Continental will acquire a minority share in French autonomous driving company EasyMile SAS, which is developing driverless electric shuttles. Autonomous shuttles (or robo-taxis) are set to play a key role in efficiently addressing the “first mile – last mile challenge”, enabling seamless mobility services for urban and suburban demographics. In addition to Continental’s equity investment in EasyMile, the companies plan to cooperate closely in the fields of environmental sensors, braking systems and driving safety technologies. The completion of the transaction is subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities.
“We firmly believe that autonomous shuttles will be playing an important part in urban mobility. That’s why it is important to incorporate the findings from current deployments into our development work, so that this new kind of individual mobility can be shaped. We are really looking forward to the collaboration with EasyMile,” said Frank Jourdan, Member of the Executive Board of Continental AG and Head of the Chassis and Safety Division.
In addition to Continental’s equity investment in EasyMile, the companies plan to cooperate closely in the fields of environmental sensors, braking systems and driving safety technologies. This opens the door for Continental to numerous possible applications within EasyMile shuttles worldwide, while incorporating tried and tested large-scale production techniques from the automotive field. The first example is that the EasyMile EZ10 fleet will be running on Continental EcoContact tires with optimized tread geometry, ensuring low rolling resistance and rolling noise.
“We are delighted to partner with Continental, a recognised leader in automotive technology, and known for its focus on quality. This partnership will accelerate our development of ubiquitous autonomous transportation solutions for passengers and goods. Our EZ10 vehicle is already the most widely deployed driverless shuttle globally and is a demonstration of the robustness and performance of its unique technology. We look forward to integrating Continental’s latest components and technology into our solutions to further improve performance and optimise costs,” said Gilbert Gagnaire, CEO, EasyMile SAS.