ith Continental the Apps Conquer the Road
At CeBIT, Continental and Deutsche Telekom pave the way to new functions and perfect in-car Internet connectivity. The start of production with AutoLinQ and Applications Marketplace is slated for the next generation of cars.
Babenhausen/Germany, February 23, 2010. Continental, the leading international automotive supplier, is ushering in a whole new world of service, entertainment and communications for motorists. Together with Deutsche Telekom, the company is now preparing the stage for a completely open, flexible and future-proof infotainment concept based on the AutoLinQ communications network and the Android development platform. Via a mobile radio link the vehicles remain networked – always and everywhere – with cell phones, home computer and theater systems, online databases and diverse Internet-based value-added services similar to the “apps” offered for modern cell phones. At CeBIT 2010 in Hanover (March 2 to 6, 2010, hall 4, booth D26), Continental and communications specialist Deutsche Telekom jointly present an initial demonstration vehicle jam packed with functioning infrastructure.
In the last few years, the Internet has become the all-determining medium of information, communication and entertainment. More and more people are always online – in the office, at home and even out walking. It is only in cars that mobile Web access has not been able to establish itself so far. “User friendliness at motorway speeds has been lacking. There has been a dearth of innovative content tailored to the needs of motorists. And a workable concept package integrating technology, infrastructure and content was missing,” says Ralf Lenninger, head of the strategy and research department at Continental’s Interior division.
Continental, however, vowed to tackle these diverse problems. The company has cut the Gordian knot and is ready at CeBIT to present a trend-setting solution that does away with all the previous disadvantages of automotive Internet applications. The innovative “Simplify Your Drive” concept already presented by Continental in 2009 has been expanded in time for CeBIT to guarantee intuitive and non-distractive control even at top speeds. Various applications now make possible attractive content and a host of additional functions, ranging from an automatic song identifier through to a football portal. Deutsche Telekom’s know-how ensures smooth communication between vehicle and servers as well as abundant content and a sustainable infrastructure. Working together, the two suppliers are the only ones capable of providing a system of this kind from one source and thus of providing for its trouble-free integration into future vehicles. "With this concept, we usher in a whole new age in in-car information, communications and entertainment," says Lenninger: “To draw a comparison with the world of communications, it’s like the transition from dial phones to smart phones.”
Motorists experience in their vehicles the so-called “Car View”, by means of which Continental reliably, quickly and conveniently presents them with personalized Internet content and applications, even at high speeds. Upon request, AutoLinQ reads emails or short messages aloud. Click a special application and the song being played on the radio at the moment is identified. A further click and the song is downloaded onto the built-in hard drive. Cooperation partner Deutsche Telekom also contributes, for example, an online phonebook, with the option of directly dialing up parties listed in it or designating them as navigation destinations.
Thanks to complete networking, car owners can profit from this system – via their mobile phones, for instance – even when they are not seated in their cars. With “Mobile View“, Continental and Deutsche Telekom enable them to always and everywhere check the status and current location of their vehicle. “Are the doors locked and the lights out?” “Are the windows closed?” „Where is the car operating at the moment?” All of this can be seen on the display. Or with a downpour threatening, a driver out on the golf links can remotely roll up the roof of her/his convertible. Additional functions can be added at any time. With alternative drive technologies increasingly popular, Continental can, for instance, well imagine also providing the driver “Mobile View” of an electric vehicle’s battery charge management.
The “Home View” provides an even closer connection to one’s car. In this case, Continental transmits real-time data back and forth from the vehicle to the home computer. This makes it possible to synchronize address databases, music titles, navigation routes programmed at home or the electronic logbook. With Continental, as leading supplier of vehicle electronics, capable of accessing all relevant vehicle electronics interfaces, a detailed vehicle status report can, for example, also be called up. At a mouse click the tire’s inflation pressure, the oil quality or the battery’s charge state can likewise be displayed on the desktop or in the garage. This makes scheduling maintenance and service visits child’s play.
