Continental opened its new Silicon Valley Research and Development Center located in San Jose, California last week. The facility is dedicated to the research and development of mobility innovations and technologies and brings all five of the company’s global divisions together in one location.
“Silicon Valley’s collaborative environment is the perfect location for cross-divisional innovation development,” said Samir Salman, CEO of Continental, North America. “The know-how and inventiveness of our experts puts the future in motion by leading digital technology and developing unique and reliable solutions for large-scale automotive production.”
“Thank you to Continental for locating its R&D center in the capital of Silicon Valley and for your investments here,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “Continental will join a vibrant innovation ecosystem of automotive industry giants. I wish them well in the years ahead.”
The new 65,000 square-foot facility features large garage bays, laboratories and workspaces and can house more than 300 engineers, programmers, designers and innovation experts working across Continental’s five divisions. Continental’s engineers will continue to collaborate on advancing technologies to achieve the company’s goals of safety, clean energy and holistic connectivity.
Aligning with the global focus of clean energy, Continental will continue to set new benchmarks on fuel efficiency with its latest technology developments in electrification. The Powertrain division drives research and development of hybrid and electric drive components and systems. Along with clean energy, information management inside and outside of the vehicle, holistic connectivity between vehicles and their surroundings, as well as the creation of the holistic human-machine interface is at the heart of the Interior division, which will continue to advance intelligent transportation systems at the new R&D Center, ensuring a smarter interior for a safer, more comfortable and efficient drive. The company’s Vision Zero goal drives the Chassis & Safety division with its mission to create a world with zero traffic accidents and fatalities. As a result the company currently develops and produces integrated active and passive driving safety technologies and products, such as sensors and advanced driver assistance systems which are essential for the company’s automated driving innovations. The Tire and ContiTech divisions will use the Silicon Valley location to explore new applications for their products, such as hoses and surface material, and look for innovative roles for its rubber and plastics technologies to better serve local customers and to explore new applications for the cars of the future.
“The Research and Development Center is a part of the global Continental network of over 32,000 engineers, which means it has the power of Continental’s technical community behind it,” said Kurt Lehmann, Corporate Technology Officer of Continental. “For Continental, this investment was made to develop the ideas of the future and will address the needs of today and tomorrow.”
For many years, Continental has had a presence in Silicon Valley and established an office in 2014 to serve as the headquarters for the Continental Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), LLC business unit. The business unit is dedicated to mobility services and developing products such as vAnalytics, a cloud-based service platform for OEMs, dealers and auto repair shops as well as car owners and drivers.
“Growing our Silicon Valley presence will help Continental invest in, develop and produce new technologies and solutions for better, smarter mobility,” said Salman. “We recognize the increasingly important role Silicon Valley plays in the automotive world and we want to be closer to this hub of avant-garde thinking.”