Continental and IBM sign connected-car alliance

The automotive supplier's technology is moving toward "highly automated driving," with IBM servers processing real-time vehicle data so cars can anticipate detailed driving conditions.

A Continental car antenna including integrated electronics for mobile network data transfer.
A Continental car antenna including integrated electronics for mobile network data transfer. Continental

IBM and auto supplier Continental announced an alliance designed to let carmakers link their vehicles to the network and therefore offer new services to customers.

Under the deal, IBM will supply back-end computing infrastructure that can process an immense volume of data streaming in from many cars, then process it so cars can know details about what's just ahead in real time, the companies announced Tuesday at the Frankfurt auto show.

"Anticipatory driving will be enhanced by Continental and IBM to develop a next generation 'electronic horizon' platform, which will ultimately make highly automated driving a reality," Continental said in a statement.

See also: How Google's robo-cars mean the end of driving as we know it

Highly automated driving is a step in the path toward self-driving cars, a technology Continental expects to arrive in 2020 . The

Continental logo

The alliance embodies just about perfectly the marriage of the auto and computing industries , where each brings decades of experience to the match. Continental's partnership with IBM had been expected , but so far there's no word about a reported tie-up with Google, too.

In addition, the IBM technology will let carmakers deliver software updates to cars over the Internet so that people don't have to go into service stations for such updates to their cars' electronic systems.

With this modified self-driving VW Passat, Continental hopes to develop autonomous driving technology it can sell to auto makers.
With this modified self-driving VW Passat, Continental hopes to develop autonomous driving technology it can sell to auto makers. Continental
About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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