automotive supplier Continental has presented new systems for driver assistance
and vehicle connectivity in city traffic at the midterm event of the research
initiative UR:BAN (Urban Space: User oriented assistance systems and network
management), which is took place at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in
to a company statement, the systems are intended to support drivers and
increase safety in dense city traffic, while allowing a forward looking and
environmentally friendly style of driving. The goal is to reduce the number of
urban traffic accidents and, if this is not feasible, to mitigate their
severity while increasing traffic efficiency and driving comfort.
hazards and reacting to them appropriately in complex scenarios such as city
traffic, presents a particularly demanding task. Together with other automotive
suppliers and car manufacturers, Continental is researching and developing
effective urban assistance systems prototypes, designed to support drivers in
dealing with constrictions, changing lanes, oncoming traffic in a narrow
passage and reacting to emergency situations; all as part of the project
is our intention to avoid serious accidents and to make city driving easier by
developing new lateral and longitudinal assistance systems”, said Dr. Stefan
Lüke, head of the sub-project “Safe Lateral and Longitudinal Vehicle Control in
Cities”. Lüke is also head of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems &
Automation within the Advanced Engineering department of Continental’s Chassis
& Safety Division. The sub-project comprises four functions: constriction
assistance, oncoming traffic assistance, lane change assistance, and
environment-adaptive speed recommendation.
functions promote traffic flow, heighten efficiency and reduce pollution in
dense urban traffic. Above and beyond that, they help timid drivers negotiate
city traffic safely and confidently”, Luke said. The key to these assistance
functions lies in the reliable recognition of other active and passive road
users as well as of other objects in complex urban environments, such as
traffic signs, traffic lights or parking cars. Surrounding sensors play a
critical role. Four short range radars located on the corners of the car, as
well as a forward looking long range radar and a stereo camera capture and
recognize the surroundings in front of, next to and behind the vehicle, thus
establishing an all-around view.
The constriction assistant supports drivers
through narrow lanes, when passing a line of vehicles in neighboring lanes, stationary
obstacles, or parked cars. It does so by an intervention on the steering wheel,
similar to those exerted by the lane keeping assistant. If the constriction is
too narrow for the car to pass through, a warning signal sounds and icons
appear on the instrument cluster. In case there is no reaction on the part of
the driver, the constriction assistant can even trigger automatic safety
The oncoming traffic assistant evaluates
oncoming vehicles in city traffic to determine whether they could pose a hazard
to a vehicle driving through a narrow passage. If the space is indeed too
narrow for both vehicles to pass simultaneously, the assistant advises the
driver to stop when a constriction is too narrow accordingly.
The lane change assistant with all-around
vision supports drivers on multi-lane city streets. The position of the
driver’s vehicle within its lane is determined (other lanes are also monitored,
including those to the rear of the vehicle) with the help of surrounding
sensors, to determine whether a safe lane change is possible. If so, a guided
lane change can be carried out on request. The driver can overrule the
longitudinal and lateral assistance at any time by turning the steering wheel
or by applying the brakes.
Environment-adaptive speed recommendation is
intended to make driving in city traffic safer and more efficient. The
Accelerator Force Feedback Pedal (AFFP) by Continental along with changes in
engine torque, provide the driver with haptic feedback, which recommends a
reduction in speed. The signals allow drivers to adjust their driving behavior
in anticipation, and to recognize critical situations earlier.
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