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            august 18, 2019

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Knorr-Bremse and Continental complete their Platooning Demonstrator

  16.07.2019    

Knorr-Bremse and Continental are taking a further step in their development  partnership  towards  highly  automated  commercial  vehicle  driving:  for automated  platooning (i.e.  driving  in  a  column), the world  market leader  for  braking systems, and leading supplier of subsystems for railand commercial vehicles, and the engineering company from Hanover have joined forces to develop the Platooning Demonstrator, based on a platoon of three trucks of different makes. Initial test runs and demonstrations to customers have already been conducted at testing grounds.
The cooperation partners show with this Platooning Demonstrator what driving functions they can develop, jointly with the vehicle manufacturers, for automated driving. This includes the formation of platoons, driving together, the emergency braking function, exiting by individual vehicles  and  safe  splitting  up  of  the  entire  platoon.  During  the  development  work,  special attention is being paid to the process for transferring control from the driver to the vehicle. A key element of this is clear instructions on what to do, which the driver receives via the specially designed human/machine interface. It displays the information graphically and clearly. This enables the driver to track the status of the system transparently at all times. The transfer itself is initiated on request by the push of a button as soon as the partner vehicle is less than 50 meters away. The synchronous vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) emergency braking function ensures greater traffic safety: By initiating simultaneous braking of all the vehicles, without any delay due to reaction times, the vehicles come to a stop the same distance apart as during driving.
That now gives customers a test platform for platooning regardless of vehicle make, and a basis on which the technology can be further developed. “With the Platooning Demonstrator, we’ve reached the first milestone of our joint work. The focus now is on exchanging ideas with the vehicle manufacturers for further development of the system solution in line with the product strategies of the customers”, says Gilles Mabire, Head of the Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket Business Unit at Continental.
“Automated driving is an evolutionary development. Our experience as a leading supplier of driver  assistance  products for  commercial  vehicles  is  an  important foundation.  Progress  is continuing  in  the  relevant  technologies  and  our  understanding  of  the  market is  improving. This  is  changing  the  conditions  for  automated  driving  and  the  speed  at  which  automated driving functions are introduced. The main focuses in development thus change as well. Flexibility and openness when it comes to customer requirements and implementation routes is the key to our success. That’s why we’re keen to have close communication with our customers.  It  means  we  can  present  our roadmaps for  products  and functions,  create  vehicle
Knorr-Bremse Group demonstrators and react quickly to align our work with customer needs and market requirements,” adds Dr. Peter Laier, Member of the Board at Knorr-Bremse AG and responsible for its  commercial  vehicles division. The  partners  are  also gearing  up for further  development work on automated driving on highways, the so-called Highway Pilot.

Complementary skills for a system solution
How  well the skills of the two partners complement one another is shown by the technical solution of the Platooning Demonstrator. Continental is responsible for the sensors: The very latest sensor technologies are installed, including cameras and radar and lidar sensors. Together  with  V2V  communication,  the  environment  sensors  are  a  central  building  block  for safely  maintaining  the  very  short  distance  between  vehicles  during  platooning.  This  short distance apart makes fuel-saving driving possible.
To process the sensor signals – including those with data from other vehicles (V2V) or on the traffic infrastructure (V2X) – a development environment is initially being used for the Demonstrator. To do so, the model of the respective environment too is created from the data, enabling self-orientation of the truck. In future, the system will use the central “Assisted & Automated Driving Control Unit” (ADCU) from Continental and “Global Scalable Brake Control” (GSBC) from Knorr-Bremse to supply the input for the driving strategy.
For planning the trajectory, Knorr-Bremse is contributing its expertise in the specific requirements placed on commercial vehicle dynamics. On top of that, Knorr-Bremse is implementing the requirements for driving stability (“Motion Control”) and for the actuator level, i.e. converting the driver’s decision into specific control processes inside the vehicle, and actuating steering and braking for longitudinal and lateral control.
Finally, Knorr-Bremse is also handling system integration, including validation. Commercial vehicle  makers  can thus  rely  on  the  experience  at  Knorr-Bremse,  and  they  have  a  clearly defined partner to contact about automated driving topics.

Work on the Highway Pilot is beginning
The experience gained during development of the Platooning Demonstrator forms, for both Continental and Knorr-Bremse, the basis for addressing a further application for highly automated  driving – the  Highway  Pilot.  Its  aim  is to  enable  highly  automated  driving  by  single trucks on highways. A first demonstrator is planned for next year. Starting in 2020, the partners will be ready to develop this technology jointly with the manufacturers.



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