Continental Acquires Stake in Kopernikus Automotive
Continental, a company that develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods, is investing in Leipzig-based startup Kopernikus Automotive with a minority stake.
Kopernikus is a specialist in autonomous driving technologies and develops solutions for infrastructure-based maneuvering of vehicles. The technology is based on sensors permanently installed in the infrastructure and AI-based algorithms that centrally move the vehicles.
The first two use cases of this technology are automated parking in parking garages, also known as Automated Valet Parking (AVP), and autonomous maneuvering of, for example, newly produced vehicles at vehicle manufacturers or in logistics areas.
The first vehicles are already being steered through vehicle factories without a driver, based on infrastructure – this technology will also decisively change parking in the near future. With Automated Valet Parking, drivers get out, for example at an airport terminal, hand the vehicle over to the infrastructure via an app, and the car parks autonomously. The vehicle is guided by the infrastructure installed in the parking garage. Cameras are used as sensors here. At the heart of the system are AI-based algorithms that ensure safe and optimal orchestration and guidance of all vehicles.
Focusing on solutions for the future
“In the future, cars in factories, logistics centers and parking garages will be moved autonomously. Kopernikus and Continental are working together to develop a safe, comfortable and affordable solution. At Continental, we are working on both solutions, an autonomous parking procedure based on vehicle sensor data and a solution based on intelligent infrastructure – similar to intelligent intersections. For us, the stake in Kopernikus is the logical next step in moving forward with both topics, while at the same time offering a timely and marketable solution,” says Ralph Lauxmann, head of Strategy and Future Solutions for the Autonomous Mobility and Safety business area at Continental.
At IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich from September 6–12, Continental´s and Kopernikus´s solution can be seen in action for the first time. As part of the VDA Automated Valet Parking (AVP) project, the focus will be on demonstrating the interoperability of the infrastructure-based solution with several vehicle manufacturers and other infrastructure providers. “Here, you can experience live how we interact with various vehicle manufacturers and brands in order to implement autonomous parking for everyone,” says Stefan Jenzowsky, managing director of Kopernikus Automotive.