Continental announced Elektrobit (EB) will build the AR Creator software suite that will enable the creation of augmented reality solutions to make driving safer and improve the driver experience. Following the successful purchase of EB in July 2015, Continental is now consolidating EB as a standalone software company, which aligns with Continental's strategy of providing its business units with freedom to act, and a high level of responsibility. EB will continue its focus on developing state-of-the-art software for carmakers and tier 1 suppliers.
From electromobility to automated driving, digitalization is driving the automotive industry, and it will further add to the importance of automotive software. Continental's recent acquisition and strategy to keep EB independent clearly demonstrates that the company intends to drive this trend.
"Software is developing into the single biggest enabler of innovation in the car. With the addition of the more than 1,300 Elektrobit embedded software and system specialists, our focus on high-performing automotive solutions is getting even stronger," said Helmut Matschi, member of the Executive Board Continental and head of the Interior Division.
Proven cooperation followed by smooth consolidation
Continental and EB have had a successful 10-year business relationship, which precedes the acquisition. Among the more recent contributions EB has made to Continental's innovative work is the addition of EB street director navigation software and electronic horizon software as part of Continental's Augmented Reality Head-up Display (AR-HUD), first announced in 2014. EB will take over the responsibility for software development for a partial project within AR HUD, the AR Creator (sensor data fusion software and software framework for augmented reality HUDs) starting now.
AR Creator consists of a wide range of software features from EB, including highly precise lane positioning, and environmental modeling and prediction, plus the implementation of modules responsible for functions such as augmentation of navigation data or marking of lanes, user experience, and many more. Based on complex sensor fusion, the AR Creator augments the scene, when necessary. This will help drivers to intuitively recognize the significance of what they see in front of them.
"As the industry continues to move toward bringing automated vehicles to market, new requirements for leveraging technologies like augmented reality continue to emerge," said Alexander Kocher, president and managing director Elektrobit. "We are proud to start on this path with Continental and nurture and expand our software know-how. EB will continue to further develop the AR Creator as a software product and sell it to its customers, carmakers and tier 1 suppliers."
"In the years to come, software will gain even more importance in the car," said Matschi. "Strengthening of our software and expanding system expertise is, therefore, an investment in the future. The AR Creator is just one example of what is possible. This change in our industry comes along with a lot of different opportunities and challenges. To align our more than 12,000 software professionals on central topics, such as opportunities, tools, agile development or quality, we will be holding the 3rd Continental-wide software conference this year."
Continental develops intelligent technologies for transporting people and their goods. As a reliable partner, the international automotive supplier, tire manufacturer, and industrial partner provides sustainable, safe, comfortable, individual, and affordable solutions. In 2014, the corporation generated sales of approximately EUR34.5 billion with its five divisions Chassis & Safety, Interior, Powertrain, Tires, and ContiTech. Continental currently employs more than 205,000 people in 53 countries.
In the Interior division, everything revolves around information management in the vehicle and beyond. The range of products for various vehicle categories includes instruments, multifunction displays, head-up displays, control devices, access and tire information systems, radios, infotainment and operating systems, climate control units, software and cockpits, telematics solutions and services, and intelligent transport systems. Interior employs over 36,000 employees worldwide. In 2014, it recorded sales of approximately EUR7.0 billion.
About Elektrobit (EB)
Elektrobit (EB) is an award-winning and visionary global supplier of embedded solutions, cloud computing and services for the automotive industry. A leader in automotive software, with over 25 years serving the industry, EB's products powers over 70 million vehicles and offers flexible, innovative software solutions for connected car infrastructure, human machine interface (HMI) technologies, navigation, driver assistance, electronic control units (ECUs), and engineering services. EB is a wholly owned subsidiary of Continental AG. For more information, visit us at www.elektrobit.com.