Kwik Fit | Friday 22nd June 2018 11:15am
There have been many important moments in the development of driver safety. From the ‘red flag’ warning requirement to the introduction to the three point seat belt by Volvo to tyre development, vehicle safety has dramatically changed. Continental Tyres have been at the forefront of developing safer tyres and innovative automotive technology.
Continental- global leaders in automotive technology
Continental are leading development in many areas including Powertrain, ContiTech, Interior, Chassis and Safety and Tyres. This technology is created not only to make driving safer but also more enjoyable. As a result of this, car manufacturers often choose Continental products and components.
It is likely that Continental’s technology is being used in your vehicle. From Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) to infrared sensor systems for automatic parking, Continental have played a significant role in developing automotive technology.
Driving the history of tyre development
In the UK, Continental are most well known for their tyres with award winning dry and wet weather performance. Leading UK car magazines, such as Auto Express have awarded Continental top marks in their independent tyre tests. Their tyres have also been developed to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Therefore, helping to save money, lives and protect the environment.
Continental have been creating innovative technology for almost 150 years. Their fundamental principles are set up in order to achieve their goals of zero injuries, zero accidents and zero fatalities. This goal is at the centre of their global Vision Zero safety initiative.
Continental have also played a significant role in the creation of sustainable tyres. This will contribute to saving the environment and setting the standard for future tyre production. Significant contributions made by Continental to the development of tyre technology include:
1908: Continental invent the detachable wheel rim – designed to save time when changing a tyre.
1921: Introduction of the first giant pneumatic tyres. These replace the solid tyres fitted to commercial vehicles at the time.
1936: Synthetic rubber is introduced into the tyre manufacturing process.
1960: Continental begin their production of radial tyres.
1967: Opening of the revolutionary Contidrom tyre testing facility.
1972: Launch of the studless Conti-Contact winter tyre.
1983: Continental hydromounts, the special bearing elements that are used for damping engine noise and vibrations, are mass-produced for the automotive industry.
1997: The ISAD (Integrated Starter Alternator Damper) combines a vehicle’s starter and generator in a single unit, this will contribute to the reduction of emissions.
2003: Continental introduce the ContiSportContact 2 Vmax, the world’s first road tyre approved for speeds of up to 223 mph (360 km/h).
2007: Continental become one of the top five suppliers in the global automotive industry.
2008: Production of lithium-ion batteries for use in hybrid vehicles begins.
2010: The new ContiSportContact™ 5 P summer tyre is developed, designed for high-performance sports cars and custom vehicles.
2011: Production of electric motors begins.
2012: Continental becomes the first automotive supplier to be granted an autonomous vehicle testing license in the state of Nevada, USA.
2013: ‘ContiLifeCycle’ uses a unique combination of rubber recycling and truck tyre retreading. This sustainable solution lowers tyre costs and improves their life span.
2014: Continental win a GreenTec Award for their development of dandelion latex as a sustainable tyre compound.
2017: Introduction of Continental’s new AllSeasonContact tyre.
Continental- saving lives with tyre treads
The earliest version of the modern tyre tread was introduced by Continental in 1904. The tyre tread helps to clear water off the road enabling you to have better grip. This is particularly important in wet weather conditions. In combination with Continental’s distinctive rubber compounds, the resulting tyre deliver shorter stopping distances.
From the introduction of tyre treads 125 years ago, Continental have continued to create innovative technology in in terms of tyre safety and reliability. This is especially relevant as electric vehicles become increasingly popular.
Tomorrow's technology today
ContiSense technology has been developed to incorporate sensors that measure tread depth and temperature. This will alert the driver to any tyre damage.
Continental have developed ContiAdapt technology that adjusts tyre pressure and rim width to ensure that they performance of the tyre matches the road conditions. This will provide motorists with improved grip and control.
With the demands of driving constantly changing, especially with the development of electrical vehicles and automated driving, it is important that tyres can meet these new requirements. Continental believe that their innovative technology can make an important contribution to automotive development.
These new innovations build on Continental’s Self Supporting Runflat, ContiSeal and ContiSilent technologies. This technology can be found across their premium tyre range, for example the ContiPremiumContact 5. In the future, Continental aim to make ContiSense and ContiAdapt available throughout their tyre range.
Continental plan to continue to invest in the development of safer and more reliable vehicles. It is impossible to predict exactly what technology could be created in the future but Continental will undoubtedly be at the forefront.
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