Already today, many new functions available in the vehicle cockpit depend on fast and reliable mobile access to external data. Future connected vehicles will be a part of the internet of everything and will communicate with other cars and with the cloud. Being “Always on” is therefore rapidly becoming a core requirement for modern vehicles. Continental, the international automotive supplier, paves the way for this trend with its new high-speed Telematics module. This new generation Telematics solution offers up to 100 Mbps bandwidth where the 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile network standard is available. By integrating configurable frequency variants, interchangeable options for air interface solutions, GPS/GLONASS, and WLAN into one scalable and highly compact hardware module, Continental’s LTE module can be used worldwide.

“With our new LTE-capable Telematics module, drivers around the globe can expand their capabilities with cloud services, lifestyle apps, and many more innovative features to make driving more comfortable, more efficient, and safer”, said Johann Hiebl, head of Continental’s Business Unit Infotainment & Connectivity. Applicable Telematics functions include connecting a smartphone to the vehicle, on- and off-board navigation, safety and security services such as advanced automatic collision notification or remote diagnostics, premium assistance on the road, Wi-Fi hot spot for rear seat entertainment and business productivity, plus apps. “Our new high-speed Telematics module connects drivers to what matters,” Hiebl summarized. 

Continental has been serving the Automotive Telematics market since 1996 and has shipped over 25 million Telematics and connectivity products to date. The supplier’s Telematics reach includes the US, Europe, Brazil, China, Russia, and other countries. “We have launched Telematics with more mobile network providers than any other Tier 1 supplier. This global experience provided the basis for our new high-speed LTE Telematics module”, Hiebl said. It is scheduled to be available for vehicle mass production from early 2016.

Up to 100 Mbps LTE bandwidth for new functionality and worldwide use

The new generation of LTE-capable Telematics units seamlessly continues Continental’s philosophy of customizable automotive-grade products for worldwide use. The product architecture addresses multiple cellular technologies, including LTE, HSPA, EVDO, GSM, and CDMA. To facilitate worldwide use, the national frequency variants in the US, Europe, Russia, China, Brazil, and many other countries are supported. The module also offers premium speech and hands-free technologies. Consumer device connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB. To interface with the vehicle, many automotive bus standards such as MOST, CAN, LIN, Ethernet, USB, and Wi-Fi are supported. With its increased processing power and configurable RAM and FLASH memory, the LTE module supports a wide range of applications. Despite its rich functionality the new overall Telematics solution is integrated on a small printed circuit board. This PCB holds the full chipset – including the application IC – plus RAM/FLASH and still measures no more than 35 x 40 millimeters. Frequency variations, Wi-Fi, and RAM/FLASH can be freely configured to the application, and cellular chips with identical footprint are available in multiple variants to cover all major cellular technologies.

One of the biggest advantages is the bandwidth capability of LTE: compared to previous 3G technologies, 4G LTE finally brings the bandwidth for many innovative features in the vehicle. Bandwidth is a prerequisite for the best real-time experience when using HTML 5 apps and dynamic content, on-line location-based services, low-latency Vehicle-to-X (V2X) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure-to-Vehicle (V2I2V) communications, fast media streaming and map updates, plus personalized cloud services and mobile office connectivity.