Continental says it is investing in German-US software specialist, Apex.AI.

Both companies have already been cooperating since 2020 on the industrialisation of an operating system for vehicles.

With the minority stake now completed, the two companies are intensifying their collaboration to provide a near-series solution. The investment amount is not being disclosed.

Apex.AI has developed meta-operating system, Apex.OS, from a widely used programming framework, the open source code ROS (Robot Operating System).

Continental says Apex.OS is the first system of its kind for automotive applications which supports all phases of software development and use without customisation, from concept phase to pre-development to production use; and has already been certified by German testing organisation, TÜV Nord.

This means the software system is approved for series use on the road.

Apex.OS is a basic platform that can be used to implement further software solutions and in a developer-friendly manner, especially for new advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving functions.

“With Apex.AI, we have a strong cooperation partner at our side to meet the major challenges of autonomous driving with innovative software solutions,” said Continental head of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit, Frank Petznick.

“The complexity of vehicle software and electronics architectures is increasing rapidly and the number of digital functionalities is rising. The automobile is indeed becoming more and more like a smartphone on wheels, where the development of hardware and software is increasingly independent of each other and significantly accelerated.

“With the help of the already certified meta operating system Apex.OS, we will significantly shorten development cycles of new mobility functions, especially for automated and autonomous driving.”