Continental has been awarded with a total of eight prizes on the occasion of the German Innovation Award. One of its products, the Trackman XP rubber crawler track, caught the attention of the panel with its innovative properties and user benefits, and received an award. Vehicle interior solutions were the recipients of three awards. Alongside the 3D Touch Surface Display and the two-finger touch gestures, Intelligent Glass Control, which darkens the vehicle glazing, also received an award. Four awards went to pioneering surface materials: one for the breathable upholstery material laif VyP, one for the skai digital printing collection for individual designs, one for the skai TransPorter collection used on vehicle floors, and one for the environmentally friendly Flightfloor Eco, which is specially designed for aircraft floors. The German Design Council presented the awards on June 6 in Berlin.
The Trackman XP rubber crawler technology
The Trackman XP has innovative properties. Special anti-vibration technology combined with optimized tread design reduces vibrations by as much as 70 percent compared with conventional tracks, therefore enhancing ride comfort – particularly for applications with a high tractive force. Special additional technological properties result in a longer overall service life. Armorlug technology makes the tracks last up to 23 percent longer than comparable lugs, for example. “The award is testament to the fact that we are setting new benchmarks for the market with the Trackman XP,” notes Dr. Michael Hofmann, who is globally responsible for the industrial conveyor belt business – and therefore also for the Trackman product range. Rubber crawler tracks with integrated sensor technology also feature among the company’s future technological innovations. This technology measures and monitors the temperature of the carcass when the vehicle is in operation. Targeted monitoring helps operators of agricultural vehicles, for example, to improve the service life and efficiency of the components and to avoid breakdown costs.
Improved interaction and Intelligent Glass Control
The 3D Touch Surface Display is the world’s first three-dimensional shaped touchscreen, which can be operated almost blind and combines design, safety and user experience in one product. The interaction by touch gesture combines elements of gesture interaction and touch operation to reduce driver distraction and operation time. “Our 3D Touch Surface Display and the two-finger gestures ensure that drivers can use their infotainment systems without having to take their eyes off the road, which increases safety for all road users,” says Dr. Frank Rabe, who is responsible for the innovative operating elements and instrumentation segment in addition to in-vehicle human-machine interaction.
With Intelligent Glass Control, side windows, rear screens and sometimes even windscreens can be individually and smoothly darkened. “This enhances comfort and makes driving safer,” explains Andreas Wolf, head of the Body & Security business unit at Continental. The technology uses special films that change their transparency in response to electric control signals – automatically or at the touch of a button. For example, the intelligent glass can prevent drivers being dazzled by low angle sunshine. And it also lowers the temperature of the vehicle interior, which reduces the burden on the air conditioning. By Continental’s calculations, this reduces CO2 emissions by around four grams per kilometer.
Pioneering materials awarded
The breathable upholstery material, laif VyP, is a hybrid material made from vinyl and polyurethane, and combines the best of both worlds as it is a durable material with a soft surface. It is permeable to air and water vapor. The breathability of laif VyP makes it extremely comfortable to sit on – even for long periods.
The skai digital printing collection comprises 17 innovative styles, each of which comes in three different designs. The individual designs pick up on the trends of Natural Elements, Human Being and Cyberspace, bringing them to life in intensely sharp color and with 3D effects.
The skai TransPorter collection features superior-quality, well-designed and easy-to-clean surfaces for vehicle floors. It covers a range of TPO materials for stowage areas and driver cabs. Designs are available in a textile, wood, marble or stone effect. The films are ductile, robust, abrasion-resistant, slip-resistant, and resistant to oil and chemicals.
The floor covering material Flightfloor Eco meets the aviation industry’s high requirements. It is halogen-free, highly flame-retardant and comes in a range of designs. It produces a weight saving of 700 grams per square meter compared with standard materials, which lowers fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Its high abrasion resistance gives it a long service life.