Lou Ann Hammond :

Warren and I will be at the Sao Paulo, Brazil auto show next week. If there’s anything you want to know about this South American automobile Carnival let us know.

I spent this week in Germany with Continental AG. Most of you will know Continental as tires, but Continental is one of the top global automobile subassembly suppliers. We spent the week with their Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) group. ADAS systems are already in cars, whether it is emergency brake assist, (preventing rear end collisions), adaptive cruise control, (radar assisted spacing between cars), blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert (RCTA), (preventing backup collisions), traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, (alerting drivers for blind spot avoidance) and intelligent headlamp control.

Most of these systems will go in the automated car of the future, but they are all in at least one car today.

I was most impressed with Continental because they allowed Thatcham Research (a British automobile insurance evaluation facility) to present a candid explanation on how much benefit each of these automated systems has versus how much insurance savings they could reduce an automobile owner.

Continental and their competitors are in a unique position. They invest research and development to meet government requirements from NHTSA providing customer safety and options that the automobile owner desires for less than their competitor. At a time when car companies are striving to remain solvent, auto subassembly suppliers like Continental are increasingly expanding their research and development in automated systems to save lives.

Click on Warrens picture to go to the washingtonpost.com chat:

warren_brown Warren Brown and Lou Ann Hammond chat about cars on www.washingtonpost.com October 19, 2012 Auto industry news Automobiles and Energy Bosch Continental AG Driving tips Emissions Manufacturers Politics Suppliers Technology Warren Brown Washingtonpost.com