Continental to leverage Amazon Web Services for software development

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Continental and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are to work together on a development cooperation, with a long-term goal of AWS serving as the preferred cloud provider for Continental Automotive Edge (CAEdge) – a modular hardware and software platform that connects the vehicle to the cloud.

CAEdge features a virtual workbench offering numerous options to develop, supply and maintain software-intensive system functions. This, says Continental, will allow drivers to integrate the functions they want going forward during the entire service life of their vehicles by downloading software updates.

With the platform, Continental states it is strengthening its role in developing vehicle architectures and software. This will allow it to 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, vehicle software can be developed and tested more efficiently and securely and rolled out directly to vehicles. The company notes that the CAEdge platform is already being tested in an automotive manufacturer’s series development and will be available to other customers at the end of 2021.

“Software is at the forefront of innovation in cars,” explained 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.”

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 this data in particular, Continental claims 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, says Continental, 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. As a first step, Continental and AWS will train more than 1,000 of Continental’s 20,000 software and IT engineers in AWS cloud technologies, with a focus on 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,” noted Bill Vass, VP of engineering at AWS. “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.”

Continental says that 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 also benefit from AWS data centers and a network that was developed to protect their information, identities, applications and devices. In practice, this means that when automotive manufacturers develop new product solutions, only they will have access to the data and can grant access rights to other companies, for example to Continental or another development partner.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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