2018 will be the year of the autonomous vehicle. Though fully autonomous vehicles may come later than you think, recent trends are pointing to a paradigm shift in the automotive industry. Even currently, at CES 2018, companies are eager to showcase what the autonomous future will look like by exhibiting cars that are designed for "journey experiences" rather than just performance.
Continental Automotive continued with this trend this year. With the aims to maximize social responsibility and safety in the automotive world, the car company discussed their vision of the future. Their ambitious goals center around connectivity, being able to take our devices and connect them to vehicles every day. One stepping stone towards this vision is the BEE autonomous vehicle.
The BEE Concept
Continental describes their BEE concept as a stress-free, safe and environmentally friendly urban traffic. Standing for Balanced Economy Ecology, the car can communicate with other BEE vehicles just like a hive of bumblebees.
The worker bee vehicle embodies what the urban environment will become in the future and how mobility and connectivity will shape it. The BEE is designed as a vehicle for up to two passengers. With the ability to be connected to your phone, the car settings would be able to be controlled and saved with your phone.
Using your phone you could summon a BEE vehicle to your location in a matter of minutes. The Continental vehicle will also feature a 3D digital service with the aim to reduce off side glances and improve safety.
BEE is also built with the insight that two-thirds of the world's population will be in cities. To combat this, the population the world needs to have an efficient mode of transportation.
The EV would be able to travel 350 kilometers every day, accelerating up to 60 km/h. Delivered by over 4000 engineers, the interior of the car would adapt to the needs of passengers. Dr. Elmar Degenhart, Chairman of the Executive Board of Continental AG, breaks down the company's vision perfectly. He states, "For us, the mobility of the future is not just a slogan, but a core business area. As with all new technical developments, we always keep sight of the big picture while offering detailed solutions at the same time. People in smart cities and in their living spaces of tomorrow want safe, clean, intelligent and convenient mobility. Mobility that is sustainable, individual and affordable for all is, therefore, a fundamental element of our corporate strategy."
He believes that autonomy will become a crucial component of the of modern society.
Continental To the Future
The BEE presents a new business model for Continental, following their investments in KIA last week. Continental has big plans for the near future. Some of the other technology products include smart tires for driving optimization as well as more mobility services.
Between 2020 -2022 the company plans to make innovations in the wireless charging world as well as the charging system use for vehicles.