Auto parts developer Continental has entered into a collaborative partnership with manufacturing firm 3M to assess the infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) interface between infrastructure-related objects and technologies (such as pavement markings, conspicuity film, signs and landmarks), and autonomous and connected vehicles.
According to Continental, current infrastructure often lacks the consistency, uniformity, performance specifications and maintenance standards needed to optimize the perception and localization capabilities of automated vehicles. While optimized infrastructure solutions may not be possible in the short term, the long-term goal of the partnership is to find a more balanced solution.
Continental’s history in automotive safety systems, combined with 3M’s innovative expertise and leadership in roadway technologies, will enable the two companies to collaborate on improving the current transportation infrastructure and work toward the goal of more balanced and intelligent infrastructure. The short-term goal is to help increase road safety while continuing to work toward automated driving solutions.
“A major focus at Continental is to ensure our vehicle technology is able to accurately, efficiently and effectively communicate with cities and road infrastructure,” said Ralph Lauxmann, head of systems and technology at Continental’s chassis and safety division. “We are excited to partner with 3M to collaborate on improving overall road infrastructure technology to help increase safety and awareness of the environments and obstacles we drive through daily.”
Continental and 3M will evaluate several aspects of the infrastructure and vehicle interface, including localization and correction services, using clear environmental landmarks for locating a vehicle on a high-definition map; identification and classification of objects in urban roadway environments including urban cross-walks, signalized intersections and other stationary and moving objects; improved awareness of objects in and around work zones and the status of the work zones; and enhanced object detection using sensor fusion detectable infrastructure-related objects.
Dr. Daniel Chen, vice president and general manager, 3M transportation safety division, said, “Infrastructure plays a critical role in the safety of all road users including vehicles with or without automated technologies, and vulnerable road users. At 3M, we are dedicated to improving transportation infrastructure and mobility so all road users can arrive at their destinations safely. Our mission of road safety is proving to be more important as modes of mobility are changing and advancing. We are excited to collaborate with Continental on exploring infrastructure solutions that will help governments achieve their vision zero goals.”