LINDAU, Germany and AUBURN HILLS, MI -- Automotive supplier Continental announces the acquisition of the Hi-Res 3D Flash LIDAR business from Advanced Scientific Concepts, Inc. (ASC) based in Santa Barbara, California. This innovative technology will further enhance the company's Advanced Driver Assistance Systems product portfolio with a future-orientated solution to add to the group of surrounding sensors needed to achieve highly and fully automated driving.
One significant advantage of the Hi-Res 3D Flash LIDAR sensor technology is that it provides both real-time machine vision as well as environmental mapping functions. This technology will help to enable a significantly more detailed and accurate field of vision around the entire vehicle, independent of day or night time and robust in adverse weather conditions. Continental is working on a family of sensors to address different requirements around the vehicle, to allow function optimized mapping and segmentation of the entire surrounding.
With the closing, ASC employees, primarily engineers, will join the Chassis & Safety Division of Continental as a business segment within the ADAS Business Unit, based in Santa Barbara, California. Head of the new segment High Flash Lidar is Arnaud Lagandré. The company is planning to grow to over 100 engineers in this area of technology in the longer term. The companies agreed not to disclose the price for the acquisition.
In December, 2012, Continental was the first automotive supplier to earn approval from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to test autonomous vehicles on the state's public roads. Continental's testing license is for the company's highly automated vehicle. The company has completed approximately more than 72,000 miles of testing in highly automated driving mode, accompanied by a test engineer monitoring the vehicle's performance. In addition to the U.S. and Germany, Continental also started an Automated Driving initiative in Japan.
Continental develops intelligent technologies for transporting people and their goods. As a reliable partner, the international automotive supplier, tire manufacturer, and industrial partner provides sustainable, safe, comfortable, individual, and affordable solutions. In 2015, the corporation generated preliminary sales of €39.2 billion with its five divisions, Chassis & Safety, Interior, Powertrain, Tires, and ContiTech. Continental employs more than 208,000 people in 55 countries.
The Chassis & Safety division develops and produces integrated active and passive driving safety technologies as well as products that support vehicle dynamics. The product portfolio ranges from electronic and hydraulic brake and chassis control systems to sensors, advanced driver assistance systems, airbag electronics and sensorics as well as electronic air suspension systems all the way to windscreen washer systems and headlight cleaning nozzles. The focus lies on a high level of system competence and the networking of individual components. Thus products and system functions are developed along the SensePlanAct chain of effects. They form the foundation for automated driving. Chassis & Safety employs more than 38,000 people worldwide and generated sales of approximately €7.5 billion in 2014.