Continental, the premium tyre and automotive manufacturer, is shaping the transformation of effectively turning cars into mobile devices. The company will demonstrate its latest automotive technology, enabling cars to be connected at all times, whether for phone calls, music streaming or keyless access, at a world premiere during the Mobile World Congress (MWC), from 26th February until 1st March, in Spain.
Starting this year, every new car in Europe will have to be equipped with an integrated SIM card enabling vehicles to make an emergency call at any time. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, the UAE has made significant inroads into the connected car sector, as the national telecommunications company, Etisalat, initiated the region’s first connected car deployment, installing small devices into cars, connected via a SIM card. A number of countries in the region have recently revealed long term economic plans including a heavy focus on diversification, whereby governments and investors are increasingly investing in a number of sectors – including technology.
“Smartphones, tablets and now cars –vehicles will soon be part of the connected world, and will have to blend seamlessly into users’ daily digital routines. We will demonstrate that having a seamless online connection and comprehensive cyber security is just as important as ensuring trouble-free integration of mobile devices and intuitive operation,” commented Helmut Matschi, member of the Executive Board at Continental and head of the Interior division.
A glimpse into the future: predictive connectivity
Continuous and high-quality mobile network coverage is crucial for drivers wanting to expand their digital lifestyles to the domain of driving. With many regions, including certain areas of the Middle East, still plagued by low bandwidths and high latency; broken off phone calls and interrupted music streaming are not uncommon. Continental has developed a predictive connectivity manager, which collects data on the network quality via crowdsourcing and uses this data to create a map of available mobile networks and their quality.
Based on the results the software can, for instance, notify drivers that their current phone calls will be terminated and advise them when the network quality will be good enough again to continue the call.
The all-rounder smartphone: keyless vehicle access
Solutions for intelligent vehicle access by means of virtual smartphone key are making car rental more convenient for customers and rental companies alike. Continental’s “Key as a Service” technology enables a rental experience with keyless vehicle access and engine start authorisation.
The core component of all Continental’s smart access systems is the virtual smartphone key, which consists of a tamper-proof data record. This key gains access only after successful one-time authentication, which is then sent to the smartphone via a wireless interface. For the Smart Device Integrated Access solution, the system uses multiple Bluetooth Low Energy modules in the vehicle to enable the authorised smartphone to be located from both inside and outside. As soon as an authorized virtual key is detected, the system issues permission to open the vehicle and start the engine.
Smartphones are also expanding vehicle technology
Another remote display option for vehicle data on the smartphone is the filling assistant function, which displays the current tyre pressure. In an app on their mobile devices, users can also activate personalised profiles such as seat position, air-conditioning settings and entertainment preferences.
To make sure that a flat battery does not stand in the way of diverse smartphone integration, Continental will also bring its Multifunctional Smart Device Terminal to the MWC 2018. The terminal enables wireless charging for smartphones via Bluetooth and NFC with the vehicle’s head unit.
No connectivity without security
To ensure sufficient system security as digitalization advances, Continental’s subsidiary Elektrobit – with its new family member Argus Cyber Security – is delivering multilayer end-to-end automotive cyber security solutions and services. These include intrusion detection and prevention, attack surface protection, health monitoring and management to safeguard the cyber security of vehicle fleets as well as wireless software updates.
Remote Vehicle Data: a powerful platform for connected vehicles
Continental’s Remote Vehicle Data (RVD) platform is the basis for innovative, connected services. The platform enables standardised access to manufacturer-specific vehicle data for numerous makes and models. RVD is aimed at vehicle manufacturers, car dealers, rental companies, fleet operators, repair workshops and insurance companies. The platform provides an end-to-end solution and integrates seamlessly into Continental’s modular cloud solutions for connectivity-based services.