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Turning Your Car into Your Safety Companion: Continental Automotive Unveils Concept Vehicle to Investigate and Address Driver Distraction

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Turning Your Car into Your Safety Companion: Continental Automotive Unveils Concept Vehicle to Investigate and Address Driver Distraction

Chicago Auto Show
February 7, 2013

Continental Driver Focus vehicleContinental's Driver Analyzer Camera can read the facial features of a driver and assess engagement in the act of driving. Continental Driver Focus vehicleLED lights on Continental's Halo technology recapture driver attention during critical situations. Continental Driver Focus vehicleContinental's Halo technology employs a 360 degree approach of visual warning to recapture a distracted driver's attention.

Feb 07, 2013 15:40 ET

Next-generation in-cabin and surrounding safety technologies join forces to combat distraction by increasing driver focus and awareness

CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Distracted driving is an epidemic. According to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), each day 10 people are killed and more than 1,100 people are injured in crashes that involved distracted drivers. To address this ongoing concern, Continental, a leading global automotive supplier, has developed its own concept vehicle to test ways to combat driver distraction – the Driver Focus vehicle.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130207/DE56557-a )

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130207/DE56557-b )

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130207/DE56557-c )

"At Continental, we continue to invest in research and development for next generation technologies that will drive us toward a safer future," announced Jeff Klei, president Continental, NAFTA at the Chicago Auto Show. "This Driver Focus vehicle highlights how the continual integration of new technology, focused on the right issues, can help to further reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities. As a company, Continental's strategy is clearly focused on making this type of future technology a reality so that distracted driving, and vehicular accidents as a whole, become a thing of the past."

In its Driver Focus concept vehicle, Continental has integrated current Advanced Driver Assistance active safety technology with a future interior monitoring system and visual Human-Machine Interface (HMI) technology that provides the driver with a virtual safety-focused companion -- or co-pilot -- that constantly scans the vehicle's external and internal environments. Coupling these technologies works to make sure the driver's actions and attentiveness match the real time needs of the driving situation.

"The integration of surrounding and in-cabin safety technologies gives us the ability to create a very real relationship between the driver, the vehicle and the environment," said Mr. Helmut Matschi, executive board member and president of Continental's Interior Division. "With the Driver Focus vehicle technology we are for the first time able to communicate to the driver based on both the driving situation and in relation to his ability to react at this point in time. It represents the ultimate in HMI, delivering the integration of technology, information and safety systems in a way that supports and assists the driver toward a safer and more enjoyable experience."

Continental's Driver Focus vehicle features a combination of both production ready and prototype technology. The key to the success of the technology is the systems integration that provides the driver with seamless and critical information and also actively assists when the driver does not respond to a driving situation due to distraction.

"Human error is the single cause for about 80 percent of traffic accidents. Among these, driver distraction is a serious issue and plays a major role. The reasons are complex and range from driver drowsiness and monotonous driving situations to increased stress and driver information overload," said Dr. Ralf Cramer, executive board member and president of Chassis & Safety division, Continental. "To combat these realities, Continental utilizes active safety technology to advise drivers of the dangers and assist if necessary."

System Overview of Continental's Driver Focus Vehicle

Interior Safety Technology includes:

Surrounding Safety Technologies:

This vehicle also showcases Continental's latest fixed calipers. This new design uses light weight aluminum monoblock housing, and is optimized for low drag, pedal feel, NVH and braking performance.

The Driver Focus vehicle's technology complements and advances Continental's industry leading efforts toward developing technology that enables highly automated driving in the future and delivers a more safe and enjoyable driving experience to the public.

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 170,000 employees in 46 countries.

SOURCE Continental/Chicago Auto Show (ChicagoAutoShow.com)

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