The Chassis and Safety Systems Division focuses on technologies for next generation advanced driver assistant systems such as intelligent cruise control, blind spot monitoring, emergency brake assistant, intelligent light assistant, traffic sign detection as well as pedestrian detection systems. All these sensors make use of sophisticated sensors, based on image processing, infrared, and radar technologies.
Examples are emergency brake assistants which measure the rate at which the distance to an object ahead is reduced, compare it to the vehicle's speed and, if necessary, they autonomously apply the brakes firmly until the car's speed has been reduced to zero. Conventional assistant systems instead issue a warning signal for the driver, and they only gradually reduce the speed. Emergency brake assistant systems are already standard in midsize and upmarket cars; currently OEMs start to equip also small city vehicles with these systems. "Also, beginning 2013, emergency brake assistant systems will become mandatory across the EC for heavy trucks", a Continental spokesperson explained.
The ADAS-related activities associated hitherto have been part of Continental's Passive Safety and Driver Assistant Systems business unit. This unit will be consolidated with the company's Sensorics business unit.
The Chassis and Safety Systems Division will employ some 1000 persons, including about 400 engineers in areas such as development of software, hardware and algorithms, as well as radar, infrared and (stereo) image processing technologies. The seat of the new Division is Lindau at the lake of Constance. "It is our goal to reduce the number of fatalities in road traffic to zero", said Friedrich Angerbauer who leads the new Division. "In this context, advanced driver assistance systems are a key technology".