Continental concentrates on tires, tachographs, and more

  • 13-Aug-2008 10:05 EDT
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A new tire-pressure monitoring system from Continental is specifically designed for commercial vehicles. Driver warnings can be made through the instrument panel or by a voice-activated warning.

Continental Automotive will showcase a range of new products at September’s IAA Hannover Show including new tires, a driver assist system, a new tachograph with a remote download option, and a new tire-pressure sensor system. The company has also launched new software to analyze accident data from vehicle tachographs.

The two new tires have both been designed for trailer use and carry the designations HTR2 and HTL1. HTR2 is a 22.5-in 385/65 tire designed to offer low rolling resistance. Continental launched the tire as the first in a new generation of tires earlier this year and claims that it offers 5% lower rolling resistance compared with its previous generation of trailer tire. The tire features a new design of steel stabilizer belt to reduce rolling resistance and improve durability.

The HTR2 tread contains 20% more rubber than the previous generation, giving a 17-mm (0.67-in) effective increase in tread depth. Using Continental’s patented “Air Keep” interior technology, the tire should offer better rim sealing, which, claims the company, will help the tire to maintain its optimum pressure for up to 50% longer. The tire is also lighter than its predecessor and can be remolded at the end of its first life.

HTL1 is designed for “supercube” high-volume, low deck height trailers, as the 19.5-in 385/55 dimensions indicate. The tire supersedes the HTL tire, and Continental claims better mileage performance and lower rolling resistance.

A tire-pressure monitoring system from Continental developed specifically for commercial vehicles is scheduled to make its debut at the IAA show. The system consists of a small sensor in each tire to measure pressure and temperature. The sensors communicate data to an onboard processor. Driver warnings can be made through the instrument panel or by a voice-activated warning, depending on vehicle manufacturer requirements. Continental is also considering a telematic link to pass warnings to the vehicle fleet manager or tire supplier.

The company is launching a driver assist system to monitor the blind spot on the right-hand side of a vehicle (left side for right-hand-drive applications). The system will be fitted to a Volvo truck on display at IAA. The device will be fitted on the nearside of the truck, level with the cab. Data are exchanged with the vehicle via the CAN bus system. The basis of the system is 24-GHz radar using a 150° radar lobe to monitor the area to the side and behind the vehicle. The software that analyzes the data can distinguish between stationary objects, such as lampposts or parked vehicles, and moving objects. The system calculates the speed of approach into the blind spot and warns the driver accordingly. The warning system employed will depend on vehicle manufacturer requirements.

Continental, which acquired Siemens VDO Automotive last year, will display the latest VDO DTCO digital tachographs. Vehicle operators need to download data from the tachograph at regular intervals, which usually involves the physical connection of a data storage device. The latest variant of the DTCO tachograph will be available with the option to download data remotely, enabling operators to gather data regardless of the vehicle’s location. The system could be configured, for instance, to download the data when the vehicle enters a depot.

The company has also launched the VDO DTCOScope for collision investigators. The package consists of a download device and software that can produce a detailed analysis of the 1- and 4-Hz data stored in the tachograph detailing speed, acceleration, time, and distance traveled as well as specific driver and vehicle activity and any faults logged by the system. Digital tachographs maintain the more detailed 4-Hz data for the period relating to the previous 24 h only. Data from several vehicles involved in the same incident can be viewed simultaneously using the system.

VDO Dayton has introduced a portable truck satellite navigation system that can be programmed with vehicle specific data. The PN6000TSN and PN4000TSN are equipped with a 5.6- and 4.3-in screen, respectively, but are programmed with the same software, which includes data on bridge heights, narrow roads, weight restrictions, and other truck-related information. Vehicle data such as type, height, width, length, weight, axle weight, and hazardous freight can be entered and are factored into the system’s route planning.

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