Continental AG Working on Self-Driving Partnerships

Continental AG is working with U.S. and European carmakers on self-driving car projects that could compete with the coalition between BMW AG, camera-software company Mobileye NV and chipmaker Intel Corp.

The pilot projects could be formalized into fully-fledged partnerships as early as this year, Continental Chief Financial Officer Wolfgang Schaefer said Wednesday. Europe’s second-biggest car parts supplier, the German company offers laser and infrared technology and competes with Mobileye on the cameras and software needed for driver-assistance systems.

Continental’s potential partnerships show the rivalries emerging as companies jockey for position in the emerging field of autonomous vehicles, reluctant to allow BMW’s coalition to establish the industry standard. BMW, Mobileye and Intel said their platform will be open to other carmakers and technology companies to use, which would boost their influence as cars able to steer themselves revolutionize how money is made in the auto industry.

Separately, Schaefer said Continental sees an opportunity to start working with Tesla Motors Inc. after the U.S. carmaker’s cooperation with Mobileye ends.

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