Continental to invest in EasyMile to develope driverless vehicles

  • Continental acquires a minority share in the French company EasyMile, a driverless technology and smart mobility solutions company
  • The objective is to develop advance technologies for driverless vehicles and to open up new fields of competence
  • Continental and EasyMile will test Continental’s current technologies with EasyMile’s autonomous navigation software and systems

The technology company Continental has agreed to acquire a minority share participation in the company EasyMile SAS, a French autonomous driving company, which is developing in particular driverless electric shuttles. Autonomous shuttles (or robo-taxis) are set to play a key role in efficiently addressing the “first mile – last mile challenge”, enabling seamless mobility services for urban and suburban demographics. Widespread deployment of autonomous shuttle fleets is expected to alleviate inner city congestion by enabling door-to-door public transportation at scale. In addition to Continental’s equity investment in EasyMile, the companies plan to cooperate closely in the fields of environmental sensors, braking systems and driving safety technologies.

In addition to Continental’s equity investment in EasyMile, the companies plan to cooperate closely in the fields of environmental sensors, braking systems and driving safety technologies. This opens the door for Continental to numerous possible applications within EasyMile shuttles worldwide, while incorporating tried and tested large-scale production techniques from the automotive field. The first example is that the EasyMile EZ10 fleet will be running on Continental EcoContact tires with optimized tread geometry, ensuring low rolling resistance and rolling noise.

“Together with our customers Continental is pushing ahead with the development of every variant of assisted and automated driving on highways and for automated parking scenarios. The scope and the complexity of the technical systems involved in a driverless vehicle are considerable and can only be handled by a technology company with a very broad product portfolio and a holistic approach. Partnering with EasyMile will accelerate and help us to address the challenges when it comes to autonomous driving in cities,” said Ralph Lauxmann, Systems & Technology Chassis & Safety Division and Head of the Automated Driving Project House at Continental.

The complex requirements placed on driverless vehicles are already being studied under real conditions at the company premises in Frankfurt with Continental’s development platform CUbE (Continental Urban mobility Experience), which is based on an EasyMile EZ10 shuttle. Continental is following here a holistic strategy for developing both existing and new technologies for driverless vehicles. The important areas of activity are the sensor portfolio of advanced driver assistance systems, new brake concepts, passive safety solutions, new human-machine concepts plus electric drive train technologies.

Source: Continental