Continental connected the first vehicles to the Internet back in 1996. Since then, the technology company has connected more than 30 million vehicles. And a glimpse into the future promises further growth.
For the first time ever, this year will see half of all new cars rolling off the production line equipped with some form of connectivity solution, which means that by 2020, around 250 million connected cars will be on our roads all around the world.
“Where vehicle connectivity was once simply an added feature, it is now becoming a key technology for intelligent mobility of the future. This is why we are focusing on holistic connectivity for a seamless online connection, and developing the entire vehicle into an open system,” says Helmut Matschi, member of the Executive Board at Continental and head of the Interior Division.
“Holistic connectivity concerns all aspects of a connected vehicle – from the in-vehicle electronics architecture, through the seamless connection, to the services and the interaction between driver and vehicle. Today we are developing the building blocks for all areas of holistic connectivity. In doing so, we are shaping future mobility.”
Updates: wireless, seamless and for the entire vehicle
“Wireless software updates for the entire vehicle electronics constitute a central building block for holistic connectivity,” says Matschi. But for Continental, this is not simply about demonstrating how this capability can be implemented in vehicles securely and reliably.
Continental has teamed up with Carnegie Technologies for a solution that enables the seamless and disruption-free transition between different wireless networks (mobile telephony, Wi-Fi or satellite systems). To send data packages containing as much data as possible from the cloud to the vehicle and back, the solution can also combine data lines, for example, from the passengers’ mobile devices as a means of pooling transmission capacities.
In a collaboration with Inmarsat, Continental is also using satellite communication – in addition to mobile telephony and Wi-Fi – to provide vehicle manufacturers and drivers worldwide with the best-possible network connection at all times.
Infotainment of the future: directly from the cloud
Holistic connectivity will also make in-vehicle infotainment smarter and more flexible. With the cloud terminal, applications that were once directly integrated in the head unit will now be moved to the cloud.
This ensures that the system is always up-to-date and that new functions can be added at any time, allowing vehicle manufacturers to simply roll out the applications across different models and vehicle classes.
The twist is that Continental has created a development framework within the cloud that uses standard development tools and therefore does not require developers to have any specialised automotive software expertise.
As such, Continental is opening up the connected car to a broad developer community, creating the basis for a number of exciting functions. The cloud terminal also acts as the driver’s digital assistant, analysing the driver’s habits and providing appropriate personalized functions.
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) October 31, 2017