Continental partners with UC Berkeley to expand its global AI research network

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 31 Jul 2018


German-based technology company Continental has signed a five-year agreement to be a member of the AI research group at the University of California, Berkeley. The research partnership focuses on optimising the speed of neural networks, as well as protecting AI systems in safety-critical applications. Both Continental and BDD (UC Berkeley DeepDrive) centre are driven by the goal of implementing the AI research results into series production as quickly as possible.

Demetrio Aiello, head of Continental’s corporate artificial intelligence and robotics lab said, “Building on the momentum of our strategic partnerships with the University of Oxford, DFKI (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence) and other AI thought leaders, we have signed a five-year agreement to be members of the UC Berkeley DeepDrive (BDD) center.”

BDD works on specific technologies that are used for machine seeing and learning in automotive applications. The multidisciplinary centre is managed by the Institute of transportation studies at the university and the entire program is sponsored by the automotive industry players. The program is led by Professor Trevor Darrell.

Initially, the program is focusing on the testability of AI algorithms in safety-relevant systems to help develop methods that will allow the reliability of AI systems to be tested more efficiently. As per the official statements, the researchers at the centre are also looking at how to operate AI applications in a memory-efficient way to accelerate and optimise neural networks.

So far, Continental has strategic collaborations with NVIDIA and Baidu, as well as many leading research institutes in this field, including the University of Oxford, the Technische Universitat Darmstadt, the DFKI (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (India). Earlier this year, the 'Continental Advanced Driver Assistance Systems' business unit opened a centre of excellence for deep machine learning in Budapest, Hungary. By the end of 2018, the technology company will employ around 400 engineers worldwide with specific AI expertise and is looking to add AI experts in product and process development.