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Conti Gets in Touch with Sensory Tech

Seeing, hearing and feeling is believing 
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Continental is developing a variety of new technologies to help improve the user experience.

Several sensory-based concepts were showcased at CES. Among the highlights are:

Speakerless Audio

Conti is teaming with fellow Hannover, Germany-based tech specialist Sennheiser on a system that uses specially developed actuators to vibrate interior components.

Actuators positioned underneath interior components vibrate their surfaces to replicate music and other sounds. (Image: Continental)

The technology was inspired by classical string instruments, which use their wooden body as a resonance chamber.

Only in this case, parts of the dashboard, door panel, A-pillar trim, rear parcel shelves and headliner are excited so that they emit sound in different frequency ranges to provide an “immersive” sound experience.

Another benefit: Eliminating the speakers improves packaging flexibility and can slash the weight of a traditional 88-lb audio system by 75% to 90%.

Holistic HMI

                                                                  (Image: Conti)

Designed for autonomous shuttles, the integrated human-machine interface covers everything from booking rides to displaying information inside and outside the vehicle.

Users can track a vehicle’s location on their smartphone as they wait to be picked up, then view information about their trip and nearby points of interest on a large in-vehicle display as they travel.

Messages also can be communicated to other motorists and pedestrians via exterior displays.

Transparent Hood

 
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The technology, which recently went into production with an unnamed European carmaker, uses four cameras and an intelligent image processing algorithm to allow drivers to see the ground immediately ahead of and under their vehicle.

 

This will allow drivers to avoid objects and better navigate over rough terrain. It also is expected to aid parking maneuvers.

3D Center-Stack Display

Developed in conjunction with Leia, a Silicon Valley-based startup, the system uses nanotechnology and intelligent software to allow all vehicle occupants to view holographic-type images without special glasses or head-tracking cameras.

Images projected from the center console have 4K resolution, according to the partners. Users also can operate certain functions by hand gestures that incorporate haptic feedback.

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