Continental's proof-of-concept vehicle, shown on display in Traverse City, is able to reliably switch from 3G, 4G and other wireless networks depending on cost and quality preferences.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Continental AG today unveiled a proof-of-concept vehicle with technology from Cisco Systems Inc. that is designed to offer next-generation connectivity.
Tejas Desai, head of electronics for Continental Automotive, said the technology provides reliable network connectivity and enhanced security, which is needed to solidify the automobile as a mobile device.
"The expectations for connectivity and safety are a large step up from consumer electronics," Desai said during an event here at the 2013 CAR Management Briefing Seminars. "Losing a signal on a mobile phone or tablet happens, but in auto, we're not willing to tolerate that loss."
The proof-of-concept vehicle is able to reliably switch from 3G, 4G and other wireless networks depending on cost and quality preferences from the user, automaker or service provider, Desai said.
The car can also operate as a mobile hotspot, whether it's running or not, Desai said.
The car also uses Cisco's enterprise software enabling advanced security to the mobile connection.
Cisco, based in San Jose, Calif., has been a key player in the world of internet connectivity for the last two decades.
"We have to give them (drivers) safety and security, but we can give them their freedom back too," Desai said.
The joint development represents the industry's increased shift of merging the information technology with its engineering base, he said.
"IT and auto haven't done a lot of prior work together and now we're getting them in the same room, and those two worlds are creating technologies like these.
Desai predicts the technology will be in production in the next three to four years.
Continental, based in Hanover, Germany, ranks No. 3 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with estimated worldwide sales to automakers of $32.8 billion during its last fiscal year.