Continental and Ambarella partner on assisted and automated driving systems with full software stack
At CES 2023, Continental and Ambarella, an edge AI semiconductor company, announced a strategic partnership to develop scalable, end-to-end hardware and software solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI), for assisted and automated driving (AD), on the way to autonomous mobility.
The strategic collaboration builds on Continental’s announcement in November to integrate Ambarella's energy-efficient System-on-Chip (SoC) family into its Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). (Earlier post.)
Compared to other domain controller SoCs, Ambarella’s “CV3-AD” chip family provides higher performance to process sensor data faster and more comprehensively for greater environmental perception and safer mobility, at up to five times higher power efficiency.
The partners are combining Continental’s software and hardware expertise and broad portfolio of automotive system solutions with Ambarella’s computer vision know-how, powerful SoCs and software modules.
In addition to the development of camera-based perception solutions for ADAS, Continental and Ambarella are focusing on scalable full-stack systems for Level 2+ up to highly automated vehicles. These full-stack solutions take a multi-sensor approach, including Continental’s high-resolution cameras, radars and lidars, as well as the associated control units and the required software. Vehicle manufacturers will be able to flexibly integrate the joint system solutions into their latest vehicle generations.
In electric vehicles, the energy-efficient solutions reduce power consumption and cooling demands, contributing to a lower battery weight of several kilograms (estimated 6 pounds). This results in an increased average range of about 5-10 kilometers (3-6 miles) with the same battery capacity, based on a typical configuration. To serve the growing market for assisted and automated driving, while paving the way for autonomous mobility, the partners aim to have these joint solutions ready for global series production in 2026.
Continental’s portfolio, extended with Ambarella’s CV3-AD System-on-Chip family, will draw upon its proven expertise in sensor technologies, cross- and domain-specific high-performance computing systems, software development and deep experience in implementing automotive functions in this growth market of assisted and automated driving.
At the same time, Continental will tap into its large software and development ecosystem to offer additional upward scalability in its already broad ADAS full-stack offerings. These systems, based on Ambarella’s CVflow SoCs with AI, provide vehicle manufacturers with a flexible platform to scale their investment costs across all vehicle types.
Continental contributes the hardware and large parts of the software to this partnership, while Ambarella provides the SoC platform and further software functionalities.
Ambarella’s CV3-AD AI domain controller SoC family enables centralized, single-chip processing for multi-sensor perception—including high-resolution camera, radar, ultrasonic sensors and lidar—as well as deep fusion of these sensors and autonomous vehicle path planning. These fully scalable, power-efficient SoCs provide industry-leading AI performance per watt for neural network computation, with up to 40x better performance than Ambarella’s CV2 automotive SoC family.
Additionally, Ambarella integrates its superior image signal processor technology into all of its SoCs. The result is robust ADAS and L2+ 4 to Level automated driving systems with greater levels of environmental perception in challenging lighting, weather and driving conditions for human vision and edge AI applications.