Continental to showcase first concepts jointly developed with IBM

December 17, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
At the forthcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, automotive tier one Continental plans to demonstrate the first results of its strategic collaboration with IBM. Examples are a 'connected electronic horizon' for the vehicles as well as natural voice processing.

The electronic horizon is a platform aiming at enabling and improving a foresighted driving style - not so much for the human driver but for the electronic control systems. Using digitized precision road maps, the system knows the further course beyond the driver's visual horizon and offers these informations to the vehicle's relevant control systems. This enables, for instance, to gear down and / or decelerate in due time before a vehicles reaches a slope and adapt the speed to the respective situation.

In its current state, the electronic horizon utilizes static map data with topographical information, enabling the most efficient driving strategy and thus reducing fuel consumption. In contrast, the connected electronic horizon optimizes the map data by means of crowdsourcing techniques - other vehicles, traveling nearby, contribute their 'knowledge' of topographic and traffic situation and thus enable a more detailed situation assessment.

The enhanced utilization of multiple vehicle sensors will make the electronic horizon a central function in future vehicles, believes Continental. Eventually, this approach will enable the vehicles to "look around the corner" and anticipate road conditions. This technology is also regarded as another precursor of automated driving.

Beyond the electronic horizon, Continental and IBM plan to collaborate on the field if controlling vehicle functions through human voice. By merging the expertise of both partners, the duo plans to devise a cloud-based voice control solution which will be more intelligent and adaptive in comparison to today's available solutions. Towards this end, Continental will provide its expertise in vehicle voice processing interfaces while IBM contributes its interactive dialog and content-finding techniques. My merging these ingredients, the partners intend to create an interactive, highly personalised solution based on artificial intelligence. In this solution, the dialog between the vehicle and its passengers will be unique for each user, its interaction patterns and usage history.

Within the scope of their collaboration, 'Big Blue' IBM and Continental are developing software, technical services