The technology company Continental presents a new online platform that automates and standardizes software development and integration into the vehicle. With the Continental Cooperation Portal, carmakers and suppliers save time and money in the vehicle development process, reduce costs for all involved parties, and increase software quality. In doing so, Continental offers a solution for the need of vehicle manufacturers to integrate an exponentially growing amount of software into future vehicle generations. As a system integrator, Continental is simultaneously creating the conditions for the development of connected vehicles, whose electronic architecture focuses on high-performance computers (HPCs) and replaces the traditional, distributed control unit architecture.
Due to many manual processes and a lack of standardization, the process leading up to integrated software has been extremely time-consuming up until now. The applications were tested manually after their delivery, possible errors were corrected, and then the whole process was started from the beginning again – an approach that is quite inefficient in modern vehicles that use software from up to 50 suppliers. The Continental Cooperation Portal will automate this to-ing and fro-ing with all the software suppliers with the result of only transferring error-free applications into the actual development system. Additionally, the online platform will reduce the need for correction loops and free up capacity for implementing other control unit functions.
“The importance of software for vehicles is rising at a rapid pace. By developing the Continental Cooperation Portal, we have created a tool for implementing software and services from a wide range of providers in vehicle servers. As a system integrator and strategic partner, we are working with manufacturers to meet the challenges of the increasing complexity of software integration in modern vehicles,” says Johann Hiebl, head of Continental’s Connected Car Networking business unit.
Automated software integration in HPCs: a milestone for digitally connected mobility
Automated driving, increasingly complex infotainment applications and services in the cockpit, cloud services, shared mobility, connectivity in the Internet of Everything – these trends are revolutionizing the E/E architecture of vehicles. As a system integrator and a software and hardware supplier, Continental is a pioneer in this transformation. One milestone is the technology company’s HPC, which connects the new VW ID electric vehicles as an in-car application server. It makes a high level of vehicle connectivity possible, which can be used for purposes such as installing new functions and safety updates by radio, and keeping the vehicle’s software up-to-date throughout its entire lifetime.
The Continental Cooperation Portal can be individually customized for each software project. By allowing documents such as logs and manuals to be saved, the portal becomes the central communication platform and gives all project participants access to all of the latest information. Encrypted data transmission also enables the portal to provide a high level of security. The portal also makes it possible for the continuous integration and delivery concepts commonly used in agile software development to be applied across multiple development parties in vehicle development.