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Continental Korea reveals self-driving car tech

Nov 07,2017
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Vehicles equipped with various products including radar and sensors made by Continental AG, a German auto parts maker, during a demonstration event for local media on Monday at Yeongjong Island in Incheon. [CONTINENTAL KOREA]
Continental Korea, the local branch of German automotive company Continental AG, showcased the company’s latest innovations to the Korean media on Monday, mainly focusing on self-driving and eco-friendly vehicles.

“The priority in automated driving is road safety,” said Robert H. Lee, the chief executive of Continental Korea, during the 2017 Continental TechRide held at the BMW Driving Center in Yeongjong Island, Incheon, on Monday. “Globally, more than a million people die from car accidents every year, 5,000 people in Korea alone last year. Continental’s vision is to eliminate this completely; improving safety through various sensors before we reach fully automated driving.”

During the event the company equipped a Honda Fit with a product named EPB-Si, which an engineer explained is an electric parking brake for vehicles with drum brakes. Before Continental developed the product, electric parking brakes were mainly applicable for disk brakes only, which are more expensive than drum brakes.

An autonomous vehicle must be able to put the vehicle in park electrically, which is why this technology that even works on drum brakes - mostly found in cheaper vehicles such as the Kia Morning - is essential. The engineer explained that the company will began mass production of the product in 2019.

“I believe we are leading the global auto market when it comes to braking systems and their safety,” said Lee Sang-gil, the head of the vehicle dynamics and hydraulic brake system unit at Continental Korea.

Continental also test drove a Volkswagen Golf with SRR320, a type of short range radar it has developed. Sensors - two on the front and rear bumpers - were able to detect movements around the vehicle, which came to a complete stop when a car drove in front of it at an intersection. Each sensor has a 100-degree range, according to an engineer, who added that the sensor was developed to meet a new standard added to the European New Car Assessment Programme 2020 - a safety standard on vehicles sold in Europe, which requires warning signals or braking functions on a vehicle to prevent collisions at a junction or intersection. Carmakers can set up different time-to-collision algorithms on the radar, the engineer said, to brake the car even at a faster speed than demonstrated.

Along with technological developments, partnerships and collaborations may define the automotive market in the future. Continental currently has partnerships with companies such as Intel and China Unicom, a telecommunication company. The local branch is currently seeking partners in Korea, the CEO said.


Vehicles equipped with various products including radar and sensors made by Continental AG, a German auto parts maker, during a demonstration event for local media on Monday at Yeongjong Island in Incheon.


BY CHOI HYUNG-JO [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]