German Automotive Supplier Continental Raises Its Stakes On Driverless Cars
German automotive supplier Continental are not just into manufacturing tires now. The world’s fourth-largest tire manufacturer is also shifting to the forefront of the transition to electric and autonomous vehicles. It is developing the 48-volt electrical system powering Audi’s latest A8 sedan, exploring driverless robo-taxi concepts and piloting an Intelligent Intersection in Ohio, later this year.
At the recently concluded North American International Auto Show, executives discussed the need to restructure the company to adapt quickly to the changing automotive landscape. Like other suppliers including Delphi and Autoliv, the conglomerate is considering separating its core tire business from its other divisions – powertrains, safety systems, and electronics, among them – while searching for mobility businesses to acquire.
While it has effortlessly managed to optimize complexity, one of the biggest challenges faced by Continental is the validation of its technology. Accounting for all the potential situations, while validating 60 million kilometers just doesn’t seem feasible for the company now.