Continental joins BMW, Intel, Mobileye platform for self-driving cars

Elmar Degenhart, CEO of German tyre company Continental, poses for the media before the annual news conference in Hanover, Germany March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

BERLIN (Reuters) - Continental CONG.DE said on Tuesday it would join a self-driving platform developed by BMW BMWG.DE, Intel INTC.O and Mobileye MBLY.N with the German auto parts and tire maker handling integration of components and software.

The costs to integrate hardware, software and data and the accelerating pace of development of self-driving vehicles has sparked a growing number of alliances between automakers and suppliers.

Continental, the world’s second-biggest supplier to carmakers by sales, said it would play a key role in commercializing the new platform, which is to be sold to other auto manufacturers.

“We can meet the steep demands in autonomous driving through an industry-wide collaboration more comprehensively, rapidly and at lower costs than by going alone,” Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart said in an emailed statement.

BMW already last year joined forces with U.S. chipmaker Intel and Mobileye, the Israeli vision system and mapping expert on the self-driving platform, which is targeted for production in 2021. U.S. parts maker Delphi Automotive DLPH.N has since joined the tie-up.

In April, Germany's Daimler DAIGn.DE formed a similar alliance with supplier Robert Bosch [ROBG.UL] to speed development of self-driving vehicles.

Reporting by Jan Schwartz and Andreas Cremer; Editing by Maria Sheahan