Continental announced a partnership with Google Cloud during its press conference at the IAA MOBILITY 2023. Together, the two companies are equipping cars with generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), making Continental one of the first automotive suppliers to integrate Google Cloud capabilities directly into vehicle computers. With this, drivers can interact with their car in a natural dialogue. No matter if drivers for example need help finding the right tire pressure when the car is fully loaded or want to know more about local places of interest on their destination or along their route when they are on vacation, the generative AI can compile the required information and answer the drivers’ questions. The two companies each bring their respective expertise to the partnership, namely in automotive, software, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
“Together with Google, we are bringing artificial intelligence to the vehicle cockpit and are creating an intuitive experience for drivers. Based on our Smart Cockpit High-Performance Computer, we expect our solution to be ready for production within just 18 months development time. This is how our vision of software-defined vehicles starts to become a reality,” said Philipp von Hirschheydt, member of Continental’s Executive Board and head of the Automotive group sector, at the company’s IAA MOBILITY press conference.
At this year’s IAA MOBILITY, Continental is showcasing the integration of the generative AI system in its Smart Cockpit High-Performance Computer (HPC) solution with a demonstration vehicle (hall B2/booth A12). With its solution, Continental is serving a broad market – market observers are anticipating that, over the next ten years, sales of high-performance vehicle computers will be in the mid tens of billions of euros.
Google Cloud’s AI-powered system lets drivers actually talk with their car. They can ask about hotels or tourist attractions along their route, and much more. The driver may want to know more about a specific historical building nearby. In this case, the system compiles detailed information in real time and plays it back to the driver like an audio guide in a museum. The driver can also ask follow-up questions without repeating the whole context, Google Cloud’s conversational generative AI interprets the context correctly. Continental ensures that the system has access to specific vehicle information, such as the operating manual. This means it can even tell the driver where the USB port is or what the required tire pressure is when the car is fully loaded. Google Cloud’s generative artificial intelligence allows the system to constantly learn, create new content and adapt to the user’s preferences.
“We are excited to partner with Continental,” said Daniel Holz, Vice President North EMEA at Google Cloud. “We’ll combine our expertise in software, AI, and cloud computing with Continental’s deep knowledge of the automotive industry. Together, we can create a new generation of digital automotive solutions that are more convenient and improve safety for drivers and passengers.”
With this, Continental is offering another building block for the ecosystem from the road to the cloud and is expanding the functions for instrumentation, entertainment and driver assistance that are pre-integrated in its Smart Cockpit HPC. Thereby, the company is reducing development time and effort, complexity, and costs for automotive manufacturers. The Smart Cockpit HPC combines user experience and system performance, while meeting customer requirements for typical cockpit designs with driver and center displays. This all means a fast time to market – from order receipt to production in 18 months.
Continental was the first supplier to pave the way for HPC-driven vehicle architectures. Together with Volkswagen, Continental put the first central HPC into production for the entire network of ID. electric models. By the end of 2024 alone, 30 vehicle models from different manufacturers will roll off the assembly line equipped with High-Performance Computers from Continental.
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