Continental an ERTICO Partner is replacing conventional receiver technologies in car radios. Digital technology with powerful software creates new entertainment possibilities in the Continental Global Software Radio and lowers costs thanks to streamlined hardware.

With its Global Software Radio technology the international automotive supplier Continental is replacing a large part of the hardware in conventional radios with intelligent software. This will allow automotive manufacturers to offer their customers modern radio entertainment at lower cost. In a test setup Continental is already able to demonstrate the diversity possible through the Global Software Radio. For example it can play several radio stations simultaneously. Using loudspeakers and additional headset outlets car drivers and rear seat passengers can listen to their favourite stations independently of each other. The Global Software Radio also allows the driver to listen to a station while a different channel is being recorded. It can also look for the most up-to-date traffic information in the background and provide this to the driver. It makes no difference whether the signals are digital or analogue. The Global Software Radio is future-proof as new radio broadcasting standards or new data services can be integrated with a software update. Conventional radios can only offer this diversity by using additional – and comparably expensive – hardware.

“The diversity offered by Continental’s Global Software Radio turns listening to the radio into a new experience. New services can be easily integrated into the device when the software is being updated. This allows vehicle manufacturers to offer top-class infotainment throughout the vehicle’s entire service life” explains Kieran O’Sullivan head of Continental’s Infotainment & Connectivity business unit speaking of the advantages of the new technology.
One for all: The Software Radio meets nearly all radio broadcasting standards worldwide

Automotive manufacturers look for product and system solutions that can be used all over the world. Therefore the Global Software Radio offers vehicle manufacturers world-ready functionality. Regardless of whether a radio receives HD radio in the USA or DAB in Germany the different standards can be met by simply changing the software. The automotive manufacturer can use the processor’s computing capacity to scale the diversity of functions offered by the Software Radio. The more powerful the processor the more functions the radio offers. Using a fast processor the radio can play or record several digital radio channels simultaneously for different listeners for example. This makes the technology suitable for cars from the smallest class right up to those in the luxury class.

“The ability to offer car manufacturers worldwide a diverse radio infotainment system with a significantly reduced number of product variants is a decisive factor in ensuring the breakthrough of the Global Software Radio. We have already entered series production with various automotive manufacturers using parts of the Software Radio technology and are witnessing a rising demand that confirms this trend” says O’Sullivan.

Less hardware for more energy efficiency

The Software Radio is also the right option for electromobility with its special requirements regarding energy efficiency. The formula behind this is simple: less hardware means less weight space and power consumption compared to conventional technologies with a similar diversity of functions.

With sales of €30.5 billion in 2011 Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems systems and components for powertrains and chassis instrumentation infotainment solutions vehicle electronics tires and technical elastomers Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has approximately 167000 employees in 46 countries.

The Automotive Group with its three divisions Chassis & Safety (sales of approximately €6.5 billion in 201133000 employees) Powertrain (sales of approximately €5.8 billion in 201131000 employees) and Interior (sales of approximately €6.1 billion in 201132000 employees) achieved sales of approximately €18.4 billion in 2011. The Automotive Group is present in more than 170 locations worldwide. As a partner of the automotive and commercial vehicle industry it develops and produces innovative products and systems for a modern automotive future in which cars provide individual mobility and driving pleasure consistent with driving safety environmental responsibility and cost efficiency.

The Chassis & Safety division develops and produces electronic and hydraulic brake and chassis control systems sensors driver assistance systems airbag electronics and sensors windshield washer systems and electronic air suspension systems. Its core competence is the integration of active and passive driving safety into ContiGuard®. The Powertrain division integrates innovative and efficient system solutions for vehicle powertrains. The comprehensive range of products includes gasoline and diesel injection systems engine management and transmission control including sensors and actuators as well as fuel supply systems and components and systems for hybrid and electric drives. Information management is at the very heart of the Interior division which provides a range of products that includes instrument clusters and multifunctional displays control units electronic car-entry systems tire-monitoring systems radios multimedia and navigation systems climate control systems telematics solutions and cockpit modules and systems.

For more information please contact:
Sebastian Fillenberg
Enno Pflug

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Original Publication Date: Mon 23 Jul 2012