Vehicles are becoming increasingly intelligent and safe. This is made possible, among other things, by a large number of sensors, high-performance computers, and clever cloud solutions. With the ultimate goal of a “Vision Zero” future, Continental Automotive is now going one step further, and beyond the vehicle.
Together with Urban Circus, Continental has developed the Detectable Jacket, which protects vulnerable road users including cyclists and pedestrians. Urban Circus brings to the partnership its experience in designing clothing that makes users visible and safe on the road and Continental its technical knowhow in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The two partners have designed a product that can help cyclists to be easily identified. Thanks to the jacket’s arrangement of inserts which can be read by on-board cameras and LiDARs, ADAS technologies trigger emergency breaking in vehicles. The jacket provides visibility in the daytime using fluorescent inserts and in the nighttime through the reflective inserts of the Urban-RPrint® technology fabric.
Eric Vincelot, Head of Continental Engineering Services France S.A.S., said “Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) must be protected if we are to achieve our Vision Zero goal at Continental. With the detectable jacket, a joint innovation from Continental CES in France, and Urban Circus, specialist in outdoor wear, we are moving one step closer to making urban spaces safer for VRUs.”
This is how the Detectable Jacket works together with ADAS
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) with their various sensors such as radars, LiDARs and cameras constantly monitor the vehicles' surroundings. With the help of artificial intelligence, the ADAS systems then assess risks, inform the driver about them, and intervene to secure the situation if the driver does not react quickly enough. In an emergency, the system independently initiates emergency breaking. For these systems, the Detectable Jacket is even more detectable than conventional high visibility jackets. The special design enables up to 2 times better recognition by driver assistance systems. Due to the characteristic shape of the reflective and fluorescent elements, the artificial intelligence recognizes much faster and more reliably what kind of object it is – accordingly, the system can intervene faster and better, break or even stop completely. In addition, the glass microbead technology increases visibility up to 300 meters. This means that the jacket is not only much more visible to cameras at night, but also to the human eye.
Highly functional, comfortable, and stylish
With the Detectable Jacket, Continental and Urban Circus have brought together innovation, comfort and aesthetics to create a high-quality jacket that is not only safe, but stylish and comfortable. Because the jacket has been designed to integrate all the special features Urban Circus has developed over the years: it is waterproof and breathable. This jacket not only protects vulnerable users from accidents on the road, but also from all weather conditions. With its very high waterproof index the jacket is even suitable for use in heavy rain. A membrane for an optimal air barrier also makes the jacket windproof. Thanks to the water vapor permeability the jacket is still breathable.
The jackets are already available in Europe and can be ordered from this website.