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I’m Daniel, I’m 24 years old and a working student at Continental Engineering Services (CES) in Frankfurt. I’m currently studying for a Master’s degree in Automotive Development at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. Before that, I studied vehicle technology in Saarbrücken – and that’s what I’d like to write about here. At the end of my Bachelor’s degree, I started an internship at CES in Frankfurt because I was attracted by the company’s scope of activity and the opportunities to travel as part of my job. This turned out to be the right decision because I was almost immediately given the chance to spend three exciting months at the French site near Paris working on a Frankfurt-led project involving ADAS vehicle bodies. At the same time, I also gained an insight into a parallel project…and that’s where things became really interesting!
The project for the corporation entailed working on an autonomously driven tire test vehicle. It was Thomas Sych from the Continental Reifen site in Hanover who initiated this undertaking in partnership with CES. The handover of the project to the Continental tire testing location in Texas was scheduled for the summer of 2018. I was incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to be part of the handover while at the same time writing my Bachelor’s thesis. My final dissertation focused on an evaluation of the radar sensor – more specifically, the sensor’s reliability under the rather atypical conditions on Texan dirt roads, where it is exposed to heat, dust and strong vibrations.
The whole project was supervised in Texas by another CES student, Christopher Münzel, while four work-study students from Continental Reifen and ContiTech were also involved on the commissioning side. This was another very appealing aspect for me: the chance to work not only on an ongoing and extremely multi-faceted project, but also with a cross-divisional team on a mission to leverage potential synergies for Continental AG.
Toward the end of our stay in Texas, we were joined by a film crew. The experience was a lot of fun and, personally speaking, gave us a lot of special memories – especially the unforgettable moment when the vehicle was deployed by remote control for the first time. It’s unusual but also really impressive to see a vehicle drive through the course without a driver behind the wheel. But when you look back on the history of Continental, it was a bit like going “back to the future.”
I’m very happy to have had the opportunity to take part in the autonomous tire testing project. Internships abroad are always culturally enriching, while the diverse makeup of the team and the work itself mean that I would never hesitate to seize this opportunity again. I’m also looking forward to the exciting and varied tasks to come during my time as a working student in Frankfurt. And who knows, maybe in a few years’ time I’ll be working as a CES employee and will have the chance to show prospective young engineers the same level of support and enthusiasm that I received myself.