Continental and Amazon Web Services Create Platform for Automotive Software
- Standardized, modular hardware and software platforms enable function updates throughout the entire service life of a vehicle
- Software can be developed and tested more efficiently and securely and rolled out directly to vehicles
- High-performance AWS cloud speeds up development processes and meets the strictest security and compliance requirements
- Platform is already being tested in an automotive manufacturer’s series development and will be available to other customers beginning at the end of 2021
- Dr. Dirk Abendroth, CTO Automotive Technologies: “We are defining a new approach to developing vehicle architectures and software and thus expanding our leading role in the field of automotive software.”
Frankfurt, Germany, April 15, 2021. Continental and Amazon Web Services (AWS) will be working together going forward within the scope of a new development cooperation. The goal of the long-term collaboration with AWS serving as the preferred cloud provider is to develop Continental Automotive Edge (CAEdge) – a modular hardware and software platform that connects the vehicle to the cloud and features a virtual workbench offering numerous options to develop, supply and maintain software-intensive system functions. This will allow drivers to integrate the functions they want going forward during the entire service life of their vehicle by downloading quick and convenient software updates.
With the platform, Continental is strengthening its leading role in developing state-of-the-art vehicle architectures and software. It will provide future 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 in a fraction of the development time needed before. As a result, the vehicle software can be developed and tested more efficiently and securely and rolled out directly to vehicles. To bring the Continental CAEdge platform to market, more than 1,000 Continental developers will exploit the full potential offered by the latest technologies, backed by the support of AWS. The CAEdge platform is already being tested in an automotive manufacturer’s series development and will be available to other customers beginning at the end of 2021.
“Software is at the forefront of innovation in cars,” explains Dirk Abendroth, CTO 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 and will continue to expand our leading role in the field of automotive software,” Abendroth continues.
Within the scope of the first project, camera and radar data of a vehicle fleet will be imported into the CAEdge platform and subsequently used for virtual simulations of highly automated driving.
When it comes to processing these vast amounts of data in particular, the CAEdge platform offers a high-performance development environment that supports all steps in the development of highly automated and autonomous driving systems: from sensor data collection and processing, through data management, model training and virtual simulations to vehicle software updates. This means that individual development steps that used to take several weeks due to the work involved in transferring data and training algorithms can now be completed in just a few hours. This is made possible via the scalable computing capacity offered by AWS, as well as machine learning.
“Continental is providing the mobility experts and its in-depth understanding of the automotive sector, while AWS – as the leading provider of cloud computing – is bringing with it access to the latest machine learning and other innovative cloud services. Backed by the expertise of Continental and its customers, we are creating a development environment that will speed up the development of highly automated and autonomous driving systems,” says Bill Vass, Vice President of Engineering at AWS.
With the Continental platform, going forward all developers and participating companies will work in a standardized and automated development environment with the same tools, testing procedures and safeguards. Customers will additionally benefit from AWS data centers and a network that was developed to protect their information, identities, applications and devices. AWS provides a basis to meet today’s most pressing security and compliance requirements such as data localization, protection and confidentiality. In practice, this means that when an automotive manufacturer develops a new product solution, only they will have access to the data and can grant access rights to other companies, for example to Continental or to another development partner.
In a first step, Continental and AWS will train more than 1,000 of Continental’s 20,000 software and IT experts in AWS cloud technologies with a focus on machine learning so that they can continue to improve CAEdge and work together with automotive manufacturers on new mobility solutions.
Continental: a software powerhouse
Around 20,000 of the more than 51,000 engineers working for Continental are already experts in the areas of software and IT. Continental already employs more than 900 experts in AI, and by 2022, it will have about 1,900. Value creation with software is recording double-digit percentage growth each year. Continental is the first automotive supplier ever to supply a central computer for Volkswagen’s ID series. The mobility supplier already has orders from several automakers for high-performance computers worth more than €4 billion.