Knorr-Bremse and Continental will combine resources to develop a complete system for highly automated driving (HAD) in commercial vehicles.

The cooperation includes all functions for driver assistance and highly automated driving. The system consists of environment recognition, driving planning and decision-making, as well as the control of the actuator systems in the vehicle (such as steering and brakes) and human-machine interaction.

The cooperation will initially involve automated convoy driving (platooning). Later development work will deal with automated driving on the freeway (Highway Pilot).

Both companies will continue to offer their respective components and subsystems individually.

Knorr-Bremse will offer the complete system to commercial vehicle manufacturers in Europe, North America and Asia. From the beginning of 2019, the joint platooning demonstrator, a convoy of three coupled trucks from different manufacturers, will be demonstrated.

The companies said components of their jointly developed and pre-validated systems were very well matched and considerably reduce the effort and complexity of integration for OEM manufacturers. Knorr-Bremse will provide systems for automated driving from a single source.

They see great potential in making the intensively competitive freight transport sector significantly more efficient and safer.

Continental has an extensive range of driver assistance sensors and system architecture for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Knorr-Bremse specialises in commercial vehicle systems.

Continental supplies the various radar and lidar sensors, cameras and connectivity technology for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-in-frastructure (V2X) communication. It also provides the intelligence that uses the acquired data to create a model of the respective environment. The model is a main prerequisite for automated driving, because it enables the truck to orient itself in its environment: it recognises objects, defines lanes, complies with valid rules and uses connectivity to contribute additional information that lies outside the range of vision of the sensors. It is also responsible for human-machine interaction.

At the driving planning and decision making level, Continental also supplies the basic functions used in the passenger car market, including the high-performance control unit.

The driving dynamics of commercial vehicles are considerably more complex than those of passenger cars, due to the wide variety of different vehicle types so Knorr-Bremse's Truck Motion Controller based on brake system control (GSBC) brings this to the new partnership along with knowledge of factors such as tractor/trailer combination, vehicle length, number of axles, combinations of units, load distribution, height of the centre of gravity and torsionally soft frames. It also has expertise at actuation level including steering and braking plus individual powertrain components.