21 Sep 21

Continental – connecting data for Tachograph compliance and more

Pioneer in tyre technology and connected mobility Continental is one of our Diamond partners at the 2021 Connected Fleets Conference, taking place on 30th September. The company will be showcasing some of its latest technology and speaking at the Open Platform at 1:30 CET about new developments in Tachograph compliance. Fleet Europe was able to catch up with Jörg Lützner, Head of Services and Commercial Vehicles in Continental’s Holistic Engineering and Technology (HEAT) operation, to get insights into connected fleet data’s impact within the transport environment.

Q: In a transportation environment that is increasingly impacted by new legislation across Europe, how does connectivity support alignment and compliance with new legislation?

Jörg Lützner (JL): “Connectivity can strongly support the upload of the legally mandated vehicle and driver information, from the digital tachograph, for example. In Europe, there are a lot of new legal topics concerning vehicles and drivers coming up in the next five years. The Mobility Package I recently adopted by the European Union is an excellent example of how reliable data can help solve current problems such as the control of cabotage. In this case, reliable data from the second-generation smart tachograph (known at Continental as DTCO 4.1) helps to determine how many trips have already been made outside the home country. From Continental’s point of view, however, this is only the first of many possible cases in which reliable tachograph data, integrated into a network of various communication and sensor technologies, can help solve challenges in social and transport policy.

But data from the vehicle, especially secure, specific, and reliable data, also enables more efficient fleet management. Such data can also enhance microservices, which enable commercial vehicle fleet service providers, such as leasing and insurance companies, software providers for payroll accounting, and many others to offer value-added services based on reliable, real-time data.

An important step here has been the release of the specifications for the 2nd generation of the smart tachograph in early August. This states (among other things) that the now optional ITS interface will be mandatory from 2023

Continental will introduce services that enable fleets to stay compliant in a legal environment that, once more, is becoming increasingly complex.

If I am allowed to speculate: The road to Zero Emissions will also rely on data from the vehicle. One day, it might be mandatory to upload real-time information on the carbon footprint of a vehicle to ensure constant compliance. This would be a further use case for connectivity.”

Q: What’s Continental’s vision, role and approach regarding enhanced connectivity and intelligent fleet and mobility management?

JL: “Intelligent fleet and mobility management will not be possible without connectivity. Our solutions already enable these services. We are a market and technology leader when it comes to connectivity and we aim to drive the evolution and disruption which it enables. For this, we continuously drive improvements in connectivity units, such as connectivity HPC (High-Performance Computing), plus introduce and support smart mobility services, e.g. the Munich-based start-up Peach Mobility, a scooter sharing company.”

Q: How do you see the development and adoption of connectivity for smart city mobility and efficient first and last-mile transportation?

JL: “Smart city mobility and intelligent last-mile transportation will not be possible without connectivity. The main purpose of connectivity (and associated services) is to draw mobility supply and demand together in the most efficient manner - for the service provider on the one hand and in the most comfortable and reliable manner for the users on the other. This creates the desired win-win situation. What is a rather difficult task today will become easier with the increase of data quality and connectivity. My view is that a lot is already possible, but a few pieces of the puzzle are missing. In this picture, data is the missing piece and the complete puzzle will be a successful, end-to-end process. We are certain that secure, specific and reliable data from the vehicle will add many more important pieces to the puzzle in the future.”

Q: What’s the stake of Continental on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for optimised and intelligent road transportation and city mobility?

JL: “AI is hugely important for the future of mobility. That’s why Continental, to give an example, has increased its technical capacity by installing a supercomputer at our Frankfurt site. This is one of the world’s 500 most powerful computers and runs on certified green electricity. With this technology, Continental can develop state-of-the-art systems for assisted, automated and autonomous vehicles much faster, more effectively, and more cost-effectively. However, AI can do more than this. Currently, the vehicle interior is a hot topic. Here, AI provides the basis for intuitive human-machine dialog, which is important to enable the driver to drive well, and with regards to future autonomy, to work. To do this, the machine must be capable of recognising individual drivers and adapting to their specific needs and habits. Furthermore, AI can already tell where the person behind the wheel is looking, and how attentive they are. Continental already offers display and control solutions that are able to use a lot of these pieces of information.”

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2021 Connected Fleets Conference.

Image of Jörg Lützner, Head of Services and Commercial Vehicles in Continental's Holistic Engineering and Technology (heat) operation

Authored by: Alison Pittaway