Last year, Continental demoed a vehicle-to-vehicle information system called eHorizon for automobiles. The company has since adapted the system for motorcycles, announcing a new version of the system designed specifically for two-wheelers. The system uses what Continental dubs “swarm intelligence,” which gathers data from multiple vehicles into the cloud which sends the information back out to individual vehicles.
Continental will showcase the motorcycle-version of eHorizon at the Consumer Electronics Show on Jan. 5, 2017. Here’s what Continental has to say about its “Swarm Intelligence” eHorizon system for motorcycles. —Ed.
Motorcyclists can already start looking forward to future seasons, because with eHorizon the Continental developers based in Singapore will enable motorcyclists to see around corners. The eHorizon system for two-wheelers interconnects bikers, offers a shared platform to motorcyclist communities and allows motorcyclists to share important route information. With this system, the international technology company is using the concept of swarm intelligence, which continuously supplies the digital map in the backend with accurate and up-to-date information.
“The stored data is collated in the cloud and made available to all motorcyclists. As a result, the eHorizon system informs bikers in advance of obstacles along their route such as construction zones, accidents, slippery conditions, or traffic jams. Having this information can enhance safety, not only for motorcyclists, but also for other road users,” said Ralf Lenninger, head of Continental’s Intelligent Transportation Systems.
To integrate the software, Continental has developed a digital instrument cluster that not only displays all the usual information such as road and engine speed, but also contains an information panel that displays safety-relevant information on the traffic and weather, as well as notifications about incoming phone calls or music. The software prioritizes the displayed information according to the user’s preference.
Smartphone integration and app use the power of collective intelligence
To supply the digital map with route data, motorcyclists use a button connected to the instrument cluster that allows them to record their current position and, when they have finished their journey, to enter specific information about the event and its location. This data will be collected and processed in the cloud, added to an incident map, and then shared with other motorcyclists driving along this route.
For this and other functions, Continental has developed a smartphone app equipped with a Bluetooth Connection Manager allowing the smartphone to communicate with the instrument cluster. The app allows motorcyclists to enter navigation destinations and enables the turn-by-turn navigation to be displayed on the cluster. Motorcyclists also have the option of transferring missed call notifications, the time, or charge status of their smartphone from the phone to the display.
The Bikefinder function allows motorcyclists to locate their motorcycle even in a busy underground parking lot, using Bluetooth Low Energy and radio frequency. The cluster-integrated immobilizer can also be deactivated using the app and the start of the engine can be permitted by using the Bluetooth-based smart key. If the vehicle systems detect that an accident has taken place, they can use the smartphone connection to automatically send an emergency text message to a predefined contact. To ensure that the continuous connection between the smartphone and instrument cluster does not drain the phone’s battery, a USB charging capability is also provided.
Creating communities for enhanced riding pleasure and safety
Through this app platform, Continental gives motorcyclists the opportunity to create communities and allows existing motorcyclist groups to share data digitally. Motorcyclists can use the app to share information such as distance ridden, places visited, or anything else of interest with everyone in the group. A dedicated web page has been created for this purpose. The integration of instrument clusters and eHorizon is not limited to any specific motorcycle class, which means that even smaller motorcycles could potentially be connected. The design and content of the platform can be easily adapted in line with manufacturers’ requirements.
For the first time, Continental will showcase the eHorizon for Two-Wheelers at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.