Continental has decided to acquire stake in the German-US software specialist Apex.AI as a strategic investor.
In doing so, the technology company is underscoring the great importance of intelligent software applications for future generations of vehicles.
“With Apex.AI, we have a strong cooperation partner at our side to meet the major challenges of autonomous driving with innovative software solutions,” says Frank Petznick, Head of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit at Continental. “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 the development cycles of new mobility functions, especially for automated and autonomous driving, in line with the highest safety standards. Our investment in Apex.AI is an important step into the future.”
Continental and Apex.AI have already been cooperating since 2020 on the industrialization of an innovative operating system for vehicles.
With the minority stake now completed, the two companies are intensifying their collaboration to rapidly provide a near-series solution. The investment amount is not being disclosed.
Apex.AI has developed the meta-operating system Apex.OS from a widely-used programming framework, the open-source code ROS (Robot Operating System).
Apex.OS is the first system of its kind for automotive applications that seamlessly supports all phases of software development and use without time-consuming customization, from the concept phase to pre-development to production use – and has already been certified by the German testing organization TÜV Nord for its high, international safety standards in the automotive industry. This means that the software system is approved for series use on the road.
Continental works closely with select technology partners to take decisive evolutionary steps. For example, Continental is cooperating with sensor specialist AEye on the development of lidar sensors – a key technology for automated driving. Continental recently set up a joint venture with Horizon Robotics, a leading provider of edge computing platforms for artificial intelligence (AI).
Continental investment in Apex.AI is another example of how targeted investments and partnerships enable significant technology leaps towards the sustainable mobility of tomorrow.