Not to be outdone, Continental CEO Nikolai Setzer also announced on Wednesday that his company had landed 4 billion euros ($4.9 billion) worth of central computer orders “from various manufacturers,” notably from Volkswagen for the new ID3 and ID4 electric vehicles, VW’s most anticipated launches in years.
These high-powered computers — Bosch calls them “the new all-rounders of automotive electronics” — bundle functions such as safety, driver assistance, connectivity and infotainment. Whereas now all these tasks might be handled by 100 or more electronic control units, central computers will significantly reduce that number.
That will mean less complex, more secure electronics systems, and even lighter weight, among other benefits, because cars will need less wiring.
There is more work to be done in the field. Vehicle computers will be given more and more tasks, so in the future they could even control complicated driving functions such as motion control as well as software updates and data-based services.
Bosch, Continental and other megasuppliers are furiously trying to transform their automotive businesses from traditional parts, electrics and internal combustion to software, systems-based electronics and zero-emissions powertrains. At the same time, each is trying to “win the transformation” against competition from technology focused companies as well as fellow suppliers, Setzer said Wednesday, speaking to investors for the first time since taking over as CEO from Elmar Degenhart.
Continental expects such high-performance central computers and the software that powers them to become a major revenue source by 2025, he said.
“Mobility in the future will be marked by the degree of connectivity, safety and comfort,” Setzer said, “irrespective of how a car is propelled forward.”