Continental massively expands commitment to AI

Continental massively expands commitment to AI

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

On the product side, Continental wants to use AI to automate mobility tasks. The AI will simplify commuting and travel for all stakeholders, explained Demetrio Aiello, head of Continental’s Artificial Intelligence and Robotics research division, during a kind of corporate-wide townhall meeting called AIRday (Artificial Intelligence and Robotics) by Continental in Frankfurt (Germany). In process automation, AI is intended to make the work of employees easier. “Monotonous tasks will be further automated and relevant information from huge amounts of data will become more recognizable,” announced Aiello.

At the AIRday (which will be repeated at regular intervals in the future), experts from ten countries and three continents discussed the opportunities and possibilities of AI in production and logistics. In this way, the AI creates improved opportunities both within the framework of quality assurance at the end of the production line and in the classical IT fields such as Enterprise Resource Planning or Supply Chain Management. Optimized demand forecasts are to be made possible as well as a reduction of set-up and service times, since the service forecasts are improved by the use of AI. The experts expressed their belief that that AI systems can contribute to cost reduction.

The most striking benefits of AI will however be seen in the field of driver assistance systems. Vehicle systems using AI methods can detect pedestrians, cyclists and their gestures and intentions with much greater accuracy and robustness than with conventional image processing methods. This should reduce possible false alarms and thus increase the acceptance of corresponding systems. AI methods are also able to detect the presence of a pedestrian when he or she is largely hidden by a parked vehicle. They can also detect at an early stage whether a pedestrian is watching the traffic attentively or is distracted by his smartphone. These algorithms are integrated into a variety of applications, such as automated vehicle systems, driver assistant ssystems, turn assistants and much more. After all, AI-based driving strategies for increasing the range of future generations of electric cars are another piece of the puzzle to free drivers from so-called “range anxiety”.

In its AI research, Continental works closely with leading international research institutes such as Berkeley DeepDrive (BDD) at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Oxford (UK) as well as DFKI (Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz – German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence). The company’s central AI advanced development also cooperates with companies such as Baidu and Nvidia.

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