Demand for complex vehicle functions and connected systems are growing rapidly.
According to internal estimates by international automotive supplier Continental, the percentage of systems projects just for advanced driver assistance systems will grow from around 30 percent to approximately 50 percent in relation to components projects within the next three years. In order to meet the resultant demands of the market more effectively, the Chassis & Safety Division is raising its profile by strengthening its systems expertise and capacity.
Such complex vehicle functions as emergency brake or crash-protection systems already increasingly demand a view of things that goes beyond the components perspective of individual business units. “This is something we are seeing especially in the fast-growing market for advanced driver assistance systems,” said Frank Jourdan, Member of the Executive Board of Continental AG and President of the Chassis & Safety Division. There is a need here to cover the entire spectrum from environment sensing to active intervention in a driving situation, if necessary. Some current examples include emergency brake and emergency steering systems. Only if the division is capable of understanding and mastering complex context will it be able to properly define requirements for future vehicle components. “That is why we have taken action and expanded and reorganized the setup of our systems operations,” said Jourdan.
The main objectives of the reorganization include a continual buildup of expertise and new resources. “On the one hand, we would like to improve the way that systems projects are managed by applying project management and augmenting the system concept, design, and the test & integration functions. On the other hand, we wish to identify additional systems business opportunities beyond the confines of our business units. This enables the division to successfully market more complex Chassis & Safety solutions, all the while strengthening our components business,” said Jürgen Diebold, Head of the Chassis & Safety Systems within the Chassis & Safety Division.
|Vehicle functions – both current and future – are becoming increasingly complex, and often require interaction between multiple components.|
The development, production and marketing of highly advanced vehicle components will nevertheless remain the principal business model. “Strengthening our systems business will help us to identify promising innovation potential at an early stage, will secure our components business and will also enable us, right from the start, to perform systems projects to our customers’ fullest satisfaction,” said Diebold. “The only way you’ll know what the components of tomorrow will look like is if you have a thorough understanding of systems.”
The Chassis & Safety Division possesses the technical expertise to develop both individual components and systems for car manufacturers. By strengthening the systems concept (requirements management, architecture, safety & security), design (function development, simulation, system layout) and the test & integration (test, Hardware in the Loop (HiL), verification and validation) functions, within Chassis & Safety Systems, the Division has adjusted its organization to a market that is tending more and more to systems business.