Continental Corp.

A leading automotive supplier’s Big Data & Analytics platform aims to make traffic smoother and safer through a fleet of networked cars.

Smarter Cars, Connected Cars

As the automotive and technology industries strive to make individual cars smarter, one company is going a step further: it’s using networked mobility to make all cars better connected.

Advances in cloud computing, mobile and Big Data & Analytics continue to evolve cars’ safety, convenience and maintenance features. Beyond smarter—vehicle concepts like self—braking and self—parking, developments in the next—generation connected vehicle—such as mobile interactivity and smarter navigation—rely on this emerging technology.

Challenge

A Demand for Smart Mobility

Today's drivers expect their vehicles to deliver the same features as other mobile devices—that is, to act as the mobile extensions of their connected lives. Networked mobility will empower drivers by linking the next generation of vehicles to the internet.

Solution

Anticipating Road Hazards

Continental Corp. is developing a cloud—enabled data platform to enhance vehicles' anticipatory capabilities, using onboard sensors and crowdsourced vehicular data to predict traffic conditions.

Result

Greater Visibility, Greater Safety

The platform effectively extends “visibility” beyond what drivers can physically see, potentially making mobility smarter, safer and cleaner.

Connecting Big Data

With an increasing number of onboard sensors and software, cars today generate a vast supply of mobile data. A German company, Continental Corp., one of the world’s top automotive suppliers, is building a data platform supporting advanced analytics and mobile apps to help these smart vehicles communicate with one another.

Continental’s data platform shares cars’ speed and location data on a crowdsourced real—time exchange. The tool applies geospatial analytics that let cars detect sudden changes in the directions or speeds of surrounding vehicles and respond to these hazards in microseconds—far faster and earlier than a driver could perceive them. Cars applying this technology could potentially avoid both accidents and traffic jams.

The Networked Driver

The idea of the connected car is predicted to play a large role in the expanding “internet of things.” With more and more automotive sensors and software producing more data, cars can connect with greater seamlessness to devices in users’ homes and workplaces—as well as to other vehicles.

As cars are increasingly expected to work just as mobile devices do, transmitting data and performing smart functions, connectivity has the potential to help networked drivers gauge traffic flow and navigate better. With IBM as its partner, Continental is developing another point of connectivity between cars and drivers: a unique voice—recognition service that uses artificial intelligence to customize communication to each vehicle’s occupants, and to communicate a vehicle’s location and status to other vehicles.

The fully connected vehicle requires expertise across Big Data, embedded intelligence and the ability to deliver services over a highly scalable cloud platform,” says Dirk Wollschläger, IBM General Manager Global Automotive Industry. “Today’s car owners are completely rethinking their mobility needs and expect their vehicles to deliver the same capabilities and conveniences as other smart devices.

Cloud-Based Updates

The foundation of Continental’s plans for the connected car is a highly scalable cloud platform. Just as a PC or mobile device can automatically find and download software updates, Continental’s use of cloud technology will let car manufacturers deliver seamless updates and other mobile services over the internet, so drivers won’t need to have their vehicles serviced to get software updates.

And as smarter cars get increasingly connected, these cars’ ability to share and act upon data may be ushering in the era of smarter traffic.

“Connecting the vehicle is opening up a vast field of opportunities for services to make driving safer, more efficient and more comfortable,” says Helmut Matschi, head of Continental’s Interior Division and member of the Executive Board. In using IBM Big Data & Analytics, cloud and mobile technology, Matschi says, Continental is “working toward bringing a wide range of new innovative solutions to help drivers manage information and drive safely.”

This cloud-enabled Big Data & Analytics platform offers advantages to many industries, so public transportation departments can resolve traffic issues, insurance companies can personalize rates, and retailers can reach customers more efficiently.

Why IBM

Building a network of connected vehicles requires Big Data & Analytics expertise as well as a cloud platform that can scale to support it. Having launched a successful smarter—traffic program, IBM has that expertise. IBM has long embraced open standards in computing and has built partnerships that could help introduce a new range of vehicle apps and sensors to monitor traffic in real time and detect danger with predictive analytics.