2022 ALL STAR | SAFETY INNOVATION
Head of product line, intelligent traffic management, Continental
Jonathan Stone knows firsthand the importance of reducing traffic fatalities on roadways.
Stone, German supplier Continental’s product line head for intelligent traffic management, received tragic news as he arrived at CES in 2019: Friends had died in a collision as a wrong-way driver struck their vehicle on their way back from a family vacation.
The crash had a significant impact on Stone, who has spent much of the last few years helping to develop systems for Continental that would serve to make roadways safer. That includes a solution Continental developed that detects vehicles driving the wrong way on the highway and can send alerts to drivers in the vicinity, as well as to police.
“Unfortunately, the technology has really come about based on tragedy, and we’ve taken action both personally and as a company to reduce fatalities and improve safety,” said Stone, 46.
Instead of focusing solely on alerting the wrong-way driver to turn around, the solution is designed to alert as many people as possible of the oncoming driver, potentially helping to avert a collision. A pilot program in Michigan near the company’s North American headquarters has been “on par or better” than what partners were expecting, so Continental is going to market with the program early next year, he said.
“We have the full end-to-end solution, now we just need to execute and get the product out into the field,” Stone said.
Stone and his team have also been at work developing Continental’s Collective Perception system, which allows vehicles to draw on image data from other vehicles and infrastructure in the area to improve a vehicle’s field of sight. Drivers at a city intersection, for instance, could know that there are pedestrians coming around the corner that the driver might not be able to physically see.
“We want to get that message out and push that technology into the market now, so that as vehicles start to come in and have the technology, we start to see benefits immediately,” Stone said.