This review will be conducted in parallel with the company’s ongoing preparations for a potential partial IPO of the division. This creates further manoeuvring room for Continental, given an accelerating trend toward powertrain electrification and the hard-to-predict conditions surrounding a potential partial IPO in 2020. In addition to examining the technical and legal requirements, the review of this option also includes the possibility of a complete spin-off. The Executive Board and Supervisory Board will reach a decision regarding the actual implementation after the review has been completed.
“This approach ensures that our powertrain business will be able to embark on its promising course under the best possible conditions in 2020 – regardless of whether it does so via a partial IPO or a spin-off. In addition, it provides all stakeholders with clear guidance on future planning so that they can focus on the actual business, its profitable growth and successful technological expansion,” said Continental CEO Dr. Elmar Degenhart (pictured), explaining the reasoning behind the review.
On this subject, he reaffirmed that the Powertrain employment guarantee would continue to apply through 2023 in the event of any changes to the company: “Regardless of which approach is taken toward independence, the key points agreed upon with the employee representatives in ‘Continental in Motion – our Alliance for the Future,’ published on April 18, 2018, apply to Powertrain.”
In view of the disruptive powertrain market, Andreas Wolf, head of the powertrain business, emphasised the importance of readily available entrepreneurial freedom in order to increase future business success: “We are looking forward to 2020 and are eager to get started. We have a strong position, particularly in the areas of electronics and electrification, which are the foundations on which we will implement our profitable growth strategy. The important thing now is to step in early and play a greater role in shaping this unique growth market. In such a highly volatile and dynamic environment, we now need clarity fast regarding the next steps, as well as a high degree of independence and flexibility.”
Wolf went on to explain that the partial IPO has to date been the preferred option of many to achieve these goals. The review of a spin-off allows the company to consider a further option aimed at ensuring that Vitesco Technologies has the best possible starting position for success in 2020.
As a high-performance computer, this comprehensive solution for software and hardware provides the basis for interaction between humans and vehicles in the connected cockpit of tomorrow – and at the highest level of quality.
In its cockpit demonstrator, the technology company will show how the IIP combines various displays, such as the instrument cluster and the centre console display, with Internet-based services to form a complete solution. The IIP is a milestone in the E/E architecture revolution, which is seeing in-car electronics move away from many individual control units to a few high-performance computers.
Continental uses virtualisation solutions for the IIP architecture that allow several operating systems with various security requirements to be operated simultaneously on a single computer. The operating systems, such as QNX, Integrity, Linux and Android Automotive, can come from both open-source and third-party providers. The required software is integrated and tested in the highly automated and agile Continental Software Factory. From its Agile Campus at the company’s Wetzlar location, Continental has also shortened development cycles by fundamentally changing processes and ensuring effective collaboration.
“The cockpit of tomorrow poses two major challenges for our development. Firstly, there is an ever-increasing separation of software and hardware, along with the numerous possibilities for various open-source software and thus also for new business models. Secondly, to implement processes that allow us to meet these new requirements rapidly, efficiently and with a high level of operational security proves to be challenging as well,” explained Dr. Karsten Michels, Head of Systems & Technology in Continental’s Interior division.
The IIP supports a wide range of products and is scalable using various hardware concepts. “To tackle the challenges of system integration, we are changing the culture at Continental to focus on agile working. We have accelerated this change with our Agile Campus at the Wetzlar location. This includes a high level of automation of continuous test routines and a combination of strict gating and transparent quality metrics. The focus of our development is on quality,” said Michels.
The IIP exhibit at the IAA will feature displays connected across the entire width of the cockpit under a glass surface, highlighting the number of functions that fully connected vehicles must be able to master at the same time. The digital driver display, for example, will show the view of the digital rear-view mirror in addition to traditional readouts. Moreover, the driver can use gestures to retrieve content such as high-resolution navigation maps from the passenger display. If the driver then switches to automated driving mode, the full display is shown, featuring all Internet-based services and apps that are otherwise only available on the passenger side.
The IIP is capable of controlling multiple displays in the cockpit. To do so, the platform must be able to run both apps with a high automotive safety integrity level and those that are as open as possible (e.g. based on Android) from a wide variety of sources. The secure encapsulation of various operating systems through hypervisor technology or containers is therefore an integral part of the IIP. During manual driving, the passenger has the entire spectrum of familiar digital services available, including common office applications.
Around 20 Continental teams at four locations in Europe and Asia are participating in the agile development of the IIP software, with 70,000 automated tests conducted and 250 software baselines created and automatically documented each week. Every change to the source code is immediately “built,” and the review of the fulfilled release conditions (“gating”) is strictly automated. “We have done away with all manual reporting, because at this functional range we would exceed our capacities,” said Jens Walther, a specialist in agile development at Continental.
In addition to “incorruptible gating,” transparent metrics ensure that software quality can be measured in real time down to the level of the source code itself. “All quality-relevant information is available live to the scrum teams and internal and external stakeholders in order to initiate solutions to problems,” added Walther. “With this agile and automated approach, the software achieves a high level of maturity early on, allowing us to accelerate development and market launch.”
