Safety as a retrofit solution – Continental launches turn assist system for commercial vehicles onto the market
The technology company Continental has developed a radar-based turn assist system that fleet operators can easily retrofit to their heavy-duty commercial vehicles. RightViu has received the General Operating Permit (GOP) and thus meets an important condition for public financial support. RightViu can be ordered from specialist retailers from summer 2020. Continental is so far the only supplier to rely on an exclusively radar-based solution which also detects and classifies cyclists and pedestrians.
“Increasing the safety of vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians is an important social responsibility,” says Gilles Mabire, head of the Commercial Vehicles & Services Business Unit. “Accidents caused by turning trucks are particularly in focus because they are often serious. We at Continental are fully aware of our responsibility, in line with our Vision Zero strategy, and are therefore bringing a sophisticated system onto the market with our radar-based solution.
Reliable detection, tried-and-tested technology
“We believe that our solution is ideal for detecting cyclists in the blind spot, distinguishing them from other objects, and avoiding serious accidents. Unlike camera-based or ultrasound-based systems, the sensor system detects whether it really is a cyclist or a pedestrian,” says Georg Kliewer, head of aftermarket products for special vehicles at Continental. “The package is also easy to install.”
Continental is also developing a radar-based solution for light commercial vehicles
RightViu can be quickly and easily fitted to vehicles in just a few short steps and does not require a display in the cabin. The radar is installed on the mount of the rear-view mirror, so no holes must be made in the vehicle body. The system uses the existing CAN bus in the vehicle. Time consuming work, such as laying additional cables in the cab, is eliminated. The only requirement is that the radar must be installed at a height of at least two meters so that it has the right detection range. This condition can be met by almost all buses and heavy trucks. Continental’s developers are currently working on a solution for light commercial vehicles that will also be radar-based.
The radar ensures the particularly reliable detection of other road users besides the vehicle. The monitored area is four meters to the side of the vehicle and up to 14 meters behind the front, so RightViu even exceeds the area required by the BMVI. VRU (Vulnerable Road User) software evaluates the information from the radar sensors. If a cyclist is within the coverage area, the driver is warned acoustically and visually. For its radar technology, Continental uses large-scale automotive production technology and the know-how of its experts for driver assistance systems as original equipment. The technology company is also working on the development of a technically more complex original equipment solution that uses artificial intelligence for pose estimation.
Minimal distraction – relieving the driver
The warning strategy follows the Continental principle of relieving the driver of the flood of information in the cabin and always providing the right information at the right time. “We deliberately decided against the additional use of displays. Drivers receive a clear warning signal, which directs their attention to the hazardous situation so that the risk of a possible collision can be detected in time,” explains Georg Kliewer. “The additional information of where the person is located, which is provided on the display image, is often irrelevant at this moment in time.” If a visual display on a monitor is nevertheless requested, Continental can provide this.
Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent, and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic, and transportation. In 2019, Continental generated sales of €44.5 billion and currently employs around 240,000 people in 59 countries and markets.
Continental develops pioneering technologies to make commercial transport safer, more efficient and more connected. The company’s products and services deliver measurable impact for commercial vehicle manufacturers and the aftermarket. They benefit from a broad portfolio and from fully integrated systems. The portfolio includes tires, digital tire monitoring, fleet management, telematics solutions, Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) and tachographs, hoses, air springs, Electronic Control Units (ECU), displays, drivetrain and exhaust after-treatment systems, sensors, advanced driving assistance systems, as well as eHorizon maps and events and cloud-based services. In 2017, the share of Continental’s global sales for commercial vehicle products and systems was around €4.7 billion.