Continental shows new driver-distraction prevention technology

By Editors on February 8, 2013 2:05 PM
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Intent on doing its part to help improve overall motoring safety by reducing the potential for distracted driving, Continental Automotive has created a new system to help the individual behind the wheel maintain focus under all conditions. The new Continental package integrates elements from its current Advanced Driver Assistance active-safety technology with a unique interior monitoring system and visual Human-Machine Interface (HMI) technology that lets the vehicle serve as a virtual co-pilot that constantly scans both the external and internal environments.

Presented on its Driver Focus Concept vehicle, the Continental system relies on the seamless integration of two main elements: an infrared camera in the steering column capable of "reading" the driver's facial behavior and eye movements to ascertain if they may be drowsy or looking away from the road and an industry-first 360-degree "Halo" of LED lights that provides in-cabin optical guidance. Any time the camera senses a potentially hazardous situation, it causes the Halo to illuminate and create a subtle light path that will bring the driver's eyes back to a proper focus point.

"The integration of surrounding and in-cabin safety technologies gives us the ability to create a very real relationship between the driver, the vehicle and the environment," said Mr. Helmut Matschi, executive board member and president of Continental's Interior Division. "With the Driver Focus vehicle technology we are for the first time able to communicate to the driver based on both the driving situation and in relation to his ability to react at this point in time. It represents the ultimate in HMI, delivering the integration of technology, information and safety systems in a way that supports and assists the driver toward a safer and more enjoyable experience."