As part of this cultural change, there is a deep understanding of agile working, in particular at Continental’s Agile Campus Wetzlar. The use of agile methods and tools at the campus is not restricted to software development, as is usually the case. Instead, other areas of the company are being gradually converted to agile principles as part of a total cultural makeover. “The agile approach is earning its reputation,” said Walther. “We are already fit today for the requirements of automotive manufacturers worldwide, who are approaching us specifically to work together on the basis of agile methods.”
As part of the collaboration, HELLA Aglaia will use AutoStream – TomTom’s innovative map delivery system – to access the latest TomTom HD Map on demand and will use the HD Map in the vehicle for accurate localisation. In addition, HELLA Aglaia will share processed camera data to TomTom's cloud-based mapping system for autonomous driving, updating the TomTom HD Map in real time. This will be achieved by generating crowdsourced map updates called Roadagrams which are used to ensure the HD Map reflects the reality of the road. TomTom AutoStream then delivers the updated map data back to the vehicle. The technology will be demonstrated to automakers and Tier 1s by the end of the year.
Willem Strijbosch, Head of Autonomous Driving, TomTom, said: “We believe that an up-to-date HD map is critical for safe and comfortable autonomous driving. By joining forces with HELLA Aglaia we are offering automakers and Tier 1s the possibility to move towards faster TomTom HD Map updates. We’re proud to be working with them to serve their European and global customers.”
Kay Talmi, Managing Director at HELLA Aglaia, added: “By achieving compatibility between TomTom’s cloud-based mapping service and Aglaia’s in-vehicle camera software we will be able to offer automakers a new option for HD Map updates from their fleet while keeping the flexibility of our software-only-solution which easily scales from ADAS to automated driving.”
The plant will initially produce electronic control units for various vehicle manufacturers, primarily in Europe.
With the goal of producing market-leading electronics products, the company is adding capabilities to align with EU initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions. This includes increasing new technical jobs in the region that are aligned with the future of vehicle propulsion. The plant will provide capacity to enable employment levels exceeding 1,000 employees to support the growth of the European electrification market over the next years.
“Consistent with our previously announced plans, we have reached an important milestone” said Richard F. Dauch, Chief Executive Officer of Delphi Technologies. “Given our vision to be a pioneer in propulsion technologies, this new site will support our long-term growth and allow us to better serve our customers on their path to electrified vehicles.”
Building on more than 20 years of presence in Poland, the Delphi Technologies Electrification & Electronics plant in Blonie covers a total area of more than 34,600 square meters, of which 17,600 square meters is manufacturing facility. The company now operates five sites dedicated to its Electrification & Electronics portfolio globally with a presence in USA, Mexico, China, Singapore and now Poland.
The call-to-action, summarised in a new report by the firm, outlines how so-called ‘range anxiety’ – driven by the drastic differences in reported and actual range of an EV – is deterring increasing numbers of motorists from making the switch from petrol or diesel-powered vehicles to their electric counterpart.
The report explains how current global testing and evaluation methods for determining the range of an EV are inadequate and in need of urgent review. EVs are currently tested against a slim set of parameters with the majority at one ambient temperature level; 23°C – an unrealistic reflection of real-world driving conditions. The result is an inaccurate report on vehicle range, potentially fuelling range anxiety amongst motorists therefore reducing the likelihood of adoption.
It goes on to outline how extending the conditions under which EVs are tested could produce more accurate range data; raising the credibility of EVs, ultimately boosting consumer confidence and uptake.
Ben Gale, Global Solution Leader at HORIBA MIRA, said: “The UK’s transition to EVs is critical if it wants to meet its ambitious net zero emissions target by 2050, and a key part in speeding up public adoption is to tackle the perceptions around range anxiety.
“At present, the use of insufficient range data in real world conditions is playing a part in fuelling range anxiety, putting many motorists off making the switch to EVs. Globally, vehicles are tested at just one temperature – one that is considered the ‘optimum’ for vehicle comfort and Lithium-Ion batteries – but when you add in air conditioning or heating requirements, additional battery power is required; depleting the published range of an EV at an alarming rate.”
As such, HORIBA MIRA is encouraging the UK Government to recognise that the current method of establishing range, is not a true reflection of real-world driving conditions, and to extend the temperature range and conditions EVs are currently tested and evaluated against.
Within the paper, the firm also reveals its advanced simulation approach to replicate real world driving conditions thereby reducing the cost and time associated with additional physical testing; an area in which HORIBA MIRA and its parent company HORIBA are leading the way toward with virtual validation.
Ben added: “By expanding the temperature range and conditions EVs are currently tested and evaluated against, we can produce more accurate range data which allows manufacturers to further optimise the design and cost of the battery; raising the credibility and attractiveness of EVs, thereby supporting adoption and improving the local environmental impact of transport.
“Increasing the number of people willing to switch to EVs will largely depend on a positive change in customer perceptions; particularly in tackling ‘range anxiety’. It is therefore imperative that Government, OEMs and EV manufacturers respond accordingly, to accelerate EV adoption.”