Continental taps DFKI for AI expertise

June 21, 2018 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Continental taps DFKI for AI expertise
The automotive supplier Continental and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) have inked a cooperation agreement. The AI research activities aims both at improved internal company processes and at the mobility of the future.

As part of the cooperation, a joint research laboratory for intelligent technologies (FIT) will be established at the DFKI campus in Kaiserslautern, Germany. DFKI is said to be the world’s largest non-profit AI research institute. Here, in the ecosystem of the DFKI laboratories, Continental employees are to conduct fundamental AI research and address concrete problems. Among other things, AI-supported methods of data evaluation and software development are being researched. For example, Continental is working on the development of AI-based tools that will help the more than 16,000 software and IT employees worldwide with quality assurance and functional expansion.

Continental engineers have already identified numerous applications for AI. In the area of material flow, for example, machine learning can be used to make more precise forecasts of raw material requirements. In this field of technology, the DFKI has distinct competencies.

Continental also relies on AI in its product development. In 2020, the company plans to mass-produce neural networks on a larger scale for the first time with its 5th camera generation for accelerated object recognition. Artificial neural networks consist of adaptive mathematical units that can process and execute complex functions.

In order to coordinate research activities in the field of artificial intelligence, Continental has a central pre-development department for AI topics since 2015. To this end, it cooperates with NVIDIA, Baidu as well as other research institutes in this field such as the University of Oxford, the Technical University of Darmstadt and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (India). In Budapest (Hungary), Continental's Driver Assistance Systems Division opened a competence center for deep machine learning in May 2018. The technology company plans to employ around 400 engineers with special AI know-how worldwide by the end of 2018.

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