Continental AG is expanding its worldwide network of research and development centers with a new center in Silicon Valley that will focus on sustainable mobility and projects related to automated driving, electromobility, connectivity and mobility services.

Up to 300 of the company's employees, representing all parts of Continental's business, will work in the new R&D center.

“Our attention is focused on developing and shaping the environment of future mobility," says Kurt Lehmann, Continental’s corporate technology officer. "At our new center in Silicon Valley, we connect our customer’s wishes, contributions and orders with our innovative ideas, knowledge, energy and experience of over 32,000 of our engineers worldwide and our business partners – for the benefit of all."

Continental says it is investing "millions" of dollars in the new research and development center in San José. The state-of-the-art laboratories, workshops and offices are housed in a complex of more than 64,000 square feet. Continental's Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) business unit has been based in Silicon Valley since 2014.

Lehmann says the research and development center is an important building block in implementing Continental’s strategy: develop pioneering technologies for transporting people and their goods. Software-based solutions and artificial intelligence play a vital role, the company says.

“The automotive industry is undergoing the biggest transformation in its 130-year history. In the past, it created value primarily using mechanical solutions. It then increased this value with help from sensors, electronics, software and digitalization. In the future, our business will be driven by mobility services and intelligent mobility technologies,” says Lehmann.

“Over the coming decades, most of the electrically powered, fully connected and automated vehicles in cities will be operated by mobility service providers and fleet managers. Continental connects vehicles’ ‘brains’, thus expanding the collective intelligence of the fleet. This is the kind of interdisciplinary collaboration taking place across Continental in San José, and it will result in new, additional business areas for our pioneering solutions.”