"Automated vehicle technology is everywhere," he said during a panel discussion that included Ray Scott, CEO of Lear Corp., the giant seat supplier.
"Many people don't even realize that many of the technologies that will lead to automated driving are already in the car and making these cars safer. It is our job as an industry to educate the public as we have done in the past."
Salman cited seat belts, airbags and advanced braking systems as examples of past safety advancements that consumers now highly value.
Continental, he said, is working to develop safety technology aimed at reducing traffic accidents and injuries to zero.
Scott said Lear is readying a new flexible seating system for a European automaker that uses powered rails in the floor and will go into production next year. It is a precursor to the systems self-driving cars will use. The Lear system also could enhance safety, as smart seats monitor a driver's condition and sensors can configure seats for optimum safety when a crash is unavoidable. Four other automakers also are interested in the system, Scott said.
On other topics, both executives said they are embracing the record pace of change affecting suppliers by establishing new partnerships with nontraditional companies.
Said Scott: "Suppliers will have to think differently and be more agile and selective if we are going to be successful. We have to think and behave differently for collaborative partnerships."