Automotive tier ones discover the Smart City

January 09, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Autonomous driving is not enough: At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, automotive electronics suppliers show how the concept of the connected car can lead seamlessly into new concepts and systems for traffic optimization. This makes networked traffic a component of the Smart City. Independently of each other, Bosch and Continental have presented corresponding visions.

The idea of leveraging the connected car to implement Smart City applications is triggered mainly on the finding that in technologies and products established in the car can easily be transplanted or enhanced to the functional units that make up the Smart City as a whole. This is where Continental sets in: The transfer of proven vehicle electronics technology into the urban infrastructure is a contribution to the “Smartification” of the cities – for instance making intersections safe, making it easier to find a parking space and making traffic more fluid overall – which en passant helps reducing the emissions from the vehicles.

“Urban transport is probably one of the greatest challenges of future mobility”, said Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart. “To achieve safe, flowing city traffic with clean air and convenient parking, cities need to rethink their traffic flow and transport systems. Now is the right time to support them in finding a new and more efficient balance between individual transport and collectively usable vehicles. Sustainable mobility requires the development of solutions that go far beyond individual vehicles.”

Continental’s CES highlights include the latest version of the self-driving concept car BEE (Balanced Economy and Ecology). The vehicle supports the Intelligent Intersection technology to be installed in the Smart City of Columbus (Ohio, USA). The BEE can be summoned via Smartphone app and is intended to be part of a municipal or metropolitan public transportation fleet that in the future can enable flexible and safe mobility of all. By means of approaches like object recognition, DSRC radio communications and sensor fusion, the system can establish a near-realtime V2X safety communication system.