• Continental R&D Center Silicon Valley

News: Continental opens new R&D center in Silicon Valley

Global Auto Supplier Sees Area as Center for Connected Car Tech

Continental, the 145-year-old German auto manufacturing supplier, is expanding its Silicon Valley presence with the opening of a 65,000-square-foot R&D center in San Jose.

It joins a growing number of automotive-focused companies that have opened R&D innovation centers in Silicon Valley hoping to take advantage of the areas engineering talent focused on making vehicles cleaner, smarter, and more connected.

Continental LIDAR car

Continental engineers explain their latest LIDAR research at the new R&D Center’s opening

“Silicon Valley’s collaborative environment is the perfect location for cross-divisional innovation development,” said Samir Salman, CEO of Continental, North America. “The know-how and inventiveness of our experts put the future in motion by leading digital technology and developing unique and reliable solutions for large-scale automotive production.”

Continental has been in Silicon Valley since 2014 with 60 employees at its facility in Santa Clara Calif.  Those employees will transition to the innovation center in San Jose, which is expected to grow to 300 employees or more recruited from the bay area.

The new 65,000 square-foot facility features large garage bays, laboratories, and workspaces and will house engineers, programmers, designers and innovation experts working across Continental’s five divisions. Continental’s engineers will continue to collaborate on advancing technologies to achieve the company’s goals of safety, clean energy, and holistic connectivity.

“Growing our Silicon Valley presence will help Continental invest in, develop and produce new technologies and solutions for better, smarter mobility,” said Samir Salman, CEO of Continental, North America in a statement. “We recognize the growing role Silicon Valley plays in the automotive world, and we want to be closer to this hub of avant-garde thinking.” Salman did not elaborate on how much Continental has invested in the new facility but did say that the company is spending “tens of millions of dollars” in its Silicon Valley operations.

“The Research and Development Center is a part of the global Continental network of over 32,000 engineers, which means it has the power of Continental’s technical community behind it,” said Kurt Lehmann, Corporate Technology Officer of Continental. “For Continental, this investment was made to develop the ideas of the future and will address the needs of today and tomorrow.”

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