Continental Automotive Systems has developed a new control unit for esc that will reduce costs

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Press Release

Continental Automotive Systems has developed a new control unit for ESC that will reduce costs

Sensors are integrated in the main board. Sensor development is a core competency of the company and paves the way for affordable safety - for everyone

Frankfurt, September 6, 2008. Continental Automotive Systems plans to introduce a new generation of ESC control units into series production from mid 2008. By integrating the yaw rate and acceleration sensors required for ESC (Electronic Stability Control) directly in the control unit, installation and integration work is reduced, reliability increased and system costs cut. “Sensor development is one of our core competencies. This innovation proves it once again”, commented Dr. Ralf Cramer, Head of the Business Unit Electronic Brake and Safety Systems at Continental Automotive Systems. “We are devoting a great deal of time and resources to this issue because it will help make safety systems affordable for car buyers all over the world.”

PYA control unit: yaw rate and acceleration sensor system integrated in the ESC main board

The sensor system for determining brake pressure has been an integrated part of the electrohydraulic ESC system for some time, but the yaw rate and vertical acceleration sensors can now be installed in the vehicle in one common housing (cluster), along with the longitudinal acceleration sensor if required. The sensor system is thus better protected. Continental Automotive Systems has designed new yaw rate and acceleration sensors that are considerably smaller yet even more robust. They can now be installed in the engine compartment − integrated in the main board of the new PYA (Pressure, Yaw, Acceleration) control unit. Like the other Electronic Stability Control components fitted in the engine compartment, the sensors for use in this exposed environment are designed to operate reliably at temperatures ranging from −40 to 125° Celsius.

Material costs and work load for vehicle manufacturers are reduced as a result of this innovation because additional housing, cables or connectors are not required. ESC can therefore be offered at lower costs but with increased reliability.

Combined core competency: development of systems and sensors under one roof

Sensor development is one of the core competencies of Continental Automotive Systems. “It goes hand-in-hand with the development of electronic brake systems, electronically-controlled chassis, systems to monitor the area around the vehicle and occupant protection systems”, said Dr. Cramer. “We can thus implement complete systems under one roof, covering a broad spectrum of benchmarks - from innovative high-end products to affordable safety.” The success of this approach is borne out by the PYA control unit and a non-contact steering wheel angle sensor that has reached its readiness of series production in 2009.

This high-precision sensor no longer has to be fitted in the upper area of the steering column near the steering wheel; its robust design means it can also be fitted in the engine compartment. This will significantly reduce repair costs in the event of a sensor failure. The steering angle sensor uses a technology to measure wheel speed developed in the mid 90s by Continental Automotive Systems in collaboration with a French supplier as a driver for innovation. The novel idea of integrating an active wheel speed sensor in the wheel bearing (Active Sensor Bearing ASB®) has become an industry standard recognized all over the world for high-precision measurement of wheel speeds, and now has an 80 percent share of the market.

“These products, along with our sensors for controlling passive safety systems, for controlling air-sprung vehicles with adaptive damping or for monitoring the area around the vehicle, are important elements in our quest to create the accident-proof car of the future”, said Dr. Cramer. The path may be long but the most important milestones have been set. “In a few years' time, Electronic Stability Control will be mandatory for every new car, both in the United States of America and in Europe. “In normal conditions, ESC can reduce accidents by more than 20 percent, and in wet or icy conditions the benefits are even greater: around 30 - 40 percent”, said Dr. Cramer, “Therefore ESC is a module used all over Europe in an attempt to halve the number of road accident victims by 2010. We are creating products that are also affordable for customers buying low-cost cars. And this is not only the case for Europe, but also for customers in the booming emerging markets.”

The Continental Corporation is a leading automotive supplier of brake systems, chassis components, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers. In 2006 the corporation realized sales of EUR14.9 billion. At present it has a worldwide workforce of around 89,000.
As a worldwide leading technology and systems partner to the automotive industry, the Automotive Systems Division of Continental AG integrates extensive know-how and uncompromising quality in the fields of active and passive driving safety, embedded telematics and hands-free communication systems, powertrain and comfort. In 2006 the Division achieved sales of approx. Euro 6 billion with a workforce of more than 30,000. Continental Automotive Systems develops and produces electronic and hydraulic brake, stability and chassis control systems, electronic air suspension systems, sensors, engine management and transmission control systems, hybrid drives, cooling fan modules, body and security electronics and also is the industry leader of embedded telematics and communication systems in vehicles.
For further information, please contact:

Katja Mattl

External Communications


Automotive Systems Division

Sieboldstraße 19

90411 Nürnberg, Germany

Phone: +49 911 9526-2591

Fax: +49 911 9526-2537


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