Continental: “The car is becoming ‘always on’ now”

Continental: “The car is becoming ‘always on’ now”

What does your company do?

With sales of approximately €20 billion in 2009, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently employs approximately 143,000 in 46 countries.

2010 has been a year of recovery. What services or trends have been integral to this period throughout the industry?

Our AutoLinQ [] system has found great interest in the telematics arena. With our apps, we bring attractive new functions into vehicles and AutoLinQ addresses the need of our customers to provide these functions to the drivers and passengers of their cars.

Which trends will impact the industry the most in the coming years and why?

We clearly see an increasing trend toward open systems in the vehicle. The car is becoming ‘always on’ now. Customers no longer accept the car as a white spot in communication. Operating systems play an important role in this game. On the one hand, OSs need to be as open as possible to attract a large number of developers who can provide the new functionality requested by users. On the other hand, the resulting system must be safe and secure. A safe HMI must make sure that the driver is not being distracted from his driving task. Security mechanisms must make sure that only certified applications that cannot harm or impact any of the important vehicle functions make their way into the vehicle. How to balance freedom and control will be an interesting discussion at this year’s Telematics Munich.

How integral is Telematics Munich to the European telematics market?

Telematics Munich provides a platform for opinion and information exchange for the European telematics market.

Which gadgets, gizmos, or cars are on your current wish list?

Well, gadgets may be loaded as applications to an open in-vehicle platform if such gadgets fulfil all safety and security requirements. However, more importantly electric vehicles increase the need for telematics functions. We expect every EV to become connected. Besides already known infotainment functions, we’ll see a whole set of new features which are a must for EV drivers and also infrastructure operators. This is an exiting new field of applications for telematics.

Herbert Halamek will be taking part in a panel session at Telematics Munich. For more information, check out Telematics Munich

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