Continental, a developer of technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility based in Auburn Hills, today announced it will be a strategic investor in software specialist Apex.AI based in Palo Alto, Calif. and Munich, Germany.
Continental and Apex.AI already have been cooperating since 2020 on the industrialization of an innovative operating system for vehicles. With the acquisition of a minority stake, the two companies are intensifying their collaboration to rapidly provide a near-series solution. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.
“With Apex.AI, we have a strong cooperation partner at our side to meet the major challenges of autonomous driving with innovative software solutions,” says Frank Petznick, head of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) business unit at Continental. “The complexity of vehicle software and electronics architectures is increasing rapidly, and the number of digital functionalities is rising.”
Apex.AI has developed the meta-operating system Apex.OS — a system for automotive applications that supports all phases of software development and use without time-consuming customization — from concept to pre-development to production use.
It is a versatile, basic software platform that can be used to implement further software solutions quickly, easily, and in a developer-friendly manner — especially for new advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving functions, the company says.
“The automobile is indeed becoming more and more like a smartphone on wheels, where the development of hardware and software is increasingly independent of each other and significantly accelerated,” says Petznick.
“With the help of the already certified meta operating system Apex.OS, we will significantly shorten the development cycles of new mobility functions, especially for automated and autonomous driving, in line with the highest safety standards. Our investment in Apex.AI is an important step into the future.”
Continental works closely with select technology partners to take steps towards the future. It is cooperating with sensor specialist AEye on the development of LiDAR sensors and recently set up a joint venture with Horizon Robotics for artificial intelligence. It also has embedded software solutions for a wide range of driving functions being developed at Elektrobit, a Continental subsidiary.