- Complex driving maneuvers can be performed automatically even at higher speeds
- Intelligent software can calculate traffic situations several seconds in advance
Frankfurt, Germany, November 4, 2021. Continental develops a groundbreaking technology solution for highly automated driving: an intelligent software that enables complex driving maneuvers autonomously. What's special about the solution: It is already close to series production and can be used as early as 2024. Continental is thus demonstrating that automated driving in particular is not a visionary dream of the future or reserved only for drivers of premium vehicles with special equipment. Key components – from the software to the required sensor systems – were developed by Continental. "With our intensively tested technologies for automated driving conforming to everyday requirements, we are significantly promoting road safety," says Frank Petznick, head of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit at Continental. "Our solutions show: Automated driving can already offer a big plus in safety and comfort if we support drivers in typical, often stressful driving situations with intelligent technology."
The Next Generation Driving Planner is an innovative software solution that enables highly automated driving from Level 3. This means that vehicles can master certain driving tasks independently and without driver intervention. The software developed by Continental represents a significant leap forward in driving intelligence. The Driving Planner calculates precise decision-making variants from a wide range of sensor data in order to automatically master complex driving maneuvers on the highway or expressway. To do this, the software can calculate traffic situations several seconds in advance and derive the optimum response from the vehicle. What is special about the new solution is that it calculates the combination of longitudinal and lateral movements in a harmonious, intelligent and closely timed interaction. Individual systems available today - adaptive cruise control, lane change assistant - plan longitudinal and lateral movements independently of each other, for example, longitudinal movement with adaptive cruise control and lateral movement with lane change assistant. Continental's Driving Planner now calculates the longitudinal and lateral movement together over a time horizon of several seconds. This enables the technology to master complex maneuvers of highly automated driving.
A typical example where the new system will be able to relieve the driver in the future is when entering a highway via the acceleration lane. The Driving Planner calculates this complex maneuver from radar sensor and camera data and makes the optimal decision. Further software modules take over the actual implementation of the calculated driving maneuver. The vehicle accelerates forward, merges into the ongoing traffic to the side and then picks up speed according to the traffic flow and other road users. Another example: The vehicle is traveling in the middle of a three-lane highway, there is a traffic jam on the right, and the speed is high on the left. Suddenly, a car swerves from the right into the middle lane. Within fractions of a second, the Driving Planner calculates the safest driving maneuver from various possible alternatives - braking in the lane, accelerating and merging to the left, braking and merging behind another vehicle in the left lane.
Driving Planner is capable of calculating driving maneuvers up to a speed of 130 km/h. The development phase of the software system has been completed, and the technology is expected to be launched in 2024.