Continental pioneers tire tests with self-driving test vehicles

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Tire specialist Continental has commissioned the first driverless tire test vehicle for a wide range of road surface types.

The tests, at the Continental test site in Uvalde, Texas, were based on prototypes of the automated Cruising Chauffeur. According to the company, any tire test track can now be driven without a driver, and the automation enables improved processes and more conclusive results.

The test vehicle is controlled using a satellite-based navigation system. Equipped with camera and radar sensors, the car will be able to react immediately to people, animals, or other unexpected objects on the track, even without a driver.

“In critical situations, the tires’ level of technology is the deciding factor in whether a vehicle brakes in time,” explained Nikolai Setzer, member of the Continental Executive Board and head of the Tire division. “With tire tests which use an automated vehicle, we achieve highly conclusive test results and thereby ensure the premium quality of our tires.

According to Continental, the automated vehicle will not only improve test results, but will also subject the test track to less wear and tear.

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