Digital is now playing a significant role in car manufacturing and safety

Digital is now playing a significant role in car manufacturing and safety

24 Jun

By Gwyn Fennell

When it comes to manufacturing – particularly in the automotive sector – new components take a considerable amount of time to produce, requiring extensive levels of preparation. During the development of a car, it’s not uncommon for billions of pounds to be spent on the process, from the drawing board to final delivery.

At Continental, development is a continual process, as the future of manufacturing is studied and researched to enhance the capabilities of next-generation components. Although renowned for its tyres, Continental is in fact a supplier of other equipment and solutions to the automotive industry. Brake systems, electronics and automotive safety are just some of the areas it has great expertise in. They’re a global leader in this field.

To assist in the production processes of the future, Continental have invested in and researched digital manufacturing and artificial intelligence.

Digital manufacturing uses advanced computing to help model, test and fabricate new machines and components. In this modern form of production, the computing and building aspects of the process are synchronised, working in partnership, allowing for testing, simulation and 3D modelling to take place alongside the actual process of construction.

The future of driver safety

An array of sensors, cameras and other active safety technologies combine to provide drivers with transport that has simply never been safer; but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be improved upon. Imagine for a moment that you’re driving behind a slow-moving truck. You want to overtake, but the vehicle in front is hard to see past. Continental is working on a solution to this using ‘AR’ – Augmented Reality.

AR is an exciting new technology which will enhance how we will see and engage with our surroundings. It utilises live-streamed information from several sensors and data sources, which when fed into an advanced head-up display (HUD) may allow you to be able to see straight through the truck, and perceive the road ahead. Perceive is the applicable word here, because you won't be seeing it exactly. Instead, you'll have a live image of the road streamed onto your windscreen or HUD, allowing you a view of the road that may enable you to make a judgement on whether it is safe to try and pass, or not.

And with the advancements being made in AR, the way we perceive our environment in the future is sure to change. Navigational instructions may well float in the air in front of us. Updates on our vehicle status and road networks may just appear to pop up directly in our line of sight. Augmented Reality is a fascinating piece of technology that offers the promise of remarkable experiences for drivers and passengers alike in the vehicles of the future.

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Gwyn Fennell
Gwyn has been in the motor industry for over 35 years with experience in vehicle design, electrics, engine ...
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