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Continental to increase 10,000 developers to create smart softwares for cars of the future

More than 10,000 software developers currently work for Continental at locations around the globe and by 2015, this number will be at least 11,500.

April 19, 2012 - PRLog -- Continental, global auto supplier is looking to boost its numbers of qualified and enthusiastic software developers for future mobility. More than 10,000 software developers currently work for the automotive supplier at locations around the globe. By 2015, this number will be at least 11,500.

The international automotive supplier is continuing to focus on high-quality and innovative software development teams at its almost 80 development locations spanning over 23 countries. For Continental, software is one of the most key components of future innovations. The developers of this software are therefore the ones whose expertise suppliers will rely on to provide automotive manufacturers worldwide with new functions in the areas of safety, efficiency and comfort.

Helmut Matschi, Member of the Continental AG Executive Board and head of the Interior Division, while speaking at CeBIT 2012 in Hanover told media: “Around 304 million product deliveries in 2011 in the Interior Division alone are testament to Continental’s outstanding productivity. What is more, the relevance of software for our products is increasing year by year. It is the key to safe, energy-saving, comfortable and cost-efficient vehicles worldwide. Today, we already have more than 10,000 software developers working on new algorithms to find a solution to the complex requirements in modern vehicle systems".

The overall size of the development team is constantly being expanded. "In view of the changing requirements with regard to the level of networking in automotive systems, we are again strongly increasing the number of software developers at the company over the next few years,” Matschi said underlining the need for new qualified employees at locations in Germany and abroad, who are enthusiastic about innovations in the automotive industry.

In Continental’s view, the potential for qualified software developers is far from being fully exploited. “Requirements are becoming greater, but opportunities for specialists and also for all-rounders with team spirit are also becoming more promising,” Matschi pointed out. This is also and especially true of an automotive future in which standardised functions and architecture such as AUTOSAR mean that software is afforded increased importance.

The quality of software functions in vehicles is a crucial value for Continental. “Whenever you get into a car, you expect everything to function properly – whatever the driving situation. As software becomes ever more important, our developers are investing a great deal of expertise in error prevention – and with great success", the official continued.”

It is no coincidence that products such as the Electronic Stability Control, body control units or Digital Tachograph have been so successful over the years. 'This is also a sign of the success of our networked teams of software developers worldwide', he noted. As a leading global automotive supplier, Continental is already a market leader in cross-domain system development and relies on the innovative spirit of its international software development team here as well.

Product portfolio

A look at Continental’s product spectrum shows how wide-ranging the challenges for software developers are. Software projects for in-car infotainment systems differ widely from the requirements for developing an engine or transmission control unit. The success of software for infotainment systems depends heavily on the fast adaption of trends out of the consumer electronic markets. Very different are the demands in the Powertrain: The latest generation of engine management system – the EMS 3 – is supported by extremely rapid and hardware-related operating software. In a highly complex system of sensors and actuators, it always delivers the respective optimum settings for the combustion process in real time. The EMS was also one of the first projects that Continental rigorously developed as part of the AUTOSAR architecture, demonstrating that high performance is perfectly possible even in standardised environments.

Continental is a member of various committees with the aim of driving forward quality assurance and software standardization in the automotive industry. Its activities range from projects to standardise development processes to quality enhancement, projects to standardise communication protocols, and also include projects in the areas of software functionalities and architecture. This is done not only to make software as efficient as possible in cars of the future, but also to ensure they keep affordable: “We want to standardise everything relating to software and hardware that has no relevance for vehicle and brand differentiation. But in all those areas where the vehicle manufacturer can set itself apart considerably from its competitors, we will of course design products specifically for each manufacturer,” Matschi drove home the point.

It is also no wonder that the significance of software is also increasing dramatically at the moment in the ever important field of human-machine interfaces – another of Continental’s growth areas. The displays in instrument clusters and in the centre stack as well are becoming increasingly larger and offer greater flexibility in terms of display options. In Matschi’s eyes, the relevance of software is also evident in this field: “The ergonomics of modern instruments are largely determined by software. Our software developers are ensuring that drivers of future-generation vehicles will still have all the information they need at a glance in a direct and easy-to-read format – and that their passengers are well entertained too", he said.

Continental expects that the importance of software will keep increasing over the next few years. Its engineers are therefore constantly working either on further improving existing in-car functions, enabling new functions through intelligent networking of existing systems, or creating entirely new systems – for new requirements in terms of electromobility for example. “Software will play an increasingly significant role for the industry in meeting future challenges and will therefore also be important to Continental,” is a fact for Matschi. This is why the company is on the hunt for new employees worldwide: “Over the next few years, we want to hire an additional 1,500 software developers around the world to meet these future demands", he added.

With sales of € 30.5 billion in 2011, 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 an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has around 164,000 employees in 46 countries. For a full report, visit http://automotivehorizon.sulekha.com/continental-to-absor...

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Source:Jayashankar Menon, Editor, Automotive Horizon
Tags:Continental, Autosar
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