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The Key to The DTCO

Further improved VDO Downloadkey and mobile chip card reader simplify downloading of DTCO data

Hanover/Germany, September 23, 2008

New products from Continental will make reading out digital tachograph (DTCO) data even easier in the future. At the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2008, the inventor of the tachograph is now presenting the second-generation Downloadkey for the digital tachograph as well as a handy mobile chip card reader.

The VDO Downloadkey is already today the standard in many cabs, where hundreds of thousands of truckers and fleet operators rely on the handy DTCO data transfer device. No other technology makes it as easy to read out and archive data. The VDO Downloadkey is not only especially lightweight and handy. It also supports all 23 languages required in the digital tachograph’s area of use. What is more, it gets by without a battery and without any wiring.

Since the first-generation data key was marketed three years ago, coinciding with the introduction of the DTCO, VDO experts have been closely observing the market and evaluating customer experiences. The result is a further improved Downloadkey. Thanks to the numerous new functions and even more powerful technology, handling driver and vehicle data will be mere child’s play in the future.

A faster processor allows much shorter download times and a 16-times-larger memory provides more capacity. With the stick now offering 256 megabytes of data volume, it will be possible to read out the DTCO’s mass memory up to 1,000 times in future. A Downloadkey with a memory cycle of three months is more than even the largest fleet is ever likely to require. Also new is a display that indicates downloading progress. The stick now bears the display on both sides. It is thus always perfectly readable, regardless of whether the DTCO is mounted on the instrument panel or on the headliner. In future, the Downloadkey emits a tone to signal completion of data transfer.

The second-generation Downloadkey is already equipped for the future: A software update for the Downloadkey II is available on the Internet whenever needed.

Simultaneous with the Downloadkey II, Continental is also marketing the first mobile chip card reader under the VDO-brand. This is intended primarily to satisfy the needs of long-haul truck drivers. In the past drivers were forced to carry along a company card alongside their personal chip card so as to be able to download the driver card data every 28 days. This was necessary because the system required insertion of both cards as well as the Downloadkey. The mobile chip card reader makes things easier. Either battery-operated in the cab or plugged into the hotel room socket, the mobile chip card reader requires nothing more than entry of the driver card and Downloadkey, and a press of the download button, to ensure compliance with the law. To be sure, the mobile card reader is suitable not just for longer trips. It can make life easier even at the office by making it less of a chore for returning drivers to read the data from the cards.

Reading out and analyzing DTCO data is, however, not the whole story as far as the VDO system is concerned. As a first step in professional fleet management, the market leader also offers a wide range of analysis tools, extending from an Internet-based program through to customized solutions for broader needs.


With sales exceeding €24 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 133,000 at nearly 190 locations in 35 countries.

The Automotive Group is one of the leading global automotive suppliers. With its three Divisions Chassis & Safety (5.1 billion €, 27,000 employees), Powertrain (4 billion €, 25,000 employees) and Interior (5.9 billion €, more than 30,000 employees) it achieved sales of approximately 15 billion € in 2008. The Automotive Group is present in more than 130 locations worldwide. As a partner of the automotive and commercial vehicle industry, it develops and produces innovative products and systems for a modern automotive future, in which a car accommodates individual mobility and driving pleasure to driving safety, environmental responsibility and cost-efficiency.

Within the Continental Interior Division the Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket Business Unit accommodates the specific requirements of the commercial vehicle, special vehicle and aftermarket sector. A global network of sales and service companies ensures proximity to local customers. Covering the product brands Continental, VDO, ATE and Barum the Business Unit offers electronic products, systems and services for commercial and special vehicles, a broad selection of products for specialized workshops and spare parts for the Independent Aftermarket and the Original Equipment Services after end of series production of the vehicle manufacturer.



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