Continental India to develop tech for world

The 24 billion euro Continental Corporation has joined the growing list of international suppliers which are developing technical and development centres in India.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 06 May 2009 Views icon6201 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Continental India to develop tech for world
The international component major has recently set up a captive development Technical Centre in Bangalore, which is staffed by 600 engineers, and aims to grow by 20 percent year on year. It will develop automotive technologies and provide software services for the Continental Automotive Group. The Centre will combine three Indian engineering service providers with Continental. Since 2006, the Technical Centre India has partnered with Siemens Information Systems Ltd, KPIT Cummins Infosystems Ltd and Wipro Ltd for developing and supporting multiple automotive engineering projects for its global customers at Continental.

Gamut of activities

The Technical Centre India will be engaged in a wide range of activities including:

1) Development and testing of Engine Management Systems to reduce fuel consumption and engine emissions.

2) Development of digital tachographs and telematics systems to optimise commercial vehicle fleets and public transport systems.

3) Testing of Energy Management Software for electric and hybrid electric vehicles.

4) Software development and verification for Electronic Brake Systems.

5) Testing, enhancement of body controllers with integrated tyre pressure monitoring systems.

6) Software enhancement for emergency call systems.

7) Software development to connect mobile phones with the car audio system and to stream media from the phone to the car.

8) Developing high-end car radios with embedded phones which enable new kind of services into a car.

Inaugurating the Technical Centre, Dr Gunnar Juergens, Head of the Technical Centre India, said: “The approach consists of a captive development centre of Continental and offshore development centres (ODC) which are operated by our engineering partners. The Technical Centre India works as a hybrid model, where an internal development centre (IDC) collaborates closely with ODC which is managed by external partners. In the IDC, we have a team of five in supporting functions.

“By working with our Indian partners like SISL, KPIT and Wipro, we acknowledge the fact that India has great engineering talent and trusted experience in managing and developing world-class engineering. Our joint approach has been quite successful and has built up a high level of acceptance and trust inside Continental, worldwide. The Technical Centre India is integrated into the global development organisation of about 17,000 engineers at Continental worldwide. In the global development organisation, we apply the same development and quality processes,” he added.

Software development

Currently, the Technical Centre is developing software for emergency call systems for a number of OEMs including Ford, GM, BMW, Daimler and Hyundai. The company plans to tap new clients as many more OEMs are setting up base in the country, Dr Juergens said. “As we have a very wide and successful product portfolio to offer, we are in discussions with Indian OEMs to choose the next technology to offer to new vehicle programmes. We are not only offering to localise existing technology but also to integrate and adapt our solution concepts to the requirements of the Indian market,” he added.

Dr Juergens, while elaborating on the software development to connect mobile phones with car audio systems and to stream media from phones to cars, said: “We are integrating mobile phone technology into the car. With our products, a mobile phone can be connected to the audio system of a car. This enables hands-free telephony or to stream data or media from the phone to the car. In-built phones in the car offer further functionality, such as streaming navigation or service data into the car or to bring fast and automatic help in case of an accident (emergency call). Our digital tachographs and vehicle data recorders help to manage fleets of commercial vehicles. The systems collect and store data on speed, route, driving condition etc, and can send it to the respective fleet manager for optimisation.”

Speaking at the inauguration function, Dr Markus Distelhoff, managing director of Continental Automotive Components (India), said, “With the opening of the Technical Centre, we have achieved another milestone. Globally, Continental India is recognised not only for its manufacturing capabilities but also for its development and engineering services. The Technical Centre brings home the rich experience of working on innovative technology for advanced markets and enables our engineers to localise technology for emerging markets at affordable prices.”

Hemal Shah, general manager, commercial vehicle and aftermarket division, Continental India, while detailing the company’s plans to manufacture instrument clusters for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, two-wheelers and immobilisers, said: “We were the first to get instrument clusters to the Indian market through the Tata Indica. We are now associated with all three top passenger car manufacturers in India as we supply instrument clusters to them. We are also associated with the World Truck project and the Delhi Transport Corporation project.”
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