Continental has acquired a minority stake in German-US start-up, Recogni.

The company is working on a new chip architecture for object recognition in real time based on artificial intelligence (AI).

The processors of the future are intended for use in Continental's vehicle computers, among other applications, where they will perform rapid processing of sensor data for automated and autonomous driving.

As an investor, Continental is contributing both financial commitment as well as experience in the field of AI, vehicle sensors and advanced driver assistance systems to further the development of the chip design. Continental experts predict volume production featuring the new chip application could begin as start as early as 2026.

The new processors serve as a data booster: with minimal energy consumption, they enable vehicle computers to gain a rapid sense of the vehicle's immediate surroundings, thus creating the basis for automated and autonomous driving. Both companies have agreed not to disclose the amount of the holding.

"Without faster chips, there will be no networking, no automation and no autonomous driving," said head of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit at Continental, Frank Petznick.

"Through our own research in the area of new chip designs, our strategic partnerships with large chip manufacturers such as NVIDIA and our investment in Recogni, we are taking the first step towards meeting the future need for highly specialised processors for sensor modules and control units for our powerful, high-performance vehicle computers."

The collaboration between Continental and Recogni was initiated by Continental's own start-up organisation, co-pace. The two have been working together closely during the past 18 months to ensure technical feasibility and, above all, theoretical efficiency of the new chip design.

"While everything is still theoretical, our simulations show we can expect exponentially faster analysis of our sensor data once we begin to use the Recogni chips," added head of AI at Continental's ADAS business unit, Annika Ratte-Front.

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