AUBURN HILLS, MICHIGAN – Google “automotive supplier with Nevada autonomous license plate” and the first item that will pop up is on the German company, Continental. The tier one automotive supplier best known for its tires unveiled its “highly automated vehicle” at its winter test course in Brimley, Michigan, earlier this year.
The donor car was a Volkswagen, though Continental says it has a number of automakers interested in its technology, which takes such features as active cruise control and lane-departure control a few steps further. Continental’s system also employs a driver-alert system. If its “highly automated” system detects a drowsy driver, it finds a safe place to park itself along the side of the road.
The VW CC allows the driver to take his or her hands off the wheel on limited-access roads such as highways and freeways. When the driver needs to change lanes or exit the highway, the driver must take over using this system.
“Continental’s current highly automated vehicle is designed to always have a driver monitoring the vehicle behind the wheel,” the company says in a press release. “Designed as a driver assist system, the automated vehicle can accommodate multiple driving scenarios. Using four short-range radar sensors (two at the front, two at the rear), one long-range radar and a stereo camera, the vehicle is capable of cruising down an open freeway as well as negotiating heavy rush-hour traffic.”
Google, which lobbied for the special licenses in Nevada and California, was the first to procure one of the Nevada plates. It’s red with an infinity symbol to easily identify it to police departments. The plate allows autonomous driving, but like Conti’s system, not without an operator behind the wheel.
Continental says it was the third to get the Nevada plate, but was first among suppliers. Conti also is a supplier of sensors to Google’s autonomous test cars.