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  • Writer's pictureNATALIA SOUSA

Smart Mobility for Motorcycles: Continental Enables Connectivity Without a Smartphone.

Continental has launched a Connected Infotainment Box which enables the use of digital services such as turn-by-turn navigation or stolen vehicle tracking even without a connection to a smartphone.

In many cars, a direct connection of the vehicle to the Internet is standard. This allows drivers to use the vehicle manufacturer's connectivity services without the detour via their mobile phone. As a result, they are online faster and save data volume and battery life for their smartphone. For motorcyclists, such a direct connection between the bike and the online world and the resulting possibilities are not yet available. Continental says there is now movement in the topic of online connections on two wheels. The technology company has structurally designed the rather complex combination of different hardware components, which ultimately ensures the connection to a cloud backend, in such a way that the telematics module can also be accommodated in a motorcycle. Due to the typical Continental platform approach, the adaptation for the respective bike classes will require less effort.

Continental has designed the combination of various hardware components in such a way that the telematics module can be accommodated in the motorcycle.

From Continental's point of view, this technological gap closure should also lead to a significant increase in digital services for motorcycles. "In the future, it will be more attractive for manufacturers to offer their customers so-called value-added services, because the direct connection gives them more planning security in development. For this reason, the platform's basic range of services can be supplemented by further networked services and infotainment applications at the manufacturer's request. In addition, motorcyclists expect more and more comfort on their machine and a similar user experience as in their car," explains Harry Krickl.

The combination of fully networked and very compact hardware, high-performance software and a powerful cloud backend, provided by Continental or the manufacturer, now offers the opportunity to meet these expectations. An integral part of the Connected Infotainment Box will be direct, smartphone-independent rider-to-rider communication and over-the-air updates. Optionally, other features such as stolen vehicle tracking are provided. In stolen vehicle tracking, the motorcycle sends a message when it is moved away from its location without starting the engine. The manufacturers can license such optional features via Continental. In the future, for example, the eCall function (Emergency Call) for more safety on the motorcycle can also be hosted on the platform."Thanks to the Connected Infotainment Box, this would already be technically possible today without any problems, because connectivity is available at all times," explains Patric Zimmermann, Product Manager responsible for motorcycle connectivity at Continental.

This complex setup can offer several advantages: On the one hand, use cases such as turn-by-turn navigation would no longer require an active connection to a smartphone, and on the other hand, it would not consume battery or data capacity on the smartphone. Only the services associated with a mobile phone number, such as telephony and messenger services, would continue to be powered by the smartphone via Bluetooth or WiFi and displayed on the instrument cluster via the Connected Infotainment Box. On the other hand, the operating system as well as important security and function updates for the platform can be installed directly and remotely via the built-in wireless interfaces. If desired, this OTA update function of the Connected Infotainment Box can also be used by manufacturers to update other control units in the vehicle. Continental benefits from its broad positioning as a supplier for all vehicle classes and can contribute the expertise of its subsidiaries Elektrobit and Argus Cybersecurity.

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