The German supplier, the second largest in Europe in 2013, has big bets riding on the advent of the self-driving vehicle, a new type of car they see rolling out gradually over the next decade.
Helmut Matschi, who leads Continental’s interior division, thinks the new segment will only be successful if suppliers like his company achieve a never before seen level of integration and cooperation with non-automotive companies.
“We are following a long-term plan and are working on three major issues in the interior division: first, even better networking; second, more comprehensive system integration; and third, we need a holistic interaction plan. Continental has a clear commitment to this portfolio,” says Matschi. “The really crucial factors are sustainability of the business model, solutions that are as smart as possible and, most of all, a thriving collaboration that stretches across all company and disciplinary boundaries” he adds.
Because some global carmakers already have a foothold in the segment, they have started rolling out technology that can take over partially/assist when steering and braking. The Continental executive envisions the first partially automated vehicles to become available on the market as soon as 2016. But from then, the groundbreaking transition from partially/highly to fully automated driving will be a long journey, with a prediction for the 2020-2025 period.
Via Automotive News Europe