Continental creates Smart City hub in Auburn, Michigan

Continental creates Smart City hub in Auburn, Michigan
Automotive company Continental has announced a Smart City Mobility and Transportation Hub at two intersections in Auburn Hills, Michigan. (Continental)

Automotive company Continental has announced a Smart City Mobility and Transportation Hub in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Encompassing two intersections, the hub incorporates Continental sensors and intelligent software integrated into the infrastructure. The technology could potentially improve traffic flow, add convenience, reduce pollution and increase the intersection’s safety by communicating hidden dangers to approaching connected vehicles and pedestrians.

In its current phase, the Smart City Mobility and Transportation Hub is collecting important non-personally identifiable information, like location and movement patterns, about pedestrians, vehicles and other intersection-related activity to create an environment model needed for infrastructure-to-everything (I2X) communication. The environment model provides information about traffic participants (i.e., vehicles and vulnerable road users), traffic infrastructure, static objects and the overall road situation to connected vehicles.

The hub is equipped with Continental’s state-of-the-art short- and long-range radars. These radar sensors have been deployed on a number of vehicle platforms over the years, and enable functions like adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, forward collision warning, lane change assist and more. Continental now looks to apply the economies of scale together with its software functions know-how from automotive to the infrastructure.

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In addition to the Continental radar sensors, the Auburn Hills Smart City Mobility and Transportation Hub also has a roadside unit and electronic control unit to process data and run the environment model and functions.

Combining the hub with the electronic control unit offers benefits such as counting the number of vehicles entering and exiting a specific zone to communicate the number of available parking spaces to interested vehicles. By connecting to a traffic light controller, traffic flow can be better optimized to reduce congestion and emissions from idling vehicles. The solution makes it possible to warn an approaching vehicle about occluded hazards such as pedestrians.

The hub also adds Continental’s Wrong-Way Driver (WWD) detection system, which warns at-risk drivers in the vicinity of a driver heading the wrong way. It relies heavily on Continental’s premium automotive-grade radar sensors to detect wrong-way drivers. The detection technology uses a combination of Continental sensors, connected-vehicle systems and a heatmapping algorithm.

The self-learning system automatically defines the roadways and directions of travel, then sends an alert via push notification to a mobile device or connected vehicle informing at-risk vehicles of the wrong-way driver’s location, speed and direction of travel.

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