- New Worker Detection function warns of collisions so that construction machines will stop or don’t even start moving when people are nearby
- Transparent Chassis offers a better overview and precision for construction machines with projecting superstructures
- Platform approach and automotive software: Thanks to ProViu 360, OEMs can perform a wide range of security and productivity functions without changing the hardware setups
Munich/Schwalbach, Germany, October 24, 2022. Continental is celebrating a world premiere – for the first time, the company is presenting new features for its innovative ProViu 360 surround view system, increasing safety levels in the construction and mining sectors. Equipped with the feature Worker Detection, the ProViu 360 system sets new standards for surround view camera systems when it classifies a detected object near a construction machine as a person and warns of possible collisions. Transparent Chassis offers even more visibility and precision for machines with projecting superstructures. Another new feature is the Clean Camera Assistant which detects dirty or blocked camera lenses. All three new features are based on Continental’s passenger car development algorithms and have been specially optimized for use on construction sites. In this way, the construction and mining sectors have two benefits: manufacturers and customers can access the latest automotive technologies while their hardware setups remain unchanged. “Digitalization will play a major role in the construction and mining sectors of the future – it enables more safety, efficiency and comfort for everyone involved,” says Dr. Ismail Dagli, Head of the Smart Mobility business area at Continental. “Thanks to our new ProViu 360 functions, we’re taking yet another step towards the construction site of the future.” Continental will present ProViu 360 at bauma 2022 in Munich, Germany, from October 24 to 30.
Every year, more than 100,000 accidents occur on Germany’s construction sites – and that number includes those that occur due to cramped working conditions and complex construction machines with many blind spots. “We believe we must provide construction machine operators with a better overview of their surroundings and eliminate the many blind spots,” says Chris Meissner, Head of Product Management for Special Vehicles in the Automotive Aftermarket business segment at Continental, explaining the added value of ProViu 360 on construction sites. The images taken by four cameras with HDR (High Dynamic Range) and a resolution of 1.3 megapixels with a viewing angle of up to 194 degrees are combined in the control unit. This is achieved using a complex algorithm to create a perfect view of the vehicle from a bird’s eye perspective.
New features – specially developed for construction sites and mining – have now been added to this 360-degree view. For example, Continental’s Special Vehicle experts have now developed a feature for construction machinery – Worker Detection. It’s based on the passenger car development team’s work on the City Emergency Brake Assist. With the help of an algorithm specially adapted to the confusing conditions of a construction site, persons who are near the construction machine can be detected, preventing accidents and collisions. In collaboration with a large OEM, this algorithm was “taught” the specific differences between a road scenario and the situation on a construction site: stones, gravel and sand instead of smooth, gray asphalt surfaces; metal parts, concrete blocks and wooden pallets instead of clear lanes; persons in bulky overalls, helmets and fluttering high-visibility vests instead of contrasting outlines that are easily distinguishable from the background. As a result, the ProViu 360 system can detect persons located close to the machine, which tells the operator that he or she should on no account set the vehicle or machine in motion.
The second new feature keeps the platform operational because the relevant algorithm alerts the driver if a camera is dirty or blocked and the system can no longer provide all the necessary information. “At first glance, this looks like a rather low-key idea,” says Chris Meissner. “However, during a dirty and tiring working day, a digital systems must offer practical support. That’s why we made the programming effort and can now provide the construction and mining industries with that specific hands-on support for productivity and safety.”
Another feature that can offer great added value on construction sites is Continental’s Transparent Chassis for construction machines with projecting superstructures. The front-mounted camera films the area in front of the vehicle and sends the images to the control unit. The system then displays the images in relation to the vehicle’s steering angle and speed, enabling a view “through” the vehicle for the operator, despite a lack of front visibility. For example, in road roller tasks that require a great deal of precision, the machine operator always knows where his or her vehicle is in relation to the working zone.
The latest feature of ProViu 360 is a software function that is particularly helpful for the industrialization of machines manufactured in small production runs. Autocalibration significantly shortens the implementation time for ProViu camera systems in production. Instead of requiring manual calibration of the ProViu camera system for optimal visibility, a software algorithm detects a pattern around the vehicle. It determines the best calibration settings for each vehicle within seconds, reducing calibration time by several minutes per vehicle. The Autocalibration function also guarantees repeatable results.
“At this point, it’s essential that we identify the different usage scenarios where our new features can assist,” says Chris Meissner. “This is how manufacturers of construction and mining machinery can benefit from ProViu 360 as a platform. Once the hardware has been installed, future functions can also be used quickly, increasing safety on the construction site.” During the development of the ProViu 360 and its new features, Continental’s experts were able to draw on their many years of experience and in-depth knowledge of passenger car environment detection. This preparatory work acts as a technological springboard for innovations in larger vehicle classes with smaller production runs, such as those in the construction and mining sectors. Ismail Dagli explains the motivation behind Continental’s product and service platforms: “Our goal is to give the off-highway sector access now to the digital technologies that will assist them in their specific situations. This also includes driver assistance systems applications. Our bauma motto is also in line with this goal: We build tomorrow. Now.”
Visitors to the Continental booth at bauma (Hall C5, Booth 403) will see the ProViu 360 system in action with its new features, plus many more solutions for the construction site of the future.