Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. One of its best-known group sectors is Tires. With 24 production and development locations worldwide Continental Tires is one of the leading tire manufacturers. Continental ranks among the technology leaders in tire production and offers a broad product range for passenger cars, commercial and special-purpose vehicles as well as two-wheelers. The portfolio of the tire business includes services for the tire trade and fleet applications, as well as digital management systems for tires. Its Digital Solutions organization is dedicated to the application of ContiConnect, the company’s digital tire monitoring and management platform.
Continental’s goal was to provide customers with continuous monitoring of their vehicle fleets’ tire condition to create measurable positive impact on the performance of their fleets. By collecting data on tire usage, customers can conveniently ensure driver safety and make sure vehicles are optimized for use. To enable this, Continental chose to migrate from a legacy on-premises solution to Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) Public Cloud on Azure. CDP’s hybrid data platform delivers faster and easier data management, machine learning and streaming analytics, with optimal performance, scalability, and security.
Offering service - not just material
Under-inflated tires are a major reason for breakdowns and roadside assistance calls, costing organizations time, money and creating customer frustration.
This is an ongoing cause of concern to commercial fleets as it contributes to inflated tire costs. Additionally, tire pressure and low tread depths can have implications around security, fuel efficiency and even impact legal compliance and sustainability with the increase in regulations around the environmental impact of vehicles.
The challenge for Continental was to provide fleets with continuous monitoring of tire condition. By collecting data on tire usage, customers receive a high level of informal added value that enables them to better ensure road safety and make sure vehicles are optimized for the mission. The performance of the fleets is positively measurable impacted and gives confidence so that the fleet managers do not need to worry about their tires. This information is especially important when vehicles need to adjust to varying loads and terrain. With this, Continental is responding to customer demand for more technical data specific to their industry or operating environment. They increasingly recognize the value of data in gaining a competitive advantage.
Collecting data on tire pressure and temperature is key for modern fleet managers. With Continental’s ContiConnect digital tire management solution, sensors in the tires measure pressure and temperature, mileage and tread depth, enabling continuous monitoring. The data is then available through a portal or app that provides fleet managers with alerts and recommendations, helping to provide accurate forecasting and enabling them to perform maintenance in a proactive rather than reactive manner.
This means organizations can easily monitor and manage the condition of their tires, improving performance and safety, reducing tire wear, increasing uptime, and avoiding costly breakdowns, as well as reducing maintenance costs and optimizing fuel consumption.
Building a future-ready platform
Continental’s Digital Solutions team needed a future proof infrastructure, alongside a secure and stable environment with guaranteed up times and 24/7 support for customers.
The company had specific requirements to bring together innovation and future viability: it needed a platform that enabled it to innovate – the ability to facilitate different data science and AI use cases were key drivers in its decision. Additionally, it wanted the flexibility to quickly scale in line with business growth.
And with an eye on the future, it needed a platform that would fuel the development of new applications as it continues its transformation from a traditional manufacturer to an integrated tire solution provider.
Continental chose to migrate from a legacy on-premises solution to Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) Public Cloud on Azure. CDP’s hybrid data platform delivers faster and easier data management and data analytics, with optimal performance, scalability, and security. As the first major cloud migration project for Continental Tires Digital Solutions division, the organization benefited from high level support from Cloudera’s Professional Services team.
“We needed a secure and stable environment with 24/7 support, to ensure the best uptime for our customers and Cloudera helps us achieve just that,” said Laura Koormann, Global Team Lead Digital Solutions IT, Continental Tires.
The project saw Continental migrate to a modern streaming-first architecture built on Kafka and Spark Streaming. This allows data engineers and data scientists to process real-time data from various sources and push the data out to file systems, databases, and live dashboards. This provides efficient real time distribution of critical data to various users and systems while remaining flexible as business and data requirements evolve.
Flow management is the collection, distribution, and transformation of data across multiple points of producers and consumers. Streams messaging involves providing and distributing messages between producers and consumers. Stream processing and analytics generates real-time analytical insights from data streaming between producers and consumers.
“In addition to customizing Cloudera Data Platform for ContiConnect, we also gradually migrated from Storm to Spark Streaming. All our data preprocessing is now done in Spark, and this was an important change for us. Cloudera's support during this transition not only made the process easier, but was a key component to our success,” said Andreas Voges, Application Manager ContiConnect & IoT, Continental Tires.
Cloudera Machine Learning for CDP empowers organizations to build and deploy machine learning and AI capabilities for business at scale, efficiently and securely, anywhere they want. For example, Continental has third generation sensors in the development pipeline that will collect even more data on tread depth, enabling a variety of data science use cases that will provide additional insight into its customers. Elsewhere it is constantly integrating with existing fleet solutions to expand the range of information it provides.
Smart fleet management redefined
CDP Public Cloud has helped Continental optimize costs while benefiting from continuous support, customer use cases and the latest open-source innovations.
Using CDP for ContiConnect, Continental Tires can now manage its streaming engine, database, and related technologies from one management point, and has seen improved interaction between services, alongside greater ease of use and security.
Providing real-time insights through CDP’s data analytic capabilities has helped the customers of Continental reduce breakdowns by 83%* and achieve average monthly fuel savings of £1.646*, with out of hours calls being reduced by 95 %*. Continental also aims to also take advantage of the platform by enabling additional data driven, AI related use cases within the solution.
*Example data UK customer, fleet size 55+, within 12 months since ContiConnect™ is in use.
“Cloudera infrastructure fits our current requirements, and our future requirements. You have so many possibilities to implement new functions or technology easily, and they are aligned with the other services,” said Andreas Voges, Application Manager ContiConnect & IoT, Continental Tires.
This paves the way for an even more efficient, straightforward, sustainable, and forward-looking form of fleet management.
Said Koormann: “Everything is based on data and utilizing that data to gain insights for customers. Cloudera Data Platform offers the ability to facilitate a variety of future data driven use cases on the platform.