Chemnitz/Munich, Germany, 10.01.2017. Urban Software Institute GmbH ([ui!] – the urban institute®), the leading software and consulting company for smart city solutions, has gained a strategic investor. The international technology company Continental AG cooperates with [ui!] – the urban institute® and is taking over the advisory board seat for automobile applications and is becoming [ui!]’s strategic partner in the automotive field. The partnership strengthens Continental’s business segment for intelligent transport systems through the integration of city and vehicles.
Both companies will further develop products in the infrastructure-to-vehicle field, based on reusing and sharing traffic data for improved traffic management. The first test project from the partnership between Continental and [ui!] is live in Darmstadt, Germany, demonstrating the benefit of sharing real-time predictions of traffic light data with drivers. "Green phase prediction" of traffic lights is transmitted to vehicles so that the engine control system can identify and adjust to the "right" speed for a personal green wave. This “ecological cruise control” leads to substantial reduction of exhaust emissions and fuel consumption.
“I am excited about our new strategic partner Continental”, says Prof. Lutz Heuser, founder and CEO of [ui!].. With [ui!]’s successful incubator approach, our intensive research activities and the market success of our data platform, has enabled us to attract this key strategic investor. Prof. Heuser says that the additional investment funds will also support further international expansion.
Today, most cities suffer from traffic overload, with the resulting problems of congestion, pollution and lost productivity. Therefore, intelligent traffic management, which organizes traffic flows in real time, is a must-have for effective, sustainable and future-oriented urban planning.
As a strategic partner for the automobile sector Continental, with revenues of 26 billion Euros and 212,000 employees is setting the course with [ui!] for the future intelligent use of urban data to improve city livability and efficiency.
“With increasing urbanization, intelligent traffic planning and management gains importance for drivers as well as for cities. The integration of city and vehicle is for us the key for attractive urban living for the future. We are looking forward to shape this integration together with the Urban Institute”, says Ralf Lenninger, head of Continental Intelligent Transportation Systems.
Connected vehicle communication is not just one directional. Vehicles and especially, vehicles operating as a swarm, can become data providers for the city itself. Anonymous data, such as anonymized positions and speed averages, can help cities to optimize their traffic light operations in real time. This way, not only traffic flow can be improved during rush hour - but also emergency vehicles can be aided to reach their destination more quickly. Detailed statistical data on traffic flows can support city planners in planning the demands for streets as well as residential and commercial areas.
With accession to the advisory board seat for automobile applications at Urban Institute, Continental will include its broad expertise in automotive electronics and connected mobility to balance the demands of automotive engineering and urban applications and services.
“Digitalization is advancing in urban infrastructures. This creates urban data which can be reasonably used for new mobility services and business models”, says Prof. Lutz Heuser.