Spotlight Continental: Where the Rubber Meets the Road to the FutureFebruary 25, 2021
While Continental is best known for the tires which accounted for 40% of sales in 2019, this Germany-based firm actually thinks of itself as a technology company. Its mission is to develop safe, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. Today the firm holds a top three spot among manufacturers of advanced car systems like brakes, airbags, drivers safety and networking systems for consumer and commercial vehicles.
But Continental’s roadmap for the future involves paving auto industry innovation in safety and autonomy, a research initiative it has driven since 1999. These projects range from automated parking and driving support technologies available today (like lane assist) to fully autonomous highway and urban driving assistance in complex situations (like traffic jams) expected to be available within the next decade.
For Continental, the commitment to innovation goes way back. Founded in 1871 to make pneumatic car and bicycle tires, in 1904 the firm introduced the first patterned tread car tire, and for much of the next century helped to lead innovation in tire technology and production. In 2017, Continental opened a new R&D center in Silicon Valley devoted exclusively to pioneering sustainable solutions for its product lines. In 2018 in Budapest, it opened a center for deep machine learning to enable automated driving.
As of 12/31/20, Continental was held in the Knowledge Leaders Strategy.