Economic Commission Sustainable Transport regulation for 2024. Furthermore, the radar technology incorporates intelligent Level 1 driver assistance functions such as adaptive cruise control, Emergency Brake Assist, Traffic Jam Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, among others.

The RVS231 Is A Highly Intelligent and Cost-Competitive Camera 

The RVS231 comes with one microcontroller and built-in functions. The camera is pre-installed with software for emergency braking and pedestrian recognition. This is enabled by functions that include automatic self-calibration, detection and classification of objects, vehicles, pedestrians, and high-resolution visualization views with overlays for the vehicle trajectory of the rearview. 

The revolutionary product complies with the European NCAP1, NCAP2, NHTSA, and IIHS safety standards, covering criteria ranging backward/reverse driving, precision braking against  pedestrians with a capability to avoid 95 percent of reverse crashes (involving pedestrians). The product’s complete software & algorithm, including detection, video chain, driving functions, Back-up Assist (autonomous braking while reversing), visualization, etc., were developed, validated, and tested at TCI.

Dayanand Acharya, Head of Engineering – Systems, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) Continental Automotive India, added, “ADAS business unit has been developing and launching cutting-edge products and systems year-on-year in global markets, staying on top of evolving technologies and transforming markets. The TCI team has major ownership and contribution in software for radar, camera, and ADCU (Assisted / Automated Driving Control units) for global customers, starting from design, development, validation, product launch, and ensuring lifetime field performance. The team also develops functions and features that successfully fulfill Global NCAP and NHTSA performance requirements. The systems feature minimal hardware footprint, complex Functionalities with functional safety, security features, and various software components with a major contribution from TCI.”

Growing Competence at TCI

With the “In the Market, For the Market” approach, Continental is localizing the entire value chain from marketing and R&D to design, according to local customers’ requirements. Continental’s TCI is also in line with this strategy. Set up in 2009, Technical Center India (TCI) operates with about 4,000 engineers. TCI has built competencies across domains within a short time and has an extensive engineering workforce working on advanced safety technologies, autonomous driving technologies, connected mobility, and more. TCI is one of the company’s Holistic Engineering and Technologies organizations (he[a]t) and Continental’s biggest engineering location for the ADAS business unit. The center is also the Global Software Center for Excellence and the headquarters of the Software Academy and emerging as the Regional R&D Center and Asia Application Hub for specific markets for some businesses.

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 transportation. In 2020, Continental generated sales of €37.7 billion and currently employs around 193,000 people in 58 countries and markets. In 2021, the company celebrates its 150th anniversary.

The company has been present in India for close to 50 years through technology partnerships (Continental Tires since 1974) and joint ventures for its various businesses. Today, the tier 1 automotive supplier, tire manufacturer, and industrial partner operate across India – with about 8,000 employees across 13 locations, including eight plants that cater to the Indian market and a Technical Center that supports Continental’s global R&D activities.