Hanover, Germany / San José, California – Continental has opened a new R&D centre in San José, where up to 300 of its “experts” will help develop technologies for automated driving, ‘electromobility’, connectivity and mobility services, the German group announced 12 April.
The 6,000-square-metre complex houses “state-of-the-art” research facilities and will be part of a network of over 32,000 Continental engineers worldwide. Continental also has an ‘intelligent transportation systems’ (ITS) business unit in Silicon Valley, since 2014.
The automotive industry is undergoing the biggest transformation in its 130-year history and is now moving towards intelligent mobility technologies, explained Kurt Lehmann, corporate technology officer at Continental.
“Over the coming decades, most of the electrically powered, fully connected and automated vehicles in cities will be operated by mobility service providers and fleet managers,” said Lehmann.
“Continental connects vehicles’ ‘brains’, thus expanding the collective intelligence of the fleet,” he added. “This is the kind of interdisciplinary collaboration taking place across Continental in San José, and it will result in new, additional business areas for our pioneering solutions.”
Continental did not give a ‘spend’ figure for the new facility but said it had invested over $1.9 billion in the US over the past five years and was planning “comparably large investments” for the next five years.
With over 220,000 employees, the automotive supplier, tire manufacturer and industrial group had 2016 sales of €40.5 billion with its chassis & safety, interior, powertrain, tires and ContiTech divisions.