Continental launching eHorizon with ‘swarm intelligence’ for motorcycles at CES 2017


German automotive technology supplier Continental has announced it will demonstrate a new eHorizon route information system for motorcyclists that uses ‘swarm intelligence’ at the at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 5-8.

The eHorizon system for two-wheelers interconnects bikers, offers a shared platform to motorcyclist communities, and allows motorcyclists to share important route information. With this new system, Continental is using the concept of ‘swarm intelligence’, which continuously supplies the digital map in the backend with accurate and up-to-date information. To integrate the software, Continental has developed a digital instrument cluster that not only displays all the usual information, such as road and engine speed, but also contains an information panel, which displays safety-relevant information on the traffic and weather, as well as notifications about incoming phone calls or music. The software prioritizes the displayed information according to the user’s preferences.

To supply the digital map with route data, motorcyclists use a button connected to the instrument cluster that allows them to record their current position and, when they have finished their journey, to enter specific information about any incidents and their location. This data will be collated in the cloud, added to an incident map, and then shared with other motorcyclists driving along the same route. For this and other functions, Continental has developed a smartphone app equipped with a Bluetooth Connection Manager, allowing the smartphone to communicate with the bike’s instrument cluster. The app allows motorcyclists to enter navigation destinations and enables the turn-by-turn navigation to be displayed on the cluster. Motorcyclists also have the option of transferring missed call notifications, the time, or charge status of their smartphone, from the phone to the display.

The Bikefinder function allows bikers to locate their motorcycle even in a busy underground parking lot, using Bluetooth Low Energy and radio frequency communications. The bike’s engine can also be started using the Bluetooth-based smart key. If the vehicle systems detect that an accident has taken place, it will use the smartphone connection to send an automatic emergency text message to a predefined contact. To ensure that the continuous connection between the smartphone and instrument cluster does not take its toll on the phone battery, a USB charging capability is also provided. The integration of instrument clusters and eHorizon is not limited to any specific motorcycle class, so even smaller motorcycles could be connected.

“The stored data is collated in the cloud and made available to all motorcyclists, explained Ralf Lenninger, head of Continental’s intelligent transportation systems business unit. “Thus the eHorizon informs bikers in advance of obstacles along their route such as road works, accidents, oil or water on the road, or traffic jams and enhances safety, not only for them, but also for other road users.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).