Continental secures AI expertise for automated driving

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Continental will be the majority shareholder in the joint venture, which does not yet have a name. The aim of the joint venture is to integrate Horizon Robotics’ processors and algorithms into Continental’s smart cameras and control units for driver assistance systems and automated driving, and to give Horizon Robotics a global reach and production base for its technology. Intelligent driving, enabled by advanced driver assistance systems and automated driving, is seen as an area with great market growth potential, where the speed of development is crucial. This is where the collaboration between Continental and Horizon Robotics is intended to come in: Their joint venture primarily aims to accelerate the development and commercialisation of AI technologies in the automotive sector.

Continental and Horizon Robotics have already been working together for several years. An MoU to establish a joint venture followed at Auto Shanghai this year. At that point, the collaboration had gained momentum, so both companies decided to cooperate even more closely. The company will serve the Chinese market as well as international OEMs worldwide. So far, several Chinese carmakers have already expressed interest in bringing the joint venture’s technology into mass production of their vehicles.

The two parent companies also signed an investment agreement with Shanghai Jiading Industrial Zone, which stipulates that the new JV will be based in Shanghai’s Jiading District. The JV is expected to consist of approximately 200 employees.

The JV also signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate with automotive software provider Elektrobit. With Elektrobit’s experience and expertise, the two parties can better support the development and mass production of autonomous driving products locally. Elektrobit will provide highly reliable software products and solutions for the underlying standardised vehicle infrastructures, allowing the joint venture to focus on developing differentiated features and innovations.

“We have great respect for the focus and speed with which our partner Horizon Robotics is advancing AI technology in the automotive space. This approach to innovation is exactly what the market needs. By forming a joint venture with our new partner, we can leverage a powerful combination of cutting-edge AI technology and long-standing experience in manufacturing and quality processes with best-in-class and affordable products,” said Frank Petznick, head of Continental’s Driver Assistance Systems business unit.

“The automotive industry has fully entered a phase of intelligent mobility. We are in the middle of it and can only seize the opportunity of industrial change if we embrace new thinking, an innovative mentality and an open mind,” said Kai Yu, founder and CEO of Horizon Robotics. “Horizon Robotics has a large pool of artificial intelligence and on-site service technologies. We are forming a joint venture together to create a new industrial cooperation model and will work together to consistently implement and practice the industrialisation of intelligent cars.”,

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