Continental, Oxford University begin study into artificial intelligence

Under a three-year partnership agreement that commenced earlier this month, Continental AG and the University of Oxford are conducting joint research in the field of artificial intelligence. The German tyre and automotive system manufacturer’s partnership with the university’s Engineering Science department will focus on the possible uses and development of artificial intelligence algorithms in order to explore how they can enhance future mobility applications.

According to Continental, these deep-learning algorithms have the potential to realise highly-reliable visual object detection and human–machine dialogue in the future. The first phase of the envisaged three-year partnership includes new postdoctoral research positions at Oxford, and plans exist to extend the research scope and the timeframe at a later date.

“Cooperating with leading research institutions is of the utmost importance to us,” comments Kurt Lehmann, corporate technology officer at Continental. “It is an important building block that will enable us to measure up to the persistent demands calling on us to shape the mobility of the future and acquire qualified employees and executives for tomorrow.”

Continental expects the partnership to yield findings on the use of artificial intelligence methods, including in the areas of automated and autonomous driving, the improvement of future vehicle access systems, accident minimisation through intelligent warning systems, and the dialogue that will take place in the future between drivers and vehicles.

“I am delighted with this new, important collaboration between Continental and our world-leading vision and information engineers. I look forward to it underpinning technology developments for mobility of the future,” says Lionel Tarassenko, head of the Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford.

“Our vision is a world in which the transportation of people and goods is fully automated and seamless, freeing up time and mental resources for other tasks,” adds Demetrio Aiello, head of Artificial Intelligence & Robotics at Continental. “Continental will contribute its deep technological understanding and competence in the mobility world, while Oxford offers best-in-class algorithmic competence and an extremely innovative environment. With their help, we can transform our vision into reality; with our help, Oxford can see how their research is translated into new products and services for mobility of a future world.”

“Recent advances of artificial intelligence can revolutionise key technological areas such as transportation,” shares Professor Andrea Vedaldi, project manager in the university’s Visual Geometry Group. “The Oxford Visual Geometry Group is thrilled to collaborate with Continental in applying its cutting-edge research in deep learning and computer vision to the important and demanding domain of assisted mobility. We believe that, due to the extensive presence of Continental’s technology in the automotive sector, incorporating state-of-the-art artificial intelligence systems in their products has a significant transformative potential for this area.”

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