Go directly to
      Recogni AI
      Press Release
      February 23, 2021

      Continental Invests in the Future of Chips for Autonomous Vehicles

      • Continental is investing in German-US AI chip start-up Recogni
      • Need for high-performance processors is growing, with increasing requirements for networked, automated and autonomous driving
      • Production rollout of new chip architecture for faster object recognition expected as soon as 2026
      • New processor design could complement the opportunities offered by the existing partnership with NVIDIA
      • Continental start-up organization co-pace in collaboration with Continental AI experts demonstrates the efficiency of the new chip design

      AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 23, 2021 – The technology company Continental has acquired a minority stake in the U.S.-German startup Recogni. The company is working on a new chip architecture for object recognition in real time based on artificial intelligence (AI). The processors of the future are intended for use in Continental’s high-performance vehicle computers, among other applications, where they will perform rapid processing of sensor data for automated and autonomous driving. As a strategic investor, Continental is contributing both its financial commitment as well as its expertise in the fields of AI, vehicle sensors and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to further the development of the chip design. Continental experts predict that volume production featuring the new chip application could begin as early as 2026. Figuratively speaking, the new, highly specialized processors serve as an ultra-economical data booster: with minimal energy consumption, they enable vehicle computers to gain a rapid sense of the vehicle’s immediate surroundings, creating the basis for automated and autonomous driving. Both companies have agreed not to disclose the amount of the holding.

      “Without faster chips, there will be no networking, no automation and no autonomous driving,” emphasized Frank Petznick, head of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit at Continental. “Through our own research in the area of new chip designs, our strategic partnerships with large chip manufacturers such as NVIDIA and our investment in Recogni, we are taking the first step toward meeting the future need for highly specialized processors for sensor modules and control units for our powerful, high-performance vehicle computers.”

      “Continental’s support is a strong endorsement of Recogni’s approach to solving the most difficult challenges in autonomous driving,” said R K Anand, Recogni’s Chief Executive Officer. “Recogni’s focus enables us to solve challenge of perception processing by building the world’s highest performing AI inference system at the lowest energy consumption, by developing cutting-edge ASICs for state-of-the-art inference algorithms.”

      Need for computing power in cars is steadily rising

      The need for processors that are optimized for the specific requirements of AI is growing. Whereas just a few megabytes of sensor data per second had to be analyzed a couple of years ago, that figure will increase to several gigabytes per second in the coming years. And while a lane departure warning system used to require just a simple black-and-white camera, the autonomous vehicles of the future will, in some cases, use more than 20 high-resolution vehicle-surroundings sensors such as radar, camera and lidar simultaneously.

      System know-how with venture capital

      The collaboration between Continental and Recogni was initiated by Continental’s own startup organization, co-pace. The worldwide team of technology experts took notice of Recogni and the two have been working together closely over the past 18 months to ensure the greatest possible technical feasibility and, above all, the theoretical efficiency of the new chip design.

      “While everything is still theoretical, our simulations show that we can expect exponentially faster analysis of our sensor data once we begin to use the Recogni chips,” explained Annika Ratte-Front, head of AI for Continental’s ADAS business unit.

      Available documents

      Cookie Policy

      We use cookies to provide you with the best experience on our website. Click on "Accept all" to allow all cookies or "Change cookie settings" to decide individually.

      A cookie is a small data file that is stored on your device. We use cookies to provide basic and convenience functionalities, measure website performance and analyze user behavior on the website. 

      Required cookies are always activated because they are indispensable for the operation of the website and to store your cookie consent. Functional and performance cookies are optional. All optional cookies are deactivated by default.

      You can change your cookie settings at any time by visiting our Cookie Policy or by clearing the cache in your browser. 

      Show more Show less
      Required cookies Required

      These cookies are required to provide you with key functions.

      Functional cookies

      These cookies are used to provide certain functionalities to you.

      Performance cookies

      These cookies are used to measure website performance and user behavior. All collected data are analyzed anonymously.