Continental sets sights firmly on Vision Zero future

  • Continental continually pushes the boundaries of automotive safety, from innovative active safety features to best-in-class tyres
  • As a partner to Global NCAP #StopTheCrash, Continental plays an active role in supporting education regarding road safety and the benefits of modern safety systems

From introducing the first-generation ABS system to pioneering automated driving and networked communication between vehicles, Continental is at the forefront of making our roads safer

As a wide-ranging technology Company, Continental is a key driver behind pushing the boundaries of automotive safety. From introducing the first-generation anti-lock braking system (ABS) 50 years ago to developing automated driving solutions and networked communication, the German manufacturer is at the forefront of efforts to make driving safer than ever.

This unified approach to the overall concept of safety forms part of Continental’s Vision Zero initiative that aims to reduce and ultimately eliminate road accident injuries and deaths.

As one of the international partners of the Global NCAP #StopTheCrash campaign, Continental Tyre South Africa participated in the first event of its kind to be held in Africa. The #StopTheCrash event was held at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in May and hosted a series of live demonstrations of crash avoidance technologies in support of the United Nations Global Goals and the Decade of Action for Road Safety.

With the support of the Automobile Association (AA) of South Africa, the #StopTheCrash Partnership event placed a special focus on the life-saving benefits of Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) for cars and motorcycles.

“The technologies promoted by #StopTheCrash have the potential to save thousands of lives every year and the UN has developed international standards to help encourage countries around the world to mandate these life-saving technologies,” says Shaun Uys, Managing Director of Continental Tyre SA.

“As one of the world’s tyre leaders and a pioneer in automotive technologies, this unique event was a perfect fit for Continental, and reinforces our commitment to driving safety through producing tyres with best-in-class braking performance, and producing a comprehensive suite of active safety features that assist drivers in avoiding a collision.

“We are also committed to educating vehicle owners about the importance of tyre care and maintenance, and the extreme dangers of using worn, under-inflated or damaged tyres,” Uys added. “Continental conducts extensive testing in all types of driving conditions around the world, and one of the most crucial aspects of driving safety is the condition of the vehicle’s tyres.”

Although a 1 mm tread depth is legislated in South Africa, Continental recommends changing tyres at 3 mm remaining depth to ensure optimal traction and safety, as the reduced tread depth increases the risk of aquaplaning, and leads to longer stopping distances in wet conditions. Regular tyre inspection and the checking of pressures is also essential.

Innovative technologies – past, present and future

Continental is a true pioneer when it comes to designing, developing and implementing innovative technologies that enhance driver and vehicle safety.

Along with the first iteration of ABS that was first shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1969, the technology company was also amongst the leaders in democratising complementary safety systems such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) – features that are now a mandatory requirement for all vehicles sold in Europe.

At the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA), Continental presented Conti C.A.R.E., a networking of wheel and tyre technology. In combination with the web-based ContiConnect Live application, Conti C.A.R.E. forms a flexible system solution that can provide a means of tyre management for modern robo-taxi fleets, for example, boosting performance as well as helping to optimize costs.

Conti C.A.R.E. tyres feature ContiSense sensors that are built into the structure of the tyre. These sensors generate and continuously evaluate data concerning tread depth, possible damage, tyre temperature and tyre pressure. No less innovative is the idea of actively adjusting tyre pressures by means of centrifugal pumps built into the wheel. This PressureProof technology keeps the tyre pressure constantly within the ideal range and helps achieve a sustainable drop in CO2 emissions.

When it comes to automated driving, one of the major challenges is the safe transition from automated to manual driving. To achieve this, both a view out of and into the vehicle are required, with a holistic model of the environment comprising the traffic situation, the behaviour of other road users, and the driver’s condition. Technology company Continental has now developed a combined camera system comprising an inward-looking infra-red camera and an outward-looking camera. This system monitors both the driver in the driver’s seat, continuously detecting whether he or she is able to take responsibility for driving, as well as the traffic situation in front of the vehicle.

Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent, and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. In 2018, Continental generated sales of ?44.4 billion and currently employs more than 244,000 people in 60 countries and markets.

The Tire division has 24 production and development locations worldwide. As one of the leading tire manufacturers with around 56,000 employees, the division posted sales of ?11.4 billion in 2018. Continental ranks among the technology leaders in tire production and offers a broad product range for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and two-wheelers. Through continuous investment in R&D, Continental makes a major contribution to safe, cost-effective and ecologically efficient mobility. The Tire division’s portfolio includes services for the tire trade and for fleet applications, as well as digital management systems for commercial vehicle tires.


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