Continental has developed a smart NOx sensor to help manage automotive emissions and Automotive News has recognized it with a nomination for its annual PACE awards. As more and more sensors are added to cars, suppliers are trying to drive down the cost by increasing the level of integration. Typically, when new sensors are introduced, they have separate power supplies and control electronics. Combining these into a single unit allows the vehicle engineers to reduce the amount of wiring and eases assembly.

Conti's smart NOx sensor incorporates a microprocessor and controls and plugs in directly to the vehicle's CAN bus to communicate with the powertrain controller. On modern clean diesel engines, sensors like this are critical to meeting current and future emissions standards. Currently, Continental is the only supplier producing this sort of sensor for automotive applications.

[Source: Continental]

press release

Continental Smart NOx Sensor Named 2010 Automotive News PACE Award Finalist

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Nov. 12 -- Continental's Smart NOx Sensor was named a finalist for a 2010 Automotive News PACE Award, further demonstrating the company's commitment to the development of advanced technology that reduces emissions, improves fuel economy and helps automakers manage increasing environmental regulations.

The Smart NOx Sensor is an electromechanical sensor with a custom-integrated circuit and microprocessor controls. It communicates with the vehicle control bus to enable optimum adjustment of key engine parameters, such as exhaust gas recirculation, air/fuel ratio and after-treatment injection to reduce nitric oxide emissions.

"Continental's Smart NOx Sensor is proving to be an ideal technology for the times," said Kregg Wiggins, senior vice president, Powertrain Division, NAFTA. "Manufacturers around the world are looking for every possible method to balance increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions regulations. The Smart NOx Sensor helps optimize a variety of powertrain applications."

Continental is the only automotive supplier with this technology and more than two-dozen automotive, commercial and off-highway original equipment manufacturers have embraced it. There now are more than 1.5 million units in the field. With increased adoption in the commercial truck and off-highway markets, this number is expected to reach more than seven million by 2013.

"Configuring an engine for optimal fuel economy inherently increases the amount of emissions produced," said Wiggins. "The Smart NOx Sensor is a market-proven solution that enables powertrain engineers to find the optimal calibration that balances performance and driveability, fuel economy and low emissions. It provides a baseline for the development of future products of this nature."

In gasoline vehicles, the sensor is used in combination with lean-burn technology to control the regeneration cycle of the NOx storage catalyst.

In diesel passenger cars and light trucks, it is used in conjunction with the exhaust after-treatment systems for Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and NOx Storage Catalyst (NSC). It also has applications in SCR systems commonly used in heavy-duty trucks.

About Continental:

With sales exceeding EUR24 billion in 2008, the Continental Corporation is one of the top automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, the corporation contributes towards enhanced driving safety and protection of the global climate. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. The corporation currently employs approximately 134,000 at nearly 190 locations in 37 countries.

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