Continental and Knorr-Bremse are taking a further step in their development partnership towards highly automated commercial vehicle driving: for automated platooning (i.e. driving in a column), the engineering company from Hannover and the world market leader for braking systems, and leading supplier of subsystems for rail and commercial vehicles, have joined forces to develop the Platooning Demonstrator, based on a platoon of three trucks of different makes. Initial test runs and demonstrations to customers have already been conducted at testing grounds.
The cooperation partners show with this Platooning Demonstrator what driving functions they can develop, jointly with the vehicle manufacturers, for automated driving. This includes the formation of platoons, driving together, the emergency braking function, exiting by individual vehicles and safe splitting up of the entire platoon. During the development work, special attention is being paid to the process for transferring control from the driver to the vehicle. A key element of this is clear instructions on what to do, which the driver receives via the specially designed human/machine interface. It displays the information graphically and clearly. This enables the driver to track the status of the system transparently at all times. The transfer itself is initiated on request by the push of a button as soon as the partner vehicle is less than 50 meters away. The synchronous vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) emergency braking function ensures greater traffic safety: By initiating simultaneous braking of all the vehicles, without any delay due to reaction times, the vehicles come to a stop the same distance apart as during driving.
That now gives customers a test platform for platooning regardless of vehicle make, and a basis on which the technology can be further developed. “With the Platooning Demonstrator, we’ve reached the first milestone of our joint work. The focus now is on exchanging ideas with the vehicle manufacturers for further development of the system solution in line with the product strategies of the customers”, says Gilles Mabire, Head of the Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket Business Unit at Continental.
“Automated driving is an evolutionary development. Our experience as a leading supplier of driver assistance products for commercial vehicles is an important foundation. Progress is continuing in the relevant technologies and our understanding of the market is improving. This is changing the conditions for automated driving and the speed at which automated driving functions are introduced. The main focuses in development thus change as well. Flexibility and openness when it comes to customer requirements and implementation routes is the key to our success. That’s why we’re keen to have close communication with our customers. It means we can present our roadmaps for products and functions, create vehicle demonstrators and react quickly to align our work with customer needs and market requirements,” adds Dr. Peter Laier, Member of the Board at Knorr-Bremse AG and responsible for its commercial vehicles division. The partners are also gearing up for further development work on automated driving on highways, the so-called Highway Pilot.
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Source and photo credits: Continental