The technology company Continental is responding to increasing global demands from politics, industry, trade, environmental associations and consumers regarding mobility with a broad range of technical services for small engine two and three-wheeled vehicles. Motorized two-wheelers are not just seen as recreational vehicles in Asia, but as essential means of transportation for a large percentage of the population.
Large-volume markets India and China are implementing stricter exhaust gas and safety regulations for many different vehicle categories and demanding customized, flexible and specific solutions, especially for single-cylinder vehicles in displacement classes below 150cc. Two-wheel vehicle experts at Continental are focused on technical solutions for engine and exhaust gas management for a clean environment and on offering added safety for drivers of two-wheeled vehicles through highly functional assistance systems.
In India, for example, 95.5 percent of total traffic accidents involve motorized vehicles. Two-wheeled vehicles were involved in more traffic accidents than any other vehicle category, with 28.8 percent of total accidents in 2015. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 5.6 of every 100,000 people in India die from an accident with a two-wheeled vehicle. The figure in China is a little lower at 5.1 deaths per 100,000. In Germany, in comparison, the number is 0.8 per 100,000 people. Advanced Rider Assistance System (ARAS) supports the driver’s traffic perception in complex driving situations, increasing driving safety. The modular design used for all of the systems allows engineers to offer customized solutions for both everyday and commercial small-engine vehicles – called commuter vehicles –for different markets, as well as trade and legal regulations worldwide.
Modular Engine Management
Gasoline injection technologies will become the standard in Asia’s motorcycle markets in the near future due to stricter legal standards. The introduction of the Bharat Emissions standard VI in April 2020 in India is especially relevant to this shift, as well as Emissions standard IV in China in July 2018, which is valid for all newly registered motorcycles. Flexible systems are used for engine management and to ensure system efficiency by controlling fuel supply based on manufacturer requirements or national regulations. “We offer a wide range of pragmatic solutions that are both simple and effective,” says Torsten Bellon, manager of Injection Systems for the 2-Wheelers &Powersports business unit at Continental, summarizing the situation.
Individual components like fuel pumps or injectors are adapted to local emission requirements to ensure effective engine management even with different technologies. Continental, for example, offers a specific fuel supply unit for single-cylinder engines up to 150cc and its newest generation of fuel injectors also include a specific space-optimized injector option (Deka 10 injectors) for two-wheeled vehicle engines.
In the emission clean-up area as well, the focus is on using technology in new and clever ways to generate the best possible efficiency and fulfill diverse market and customer demands. The position of the catalyst, its cell density and the use of structured foils in the metal substrate, plays a key role in determining efficiency – including from an economic standpoint. “The closer the catalyst is installed to the engine, the more effective it will be. System costs for exhaust-gas after-treatment are also reduced at the same time” explains Sven Seifert, Manager of Catalysts for the 2-Wheelers & Powersports business unit at Continental.
Both emission clean-up and engine management systems use a modular design and fulfill a large number of different technical and legal requirements. The catalysts owe their variability to a “fine-tuning of internal values” reducing thermal mass leads to less back-pressure and better efficiency, and thereby allows designers to minimize volume and weight. Structured foils, lower cell density, and variable designs based on installation position make the catalysts highly complex and diverse components for a wide variety of vehicle types from scooters to light motorcycles.
Advanced Rider Assistance Systems
Technology transfer allows smaller, motorized two-wheeled vehicles to benefit from achievements in mobile safety technology in ARAS advanced rider assistance systems. Blind Spot Detection monitors the blind spot, a new feature for the commuter vehicle class. To function reliably in high-density traffic and everyday commuting situations, systems from the passenger car and motorcycle segment were adapted for their specific use in these pragmatic vehicles to offer drivers the best possible support.
Blind Spot Detection
Blind Spot Detection uses backward-facing short-range radar that assesses traffic to the rear and sides and notifies drivers of critical situations when changing lanes. There are a variety of visualization options that warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots. For example, a clearly structured LED interface in the side mirrors provides information to the driver on surrounding traffic using visual signals precisely when he needs it. The system’s high level of sensitivity detects traffic movements in just fractions of a second, adding safety in commuter traffic, which often involves high relative speeds and spontaneous lane changes. “Even the least expensive version of our advanced rider assistance systems completely fulfills these difficult everyday requirements” ensures Christian Pfeiffer, ARAS project manager for the area of 2-Wheelers and Powersports at Continental.
Most people know how to step on the gas, but few know how to brake properly. Every meter counts in emergency braking, but the best way to achieve short braking distances is with high brake pressure, which can lock wheels at a certain point. The one-channel ABS MiniMABoffers a great amount of additional safety by ensuring the front wheel doesn’t lock up, avoiding a crash. The MiniMABwas developed specifically for cost-sensitive markets like Asia with a focus on scooters and motorcycles with moderate engine displacement that only have one hydraulic disk brake on the front wheel. Thanks to its small and lightweight design (285 cm2, 420 grams), it is an optimal addition to a variety of vehicle types and requires minimal technical effort, since only one-wheel speed sensor is required. It works with even the smallest engine displacements – a highly beneficial and forward-thinking technology transfer. “ABS systems make driving two-wheeled vehicles much safer, helping to achieve our Vision Zero – the vision of accident-free driving”, says Lothar Kienle, development manager of Motorcycle ABS for the 2-Wheelers & Powersports business unit
Continental has been developing and producing anti-lock brake systems for motorcycles for many years. Roughly, 21 percent of all motorcycle accidents could have been prevented using ABS systems, according to an ADAC study. Thanks to the engineers’ many years of experience, they’re able to offer motorcycle manufacturers a solution applicable to all vehicle classes: From one-channel ABS for scooters and light motorcycles to the Motorcycle Integral Brake System that also offers such enhanced features as sport and off-road ABS, optimized curve braking or Motorcycle Hold & Go. As of 2017, all new motorcycles permitted in the European Union with an over 125 cubic centimeter engine displacement must have an ABS system. Laws have already been passed in other countries such as Japan, India, and Taiwan requiring an ABS system in the future.
Continental 2-Wheeler & Powersports: The Continental 2-Wheeler & Powersports business unit includes Continental specialist divisions Chassis & Safety, Powertrain and Interior. Its product portfolio ranges from advanced driver assistance systems and control systems to sensors and actuators, power transmission, engine control units, fuel and exhaust gas management and intelligent communication. This lays the groundwork for custom, dynamic, economical, ecologically-friendly and safe driving fun. At the end of 2017, over 590 employees were working in the 2-Wheeler & Powersports area at seven locations worldwide.