Continental expects changes in business models

March 02, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Automotive supplier Continental expects that digitization in the automotive markets will bring about a shift in its own business model: In the future, digital services will contribute significantly to the company’s sales. And though Continental invested more than 1 billion euros into electromobility developments, electrification of the masses won’t happen before 2025, CEO Elmar Degenhart believes.

At the opportunity of introducing Continental’s annual business figures, Degenhart provided interesting insights into the future of the automotive business. “Today we are developing and producing technologies for transporting people and their goods. In the future we will increasingly earn money with mobility services”, he said. The automotive industry is undergoing a transformation. The same applies to our business model.”

An important topic for Continental is, and remains, autonomous driving. Over the past five years, the company spent about € 1 billion for the development of advanced driver assistance systems. “With further development of key sensor technologies for better vehicle surroundings monitoring, we will take a big step towards more automation and safety in road traffic.” An example for a current development project is a 3D Flash Lidar sensor that will generate exact three-dimensional map of the surroundings. The sensor will enter mass production in 2020, Degenhart said.

 

“By 2050, more than two-thirds of all people are expected to be living in cities. Rough estimates indicate that the majority of the vehicles in these cities will then be operated by mobility service providers and fleet managers. They will probably have an electric drive system, be fully connected, and drive autonomously. This gives rise to new, additional business areas for us. In addition to today’s products, Continental’s core business will therefore also include smart mobility services in the future,” explained Degenhart.

“Over the past years, we have invested more than €1 billion in electric mobility. But a leap forward in battery technology is still required before the major breakthrough. We do not expect this to happen before 2024, however, and perhaps even a few years later,” said Degenhart.

Continental sees trendsetting changes in the field of intelligent interconnectivity of mobility. In the future, vehicles will communicate more with each other and with infrastructure. For example, Continental has used smart interconnectivity of road data and vehicle data to bring about a