US Car Makers Interested in Contis APIA
At a news conference held at the Washington Auto Show Continental presented its roadmap for total vehicle safety that will integrate active and passive safety equipment. The company announced that two leading automakers have commissioned Continental to undertake advanced design work on integrating various elements of its comprehensive safety solution, the Active Passive Integration Approach (APIA) concept. “The industry recognizes Continental’s unique ability to deliver total safety solutions,“ said Joe Gaus, vice president, Continental Automotive Systems who also talked about how electronics are leading the way to safer cars by allowing ongoing development of active safety systems that help drivers avoid crashes and mitigate injuries.
“We led on Electronic Stability Control (ESC) by making the compelling case to the safety community, the health community and, importantly to our customers, that it could significantly reduce crashes, help prevent rollovers, and save lives. Three years ago, many thought that we were jousting at windmills. But our system was right for the times, there was remarkable data to back up its performance, and the orders are coming in to prove it. People know a good thing when they see it, or in this case drive it,“ Gaus added. “While others talk about the future, we are producing products that are in the cars and SUVs parked in your garage. A decade ago we saw the future and made a fundamental business decision to make the future happen. Ours is a total systems approach to vehicle safety that addresses current public policy needs, offers our customers a marketing advantage and provides drivers a much improved experience,“ he said.
In his presentation, Gaus discussed what for now is being called the Active Passive Integration Approach (APIA) car. It features coordinated electronic reflexes to help drivers maintain control and avoid crashes or mitigate injuries and protect the occupants if a crash is inevitable. The idea is a comprehensive safety solution, rather than bolted on components, that envelops the driver and enhances the driving experience. “The car features electronic reflexes that network both active and passive vehicle safety systems, and provides operating support to the driver by monitoring traffic situations, recognizing circumstances that require responsive action, and initiating staged hazard response strategies.“
These new systems enrich the driving experience by making people safer and more comfortable. The safety advances that the ‘smarter vehicles’ bring are crash avoidance benefits. “Active and passive safety measures must be networked in order to reach the objective we all seek – the avoidance of crashes, if possible, and when crashes are not avoidable, significant reduction of fatalities and injuries,“ said Gaus. “We make products that make a difference in personal safety and driving enjoyment,“ he added. „While technology is our passion, safety is our business. Motor vehicle safety has three dimensions: Avoidance, control and protection. We are in the business of all three and look to offer total safety solutions.“