Safe and Efficient Heavy Goods Traffic thanks to Continental's Brake and Driver Assistance Systems

5th September 2012
ES Admin
Smaller, lighter, more powerful – these are the hallmarks of the MK 100 electronic brake system generation from Continental, the international automotive supplier.
A modular product family makes scalability possible, enables the use of the anti-lock brake system (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) in all vehicle categories and saves on installation space and weight. The newest addition to the product family is the MK 100 ESC XT which was developed for heavy vehicles or vehicles transporting heavy loads. It was designed to achieve a high level of active safety through enhanced brake dynamics. Continental's Chassis & Safety Division will be unveiling the new system for the first time at the IAA Commercial Vehicles, held from September 18 to 27 in Hanover, Germany.

The MK 100 ESC XT, which can be used in light commercial vehicles, pickups, off-road vehicles and luxury-class vehicles, is the next generation of the MK 100. Thanks to an adaptation to high volume uptake of the brake calipers, the MK ESC 100 XT now meets the special demands placed on the brakes by light commercial vehicles and heavy passenger cars very well, said Bernhard Eichhorn, Simultaneous Engineering (SE) Project Manager for MK 100 ESC in the Electronic Brake Systems Business Unit. The new model, scheduled for series production in 2015, comes in two model types: the MK 100 ESC XT Base, fitted with a two-piston pump, offers all standard ESC functions right through to Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). With a weight of 2,575 grams and a box volume of 2,036 cubic centimeters, this lightweight model type can be easily adapted to the different installation spaces.

The MK 100 ESC XT Premium offers Full Speed Range ACC (FSA) and even better Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH) levels for highest degree of braking comfort. Like the base model type, the six-piston pump premium model type has a high load volume, but with a weight of 3,100 grams and a box volume of 2,247 cubic centimeters.

It can also be used in hybrid vehicles with an efficiency of 98 percent in brake energy recuperation thanks to a simple software adaptation. This offers the customer full installation compatibility for conventional vehicles and hybrids.

MK 100 ESC XT meets the demand for safety, comfort and driver assistance functions

As part of the MK 100 product family, the MK 100 ESC XT is based on the same proven technology that has been in series production since 2011 in platforms of European and Asian OEMs, meaning it offers all possible functional options.

##IMAGE_3_R## Depending on the requirements of the vehicle manufacturer, more than 30 safety and assistance functions can be offered – from Active Rollover Protection (ARP), Trailer Stability Assist (TSA), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control (FSA) to complex, autonomous overlay functions for stabilizing the vehicle. This cutting-edge brake system delivers the increases in safety and comfort and the greater number of assistance functions that manufacturers requested.

With the MK 100 ESC XT special attention has been paid to the hydraulic output, i.e. an improved level of active safety through greater braking dynamic, said Eichhorn. These kind of high-performance, highly dynamic brakes in conjunction with environmental sensors are a key technology when it comes to enhancing active safety. Without them, it would not be possible to have safety features such as an Emergency Brake Assist.

Environmental sensors for greater road safety

Driver assistance systems such as Continental's Emergency Brake Assist and Lane Departure Warning monitor the space around the vehicle and work discreetly in the background as an electronic assistant driver. Predictive environmental sensors such as cameras, infrared and radar ensure a maximum degree of safety. They come to the driver's aid as soon as a hazard is detected. First comes the warning signal, then, if necessary, active intervention, said Norbert Hammerschmidt, Head of Customer Programs in the Driver Assistance System Business Unit of Continental's Chassis & Safety Division. This helps to avoid accidents, lower repair costs and reduce time off the road.

EU to make Brake Assist and Lane Departure Warning mandatory for trucks from 2013

##IMAGE_6_R## Safety in the truck sector is a top priority not just for Continental but for Europe as a whole. From November 1, 2013 it will be a legal requirement for all new truck models weighing over eight tons to be fitted with an Autonomous Emergency Brake Assist (AEBS) and for all new truck models weighing more than 3.5 tons to have a Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system. The EU is extending the regulations in the years to follow: from 2015 LDW systems will be mandatory for all newly registered commercial vehicles of more than 3.5 ton; from 2016 all new truck models over the 3.5 ton threshold will have to have an Autonomous Emergency Brake Assist. The aim is to reduce the number of accidents involving trucks, most of which are serious, and to bring more safety to European roads. Japan is following the EU's lead and tightening regulation on the use of AEBS and LDW systems in commercial vehicles, working to the same timeframe.

Using a long-range radar sensor from Continental together with the MK 100 ESC XT it is possible to have an emergency brake assist that can detect stationary obstacles on the road ahead. This gives the driver an early warning of a potential rear-end collision and automatically initiates an emergency stop if the driver fails to react appropriately. The system monitors the traffic ahead up to a distance of 200 meters and is able to detect stationary objects thanks to the high precision of the sensor.

Camera and radar help the driver to maintain an overview at all times

Inadvertently straying from a lane is one of the most common causes of accidents involving trucks. The Lane Departure Warning system monitors whether the vehicle is keeping to its lane and warns the driver if the vehicle has departed from the lane without the turn signals being activated. At the heart of this intelligent driver assistance system is a camera mounted behind the windshield that monitors the road ahead. The camera's electronics analyze the images and detect when the vehicle is about to stray from its lane. The vehicle is then guided back into its lane, preferably by the driver – who is given an acoustic, optical or sensory warning signal – or in combination with or without a steering impulse to the steering wheel. This buys valuable time before the driver realizes what has happened and retakes control. Continental has been supplying these lane departure warning systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles since the end of 2007.

The camera used for the Lane Departure Warning system is also needed for other driver assistance systems such as the Intelligent Headlamp Control, which improves night visibility and ensures optimum illumination of the road in all driving situations. Traffic signs are also recognized by the camera: the driver is shown the current applicable speed limit whenever this changes. The automatic recognition system operates autonomously and can also incorporate data from navigation systems. This usefully combines the benefits of both systems. The camera detects all signposted speed limits including variable speed signs while the navigation system contributes information on speed limits that are not explicitly visible, such as in towns.

##IMAGE_8_R## Trucks are large and visibility is often restricted. It is almost always the case that the driver cannot see critical areas surrounding the vehicle. Two short-range radars make life easier for the driver by monitoring the road behind and to the side of the vehicle and detecting whether there are other road users in the blind spot. The system for monitoring the blind spot issues a warning if there is a car, truck motorcycle or bicycle in this area. This makes changing lanes safer and reduces the amount of damage sustained by the bodywork and the cargo.

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