In the tire business, mixing it up is well known. This also applies to the long-term alignment of Continental. In order to achieve the emission targets, we are clearly relying on technology transparency and an intelligent drive combination. We think that in Europe and China, the start of production of the last generation of combustion engines – which will then all have to be electrified – will be after 2030. After that, we will rely on pure electrification.
The fuel cell has advantages, particularly when it comes to high weight and longer distances. As such, experts assume that this type of drive can be used first for trucks and buses, then by 2030 it can be used in cars. Together with TU Chemnitz, Continental operates one of the most modern fuel cell laboratories in Europe. The research cooperation is intended to provide information on the development of production-ready fuel cell stacks, control units and algorithms. Vitesco Technologies could initially use this to capture niches, which in the long term could mean significant growth.
With its numerous developments, Continental is significantly involved in a future with fewer emissions. A system that is now already looking into the future is eHorizon. Based on highly precise topographic route data and GPS signals, it delivers data on the route ahead in real time, whereupon the electronic control units in the vehicle automatically adjust the driving style and speed. At the same time, the technology also links data from a wide range of sources, intelligently evaluates it and distributes it to other vehicles.
Continental is currently testing the system with several vehicle models. In the near future, vehicles with eHorizon will be able to see miles ahead. This will also prevent accidents. And it not only saves fuel in conventional internal combustion engines, it will also help to maximize the range of electric vehicles in the future. Lastly, the traffic situation or weather conditions have an influence on their range. In addition, hybrid vehicles can drive even longer without assistance from the internal combustion engine, if the vehicle has a dynamic system. The eHorizon is therefore also an important basis for networked, automated driving. After all, forward-looking driving makes driving really comfortable.
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