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Continental and IBM join forces

John Day

John Day

Posted Sep 11, 2013

At the Frankfurt Auto Show Continental and IBM announced a collaboration within which they will develop “fully-connected mobile vehicle solutions” for car manufacturers. It sounds like a formidable pairing.

Dr. Elmar Degenhart, chairman of the executive board at Continental, touted IBM as an industry leader in Big Data and Cloud Computing and said it has the “deep analytics expertise” needed to “process and analyze vast quantities of data and make subsequent predictions at high frequency and velocity,” which is much of what Big Data amounts to.

There is a lot of interest in Big Data among automakers and suppliers anticipating the connected vehicle era. Continental and IBM said they will work on a cloud platform able to enable automakers to deliver a range of new mobile in-car services. The firms didn’t specify what those services might be. Presumably some, at least, have yet to be discovered or developed.

“Today’s car owners are completely rethinking their mobility needs and expect their vehicles to deliver the same capabilities and conveniences as other smart devices,” said Dirk Wollschläger, IBM’s Global Automotive Industry General Manager. “This means drivers are not only looking for quality, safe, reliable performance, but also see the motor car as a highly personalized extension of their daily and digitally connected lives.”

Who knew what we needed until it became available?

“The vehicle will not just be connected to the Internet; it will become part of it,” added Continental’s Degenhart. “Networked, intelligent mobility opens up enormous potential for innovation and will enable several new functions for drivers. These include cloud-based voice recognition, real-time traffic flow data exchange and anticipatory driving based on online and navigation data. All in all, cars of the future will become even safer and more efficient.”

The firms said vehicles with embedded sensors will not only receive data, but also transmit information such as position, speed or deceleration to the Cloud where data will be processed, analyzed and acted upon. The result will be a real-time map that will enable a vehicle to literally “look around the corner.”

What other firms are heading in this same direction and what additional collaborative efforts are we likely to see?

IBM, Big Data

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John DayJohn Day recently launched John Day’s Automotive Electronics News ( to provide news and feature coverage of the automotive electronics industry. Earlier he wrote for Auto Electronics magazine, Auto E-lectronics, EE Times, and other business and engineering publications. Visit John Day

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