Continental bags serial orders from European OEMs for intelligent antennas and 5G telematic units

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 08 Jul 2020


German Tier 1 Continental has announced that in the scope of their follow-up projects to current serial orders, two major European vehicle manufacturers have awarded serial orders for innovative telematics and antenna solutions.

Continental says both the projects build on its 5G Hybrid V2X platform, which is specifically developed for scalability and flexibility. The OEMs can use the platform without substantial customisation efforts across global markets. In this way, the solution helps to reduce the number of variants, resulting in cost reduction for the vehicle manufacturer.

Johan Hiebl, head of business unit connected car networking (CCN) at Continental, “Digitalisation and connectivity are more important than ever before. The new serial orders clearly show that our integrated platform sets the technological basis for the vehicle as a node in the Internet of Everything.”

Through the cooperation between Kathrein Automotive, an antennas specialist acquired by Continental in 2019, and Continental’s developers from the fields of connectivity and broadcast, it was possible to develop a highly integrated and intelligent antenna module, which is unique and forward-looking in the market thanks to its scalability and functional scope. The core of the Hybrid V2X Platform, on which the antenna module is based, originates from Continental’s self-developed NAD (Network Access Device). The platform can be integrated into both a 4.5G as well as a 5G version in the current products.

A powerful application processor can execute telematics applications, V2X (Vehicle-To-Everything) applications and even decoding from analog to digital radio reception. The use of the so-called Software Defined Radio makes it possible to realise the most diverse worldwide radio standards by means of pure software variants, without having to develop a specific hardware. Additionally, an integrated, highly precise GNSS receiver enables an exact positioning of the vehicle.

Continental says the Intelligent Antenna Module combines a variety of radio applications such as 4G or 5G mobile communications, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or keyless entry to the vehicle. Furthermore, it enables the vehicle manufacturer to save several meters of antenna cable. A digital high-speed bus is used for communication with the connected control units. Losses on long coaxial cables, which, depending on the application, strongly affect signal quality, become a problem of the past.

With the forward-looking concept of the Intelligent Antenna Module, Continental says it meets the ever-increasing concentration of functions in a few central, powerful control units. As a result, the company offers the answer to the requirements for the architecture of tomorrow’s vehicle electronics and can offer the market the most comprehensive portfolio for automotive connectivity.

Hybrid V2X platform to meet all connectivity needs
By winning the next contract, Continental says it underscores its position as a market leader and demonstrates that its innovative Hybrid V2X Platform can fulfill various connectivity requirements. Thus, besides 4G and 5G mobile phone connection, it enables direct communication among vehicles via the so-called Cellular-V2X-Standard. This feature will be relevant for the Chinese market’s variant. Additionally, it can also support the Wi-Fi-based IEEE 802.11p standard without significant development efforts and therefore suits global requirements.

“Continental shares a belief with our customers that the new telematics unit is a central element of vehicle electronics. This common view already shows the important role that vehicle connectivity plays today. It is no longer just a pure connection to the outside world for infotainment applications, but rather a key element of the fully connected vehicle, enabling over-the-air updates for the entire vehicle software. With V2X, the telematics unit increases road security and is also a prerequisite for smart and efficient mobility,” said Hiebl.  

The serial production of both products is planned for 2023 and in each case includes several variants for many vehicle models worldwide.