The health of professional drivers is a key factor in minimizing the risk of crashes out on the roads. Because to drive safely, you have to feel fit. With this in mind, Continental is cooperating with the drivers’ medical assistance association DocStop. If a trucker or bus driver is unwell, the DocStop network ensures that they get prompt local medical assistance. Via a toll-free hotline or an app, the driver is put in touch with a nearby doctor who will treat them as quickly as possible. The service also provides directions to a suitable place to park. Drivers can now call up the hotline service in 23 different languages. As DocStop CEO Joachim Fehrenkötter explains, his association is not out to replace the emergency phone number 112. “But through our medical networks we can prevent having sick drivers at the wheel,” he says. DocStop was founded in 2007 and today it is active across Europe. Continental recently joined the list of big-name sponsors of the association from the fields of commerce and industry. “We are happy to support the important engagement of DocStop as they take care of the health of professional drivers, helping to make our roads a safer place,” says Henning Mühlenstedt, Head of Marketing and Sales Bus and Truck Tires Replacement Business for Germany, Austria and Switzerland at Continental.
Continental now also tests tires in autonomous, self-driving vehicles. At its proving grounds in Uvalde, Texas, the technology company is conducting extensive tire tests in a driverless car. This leads to even more conclusive test results for passenger car tires, because the impact of the test procedure itself on the findings is reduced. The new test vehicle is based on Continental’s “Cruising Chauffeur”, a system designed to permit autonomous driving on motorways or freeways. The new vehicle for autonomous tire tests and controlled via a satellite-based tracking system. As Thomas Sych, Head of Tire Testing at Continental, explains: “We’re aiming to automate and standardize our tire tests to such an extent that we can clearly identify and map even the tiniest differences between tires. With the automated test vehicle we can reproduce procedures so precisely that conditions are identical for every tire in the test. That way we know for sure that any differences recorded in the test result are generated by the tire itself and not by the test procedure.”
“Stop the Crash”, the international road safety campaign, recently took its drive to promote the spread of modern and life-saving driver assistance systems to South Africa for the first time – and as one of the long-term partners to this initiative, Continental was on the scene. The focus at the event in Johannesburg was on safety systems for motorcycles, because in Africa two-wheelers are among the most popular means of motorized transport.
At the Kyalami grand prix circuit, test drivers demonstrated the benefits of driver assistance systems including Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Brake Systems (ABS) and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). Among the products contributed by Continental were several generations of motorcycle tires. The “Stop the Crash” campaign is run by Global NCAP, the umbrella organization for the various independent NCAP organizations that evaluate the safety of new vehicles. The initiative promotes the spread of crash-prevention technologies, particularly in emerging economies where modern driver assistance systems are rarely installed. Continental has been partnering with Global NCAP since 2015.