Nexteer, Continental Partnering to Develop Autonomous Tech

New JV is based in Michigan.

by on Sep.14, 2017

Nexteer Automotive is forming a JV with Continental AG to develop autonomous vehicle components.

With the race to put autonomous vehicles on the road rapidly gaining momentum, two established automotive suppliers are teaming up to build some of the critical components that make self-driving cars possible.

Nexteer Automotive, which was once part of General Motors but is now owned by a Chinese investment fund, and Continental, a German company supplying everything from tires to electronics to top automakers all over the world, have created a joint venture to develop autonomous vehicles.

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Joint ventures, partnerships and other forms of collaboration have become the preferred way for organizing resources to meet the challenges inherent in developing affordable automated vehicles.

The new venture, CNXMotion, will focus on the advancement of motion control systems and actuator components for automated driving and is now operating after receiving regulatory approvals in the relevant markets.

(Continental scrambles to keep up with technology changes. Click Here for the story.)

The fledgling company, which occupies a 19,000-square-foot facility in Grand Blanc, Michigan, is headed by former Nexteer and Continental employees.

“CNXMotion will integrate state-of-the-art electronic brake and steering systems to achieve ideal vehicle dynamics and safety, particularly in the development of automated driving,” said Kevin Burns, general manager of the venture. “Through this complementary collaboration, our team will develop breakthrough ideas and systems that will focus on safety as we look toward the future of automated driving.”

Burns added the joint venture will accelerate advancements in vehicle motion control systems by integrating Nexteer’s advanced steering systems and Continental’s advanced braking technologies into solutions for Automated Driving and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.

(Click Here for more about Continental’s partners in autonomous tech development.)

“As we build our team in Grand Blanc, we are creating a start-up culture for the new company,” Burns said. “At the heart of this is our innovative work space which is designed to give engineers a variety of areas to collaborate or work individually with the tools and resources needed to unlock the future.”

Nexteer and Continental hold an equal 50-50 ownership position in the joint venture. CNXMotion will focus on R&D activities including rapid evaluation, design and prototyping.

During the past decade, Continental, which was founded in 1871, has developed pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility. In 2016, Continental generated sales of €40.5 billion and currently employs more than 230,000 people in 56 countries.

(To see more about Nexteer’s operations in Michigan, Click Here.)

Nexteer Automotive maintains a multi-billion-dollar global steering and driveline business delivering electric and hydraulic power steering systems, steering columns, driveline systems as well as advanced driver assistance systems and automated driving technologies for original equipment manufacturers. The company’s global workforce of more than 13,000 serves more than 50 customers in every major region of the world.

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