Wanting to know exactly how the latest engine tech is saving you on gas? Or what the future holds for automotive safety? Attendees at this year’s Chicago Auto Show are getting a rare glimpse into the underpinnings of today’s vehicles courtesy of Continental AG, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers.
Most of us Yanks know Continental for its tire division. But the German-based company designs and distributes the gamut of automotive parts, from braking systems, sensor arrays, and engine technology, to the latest infotainment tech supporting GPS and Google’s Android OS. This year, Continental (or “Conti”) attended the Chicago Auto Show for the first time to showcase three of its current technologies:
Emergency Steer Assist: Say you’re on the road when you notice the car ahead is not moving. According to Continental, an average driver moving at around 60 mph needs around 91 feet to avoid the stalled car (or any other obstacle) before braking and around 40 feet when using the brakes. Emergency Steering Assist, or ESA, affects the vehicle’s braking system and allows the driver to react when not in the optimal conditions (i.e., within 91 feet and 40 feet respectively). Continental has set up a driver simulator at the Chicago Auto Show so consumer can see how the system works in the real world.
Double Clutch Transmission and Turbocharger: Automakers are now, more than ever, looking to increase fuel economy, driven by both government regulation and consumer demand for such vehicles. Continental is displaying two technologies at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show to achieve that goal. The first, a double clutch transmission, combines the fuel-savings from manual transmission with the ease of an automatic transmission system. The second is a turbocharger, which allows for high fuel economy without sacrificing horsepower. We’re Americans: we want our cake and to eat it, too. Both technologies can be found in the Ford Fiesta on display at the Continental both.
Simplify My Ride: Consumers demand far more control of their vehicles than ever before. Continental’s “Simplify My Ride” allows a car owner to change many of the features found in their vehicle from dash displays to suit their own taste to actually adjust the suspension for either a sporty ride or to be more fuel efficient. A Volkswagen CC showcases these technologies at the booth.
Conti staff are available to answer questions about the above technologies during show hours, so if you’re one of the million or so projected show attendees, be sure to drop by. Continental parts and systems can be found in a myriad number of vehicles which we’ll highlight in a series later this week.