Continental Launches Smart City Mobility And Transportation Hub For Safer And Smarter Cities

Continental Launches Smart City Mobility And Transportation Hub For Safer And Smarter Cities

Using decades of automotive systems expertise, Continental applies proven automotive technology to city infrastructure.

Continental’s Wrong-Way Driver detection system warns at-risk vehicles in the vicinity of a driver heading the wrong way.

Continental this week announced a big step toward creating safer, smarter cities: a Smart City Mobility and Transportation Hub in Auburn Hills, Michigan. At the center of this Smart City Mobility and Transportation Hub are two intersections made intelligent thanks to Continental sensors and intelligent software integrated into the infrastructure. Ultimately, this technology will have the potential to improve traffic flow, add convenience, reduce pollution and, most importantly, significantly increase the intersection’s safety by communicating hidden dangers to approaching connected vehicles and pedestrians. In addition, Continental’s Wrong-Way Driver detection system, which warns at-risk drivers in the vicinity of a driver heading the wrong way, also has been installed. 

“With about 80 percent of Americans living in urban areas, a steady increase in pedestrian fatalities, and more than 43 percent of crashes taking place at intersections, a focus on improved safety at city intersections has never been more important,” said Jeremy McClain, director of Chassis and Safety Systems and Technology for Continental, North America. “By bringing together a variety of automotive-grade technologies, systems and expertise, Continental’s Smart City technologies have the potential to greatly improve the lives of everyone who enters the area.”

In its current phase, the Smart City Mobility and Transportation Hub is collecting important non-personally identifiable information, like location and movement patterns, about pedestrians, vehicles and other intersection-related activity to create an environment model needed for infrastructure-to-everything (I2X) communication. The environment model provides information about traffic participants (i.e., vehicles and vulnerable road users), traffic infrastructure, static objects and the overall road situation to connected vehicles.

“With Continental’s sensor technology, we want to apply our years of experience in the automotive industry to make intersections more intelligent, and therefore safer and more efficient,” said Laurent Fabre, head of Passive Safety and Sensorics Business Unit at Continental.

The Smart City Mobility and Transportation Hub infrastructure is equipped with Continental’s state-of-the-art short- and long-range radars. These radar sensors have been deployed on a number of vehicle platforms over the years, and enable functions like adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, forward collision warning, lane change assist and more. Continental now looks to apply the economies of scale together with its software functions knowhow from automotive to the infrastructure.

In addition to the Continental radar sensors, the Auburn Hills Smart City Mobility and Transportation Hub also has a roadside unit and electronic control unit to process data and run the environment model and functions.

This combination can offer a number of benefits, like counting the number of vehicles entering and exiting a specific zone to communicate the number of available parking spaces to interested vehicles. By connecting to a traffic light controller, traffic flow can be better optimized, reducing not only congestion, but also emissions from idling vehicles. The solution makes it possible to warn an approaching vehicle about occluded hazards such as pedestrians. With additional analysis and artificial intelligence, intention prediction of pedestrians becomes possible, helping to alert drivers to pedestrians planning to cross even when the vehicle has the right of way.

“Auburn Hills is excited to partner with Continental to provide a real-world test location for Smart City Technology that will make the future of transportation safer not only for motorists, but cyclists, pedestrians, and other users within the confluence of the intersection,” said Auburn Hills Mayor Kevin McDaniel.

In addition to Auburn Hills, Continental operates a Smart City Mobility and Transportation Hub in Changsha, China, as well as Intelligent Intersections in Walnut Creek, California, and Columbus, Ohio, and plans to expand to other cities in the near future.

You can find the Auburn Hills intersections at the center of Continental’s Smart City Mobility and Transportation Hub below:

Auburn Hills, Michigan: Auburn Road and North Squirrel Road, and Auburn and South Squirrel Road

Auburn Hills, Michigan WWD: North Squirrel Road at Parklawn Street

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