At the forthcoming 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), German auto component major, Continental AG will showcase the forward looking capabilities of the electronic horizon, eHorizon, according to a company statement. Thanks to this software, fleet operators using Scania trucks have already saved over 63 million litres of diesel (equivalent to €86 million) since 2012 according to an estimate from Continental.
“In principle, the eHorizon uses map data to give vehicle electronics a glimpse into the future. This allows the vehicle to adjust to the upcoming route early on and actively reduce consumption,” Helmut Matschi, member of the Continental Executive Board and head of the Interior division said.
CES 2015: the connected view to the future
At the international CES in Las Vegas January 6-9, 2015, Continental will be demonstrating a new stage in the evolution of the eHorizon, together with its collaboration partner IBM and the location cloud company HERE. Known as the “dynamic eHorizon,” it is connected to the HERE location cloud with real time digital maps and the IBM connected car cloud. Using IBM Big Data and Analytics it takes into account dynamic events such as weather, accidents, or traffic jams. “Thanks to the cloud, the dynamic eHorizon turns the digital map into a high-precision and constantly up-to-date information carrier that can be used for so much more than just navigation. With this, we are increasing safety, efficiency, and comfort in trucks and passenger cars,” said Helmut Matschi. At the 2015 CES, Continental will present the dynamic eHorizon as the focal point of its innovations for displays, access technologies, connectivity, infotainment, driver assistance, and engine management and will show how these components and systems benefit from connecting the vehicle to the Cloud.
eHorizon as the basis for numerous applications
Driver assistance systems or actuator behavior such as braking and steering can be prepared for upcoming traffic situations, long before the vehicle sensors detect the situation. “With the dynamic eHorizon, we are creating the basis for numerous new applications – from connected powertrain to automated driving,” explains Ralf Lenninger, head of Interior Electronics Solutions at Continental. For example, if the dynamic eHorizon alerts the driver to the tail of a traffic jam after a bend, an automated vehicle could gently reduce its speed, rather than initiating full braking once the sensors have detected the obstacle. “It’s the dynamic eHorizon that makes highly automated driving really comfortable, as the eHorizon complements the vehicle sensors as an additional source of information,” says Lenninger.
Another interesting application can be found in the optimization of the engine management system in hybrid vehicles as well as range maximization of electric vehicles. Both HERE’s 3D route profile and dynamic information about the traffic situation or weather along the way, which may influence the range of electric vehicles, are assisting here. In addition, hybrid vehicles can drive even longer without assistance from the internal combustion engine, if the vehicle has dynamic traffic information. At the CES Continental will showcase this eHorizon use case with the so called 48 Volt Eco Drive System with predictive energy management.
The Cloud as a sensor: how the dynamic eHorizon works
To allow for real-time updates, the dynamic eHorizon uses the data provided by sensors on other vehicles and additional sources using the Internet. The eHorizon map data is kept available in HERE’s location cloud, which analyzes real time data from sensors and other dynamic events and systematically transmits the information to the vehicle so it can adjust its route. Continental is not only supplying the hardware and intelligence in the vehicle. It is also developing algorithms, which, on the server side, ensure that information from various sources such as vehicle sensors or commercial traffic data suppliers can be combined to create one overall picture on the digital map. “In order to process and analyze the necessary data quantities, we use IBM’s scalable IT platform as well as the high-precision maps and dynamic information from HERE,” said Lenninger.
With Scania Cruise Control with Active Prediction alone, which has become a standard feature of Scania trucks, the eHorizon can reduce consumption by three per cent on average. Since 2012 this has led to a saving of over 63 million liters of diesel, 168,000 metrics tons of CO2, and €86 million in fuel costs. The ehorizon provides the adaptive cruise control system with a three-dimensional profile of the route using nothing else than the topographical route data, the HERE digital map, and the GPS signal saved in the truck. The cruise control system can thus use the information to automatically adapt the speed of the vehicle to the road ahead, thereby actively reducing consumption. The estimated reduction in consumption with Scania outlined above is based on experience from the field gained since the launch of the 2012 system as well as on driving tests conducted by Continental and Scania. The estimate is also based on the systems sold between 2012 and November 2014. Other key data included: an average mileage of 150,000 km per truck per year, an average truck consumption of 35 liters of diesel every 100 km, 2.64 kg of CO2 emissions per liter of diesel, and a cost of €1.35 per liter of truck diesel.
IBM, Continental alliance
In 2013 IBM and Continental announced a collaboration agreement that will see the companies jointly develop fully-connected mobile vehicle solutions for car manufacturers around the world. Central to the agreement was the development of a highly scalable cloud platform that will enable automotive manufacturers to deliver a range of new mobile in-car services. eHorizon follows in the footsteps of this collaboration with the long-term view of the realization of the fully connected vehicle.
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 2013, the corporation generated sales of approximately €33.3 billion with its five divisions, Chassis & Safety, Interior, Powertrain, Tires, and ContiTech. Continental currently employs around 189,000 people in 49 countries.
In the Interior division, everything revolves around information management and intelligent transport systems. The wide range of products for various vehicle categories includes instruments, multifunction displays and head-up displays, control devices, vehicle access and tire information systems, radios, infotainment and operating systems, climate control units, telematics solutions and services, software, and cockpits. All this for a variety of vehicles. Interior employs over 34,300 employees worldwide and generated sales of approximately €6.6 billion in 2013.