FRANKFURT -- Continental is hoping to turn rear and side-view mirrors into relics of the past.
The German supplier kicked off the Frankfurt auto show by demonstrating a prototype vehicle equipped with a trio of cameras and a cluster of displays that enable the driver to monitor the car's right, left and rear with a mere glance at the dashboard.
The company hopes the system can increase safety by eliminating blind spots and keeping driver's attention on the road ahead. It also notes doing away with sideview mirrors would reduce wind drag and improve fuel-economy.
The innovation, which is still in development, was part of an array of innovations Continental planned to show off today as the Frankfurt show opened to the media.
Continental signaled more 48-volt electronic components will begin appearing in new hybrid models starting in 2016. Among them will be a 48-volt design that integrates a starter generator into the engine's belt drive.
Using 48-volt components can help cut carbon dioxide emissions because they enable the vehicle to recapture more energy during regenerative braking and coasting. Continental, in partnership with Schaeffler, is working on second version of its belt starter generator that can work with internal combustion engines. This system can de-couple from the engine, allowing components to re-capture energy more efficiently.
Other technology Continental presented:
- Surround-view cameras that can give drivers a 360-degree view of their surroundings, and provide critical data for self-parking cars.
- A software development platform designed to allow the creation of apps that collect data from a car and combine it with data from the driver's home, traffic services, computers and other sources. The idea is to use information such as the car's direction and location to be used in future digital serives.
- A type of rubber produced from dandelions. Continental thinks it could be ready in five to ten years, and could help reduce the need for materials from rain forests.