Kwik Fit | Thursday 15th January 2015 4:00pm
Last week saw the return on one of the World’s most notable tech trade shows – The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas - where each year the world’s leading technology companies give a sneak preview of the gadgets that could become part of everyday life in the months and years to come.
CES 2015 was then perhaps the perfect stage for Continental to showcase ‘the power of intelligent mobility’ (the company’s theme for the show) and demonstrated a number new innovations to attendees that are set to make cars more intelligent, more fun, and ultimately, safer to drive. We take a look at three of the major innovations on display.
The Dynamic Electronic Horizon
The centrepiece of Continental’s innovative new products at this year’s CES was the Dynamic Electronic Horizon system or ‘eHorizon’. Put simply, the technology turns a digital map into a high-precision and constantly up-to-date sensor that can be used for much more than simply navigating from A to B. eHorizon constantly exchanges data with the Cloud to incorporate dynamic events like weather, traffic or roadworks on the route onto the map using a multitude of sources based on the principle of crowd-sourcing. But if this sounds a little bit like your standard satellite navigation system, here’s the clever bit. When incorporated into hybrid vehicles, Continental’s on-board energy management system uses information from the Cloud to determine the most effective operating strategy. This means the vehicle can determine the most efficient driving style, such as when to coast, based on the road ahead. So, if eHorizon spies a traffic jam ahead, it puts the energy management system into energy regeneration mode, storing energy in the battery for the slow moving traffic ahead.
Telematics: Powering Subaru’s STARLINK
Continental also showed off its new 4G capable telematics module which will feature in Subaru’s STARLINK in-car infotainment systems later this year. Many of us have become reliant on smartphones to manage many aspects of daily life such as our schedules, our finances or even our fantasy football teams! So why not manage your car from your mobile device? That’s exactly what Continental is doing with its latest telematics module which connects your car to a mobile data network. The module will enable US Subaru owners to gain access to a wide variety of connectivity services via a mobile or tablet device. Features include Stolen Vehicle Locator assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, remote vehicle services like lock/unlock via a smartphone device, and monthly diagnostics reports to keep the motorist in touch with key vehicle functions. Although initially only available in the US, the technology gives UK drivers a taste of what’s to come as mobile vehicle management technology becomes more widespread.
We mentioned above using your smartphone to lock and unlock your vehicle, but what about your watch? Smart watches, like smartphones you wear on your wrist, are predicted to be the next big thing in consumer electronics by many and were in abundance at this year’s CES. Seeing this trend, Continental announced its intention to use the smart watch as an intelligent car key.
Continental’s smart watch as a car key uses Bluetooth to connect to Conti’s latest bidirectional remote car key – already used in vehicles with keyless entry and button start systems. The car key works as an interface between the vehicle and the smart watch to transfer data to the vehicle. Using an App, the driver can lock or unlock the doors, open the doors or boot, or exchange other information simply by using the display of the smart watch.
The innovations on display on Continental’s stand at this year’s CES give us an interesting peak into driving in the not-to-distant future. Notably we saw how automotive electronics can benefit from mobile connectivity & Cloud-based services to improve the driver experience when behind the wheel, and vehicle management when away from the car. Watch this space.
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