“Partner View” is the gateway to the future. Its central element is the AutoLinQ market place, where Continental and Deutsche Telekom, or other suppliers, can provide certified supplementary applications for uncomplicated downloading. The possibilities are quite as diverse as for cell phones, extending from customer service management and individualized news services or entertainment programs, office or concierge services, advertising or target-group-specific services on through to restaurant recommendations, service station finders and the special app for football fans that Continental has programmed for the demonstration vehicle at CeBIT. Downloaded at the tip of a finger and installed in a matter of seconds, it enables drivers to organize their very own personal program for the football World Cup in South Africa presented by Continental. The App issues a reminder when one’s selected favorite teams are playing, arranges for radio or TV transmission of the match into the vehicle or ensures that they will be recorded on the Telekom’s home theater.
Continental creates the framework, providing the basic equipment package together with high-performance partners like Deutsche Telekom. With the AutoLinQ marketplace, the company creates – in like manner as for modern cell phones – the platform on which third parties can quickly and easily make available their own applications employing Android, the leading development tool worldwide. To this end Continental will be offering the developer community a software development kit before the current year is out and will team up with systems partners and vehicle manufacturers to ensure, via elaborate certification and strict design guidelines, reliable and smooth in-car operation.
Industry observers view this as a decisive step in the right direction. Thilo Koslowski, vice president and automotive practice leader at Gartner, Inc., for instance, assumes that such functions will evolve from elitist toys for high-tech fanatics to mass phenomena. “Already in five years’ time, the networking of vehicles and access to currently relevant information will be as important to the majority of consumers as safety and fuel-efficiency currently are.”
With sales exceeding €24 billion in 2008, the Continental Corporation is one of the top automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, the Continental Corporation contributes to enhanced driving safety and protection of the global climate. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. The corporation currently employs approximately 130.000 at nearly 190 locations in 35 countries.
The Automotive Group is one of the leading global automotive suppliers. With its three divisions – Chassis & Safety (€5.1 billion in sales, 27,000 employees), Powertrain (€4 billion in sales, 25,000 employees) and Interior (€5.9 billion in sales, over 30,000 employees) – it reported sales of approximately €15 billion in 2008. The Automotive Group is present in more than 130 locations worldwide. As a partner of the automotive and commercial vehicle industry, it develops and produces innovative products and systems for a modern automotive future, in which cars provide individual mobility and driving pleasure consistent with driving safety, environmental responsibility and cost-efficiency.
The Chassis & Safety division develops and produces electronic and hydraulic brake and chassis control systems, sensors, driver assistance systems, air bag control systems, washer systems and electronic air suspension systems. Its core competence is the integration of active and passive driving safety into ContiGuard®. The Powertrain division integrates innovative and efficient system solutions for vehicle powertrains. The comprehensive range of products includes gasoline and diesel injection systems, engine management, transmission control, including sensors and actuators, as well as fuel-supply systems and components and systems for hybrid drives. Information management is at the very heart of the Interior division, which provides a range of products that includes instrument clusters and multifunctional displays, control units, electronic car-entry systems, tire-monitoring systems, radios, multimedia and navigation systems, climate control systems, telematics solutions and cockpit modules and systems.
About Deutsche Telekom AG
With more than 150 million customers and around 39 million landline and approx. 17 million broadband connections (as of September 30, 2009), Deutsche Telekom
Is one of the world’s leading
integrated telecommunications companies. Its product brands are T-Home (landline telephone service, broadband Internet service), T-Mobile (mobile telephone service) and T-Systems (ICT solutions). As an international corporation operating in around fifty countries and with approx. 260,000 employees worldwide (as of September 30, 2009), Deutsche Telekom generated more than half of its 61.6 billion euros in sales in 2008 outside of Germany.
More information at www.telekom.com
With a global infrastructure of computer centers and networks, T-Systems runs the ICT systems for multinational corporations and public institutions. On this basis, Deutsche Telekom’s major customer division offers integrated solutions for the networked future of business and society. At T-Systems, around 46,000 employees link branch competence with ICT innovations to create noticeable added value for customers’ core business. In fiscal 2008 the major customer division realized sales of around 9.3 billion euros.
External Communications, Interior division
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Enno Pflug, +49 6196 87-2515