Auburn Hills-based Continental and Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of Amazon in Seattle, have announced a development collaboration in which the companies will develop Continental Automotive Edge, a modular hardware and software platform that connects vehicles to the cloud.
Amazon will serve as Continental’s preferred cloud provider. The platform includes a virtual workbench that offers options to develop, supply, and maintain software-intensive system functions. This will allow drivers to integrate the functions they want during the service life of vehicles by downloading software updates.
The platform will provide vehicle manufacturers and partners with a development environment for software-intensive vehicle architecture that they can use to implement software, sensor, and big data solutions. The vehicle software can be developed and tested efficiently and securely and be rolled out directly to vehicles.
To bring the platform to market, more than 1,000 Continental developers will use the full potential offered by the technologies, backed by the support of Amazon. Continental Automotive Edge is being tested in an automotive manufacturer’s series development and is expected to be available to other customers beginning at the end of this year.
“Software is at the forefront of innovation in cars,” says Dirk Abendroth, chief technology officer at Continental Automotive. “With our CAEdge platform, we are establishing a new approach to developing vehicle architectures and software in the automotive industry. We have found a strong collaborator in AWS to help us accomplish this task.”
Camera and radar data of a vehicle fleet will be imported into the platform and used for virtual simulations of highly automated driving. The platform offers a high-performance development environment that supports all steps in the development of highly automated and autonomous driving systems including sensor data collection and processing, through data management, model training, virtual simulations, and vehicle software updates.
Continental says the platform allows the development steps that used to take several weeks due to the work involved in transferring data and training algorithms to now be completed in a few hours, made possible by the scalable computing capacity offering by Amazon as well as machine learning.
“Continental provides mobility expertise and an in-depth understanding of the automotive sector, while AWS — as the leading provider of cloud computing — brings with it access to the latest machine learning technologies and other innovative cloud services,” says Bill Vass, vice president of engineering at Amazon Web Services.
With the platform, developers and participating companies will work in a standardized and automated development environment with the same tools, testing procedures, and safeguards. Customers will also benefit from Amazon data centers and a network that was developed to protect their information, identities, applications, and devices.
When an auto maker develops a new product solution, only they will have access to the data and can grant access rights to other companies.
In a first step, Continental and Amazon will train more than 1,000 of Continental’s 20,000 software and information technology experts in Amazon cloud technologies with a focus on machine learning so they can work to improve the Continental Automotive Edge and work with automotive manufacturers on new mobility solutions.
About 20,000 of the more than 51,000 engineers working for Continental are experts in the areas of software and IT. The company employs more than 900 experts in artificial intelligence and, by 2022, it plans to have about 1,900.
Continental was founded in 1871 and is based in Germany.