Continental, a renowned automotive technology company, has joined forces with Munich-based high-tech firm DeepDrive in a strategic partnership aimed at advancing core technologies for electric vehicles. In a significant collaborative effort, both companies will develop a groundbreaking combined unit featuring drive and brake components, designed for direct mounting on vehicle wheels.
DeepDrive, known for its expertise in developing efficient electric motors and extensive experience in large-scale automobile production, brings its innovative motor technology to the table. Meanwhile, Continental contributes its substantial knowledge in brake systems and industrialization of innovative technologies.
Matthias Matic, the head of Continental’s Safety and Motion business area, expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “With DeepDrive, we have gained a strong partner with whom we can jointly and sustainably advance the market penetration of electric mobility.” He emphasized the significance of combining DeepDrive’s lightweight and resource-efficient electric motors with Continental’s high-performance brake technology to create a compact unit, which he believes will significantly contribute to the success of electric mobility.
Felix Poernbacher, co-founder and managing director of DeepDrive, echoed Matic’s sentiments, stating, “We are convinced that the development of our dual-rotor motor will revolutionize the electrification of motor vehicles.” He highlighted the strategic partnership with Continental as a crucial step in combining their drive system with essential brake technology, catering to the future of mobility.
Both companies recognize the immense potential in their collaboration, especially as the electrification of vehicles paves the way for integrating all chassis functions, including drive, directly onto the wheel. To meet the varied requirements of electric vehicles, such as maximizing range and minimizing installation space, comprehensive optimization at the vehicle level becomes imperative. The seamless coordination of brake and drive systems plays a pivotal role. By integrating both elements into a single unit, a remarkable level of efficiency is achieved in both driving and braking processes. Additionally, the integration of components reduces complexity through modularization, streamlining the manufacturing process.
DeepDrive, a pioneering force in the automotive industry, has unveiled a groundbreaking invention: the dual-rotor, radial-flux motor. This innovative technology, patented by DeepDrive, can be seamlessly integrated as a central drive unit or a wheel hub drive in mass-produced vehicles. Teaming up with Continental, a leading automotive technology expert, the partnership is dedicated to crafting an exceptionally efficient and compact wheel hub drive, meticulously optimized for cost-effective production.
In this collaborative venture, Continental is not only providing essential brake components for the joint drive-brake unit but is also leveraging its extensive experience in industrializing products, ensuring that Munich’s motor innovation becomes road-ready, coupled with cutting-edge brake technology. The initial phase involves integrating a hydraulic brake into the drive-brake unit, setting the stage for future integration of dry braking systems without hydraulic components into DeepDrive’s revolutionary wheel hub drive.
This pivotal integration of drive and brake components marks the first step towards creating a ‘corner module,’ incorporating integrated chassis elements like Continental’s air suspension systems, all compactly mounted directly on the wheel. This innovative approach promises a significant leap in vehicle design and performance, laying the foundation for a new era in automotive engineering.
Initiated by Continental’s Corporate Venture unit (co-pace), this collaboration not only signifies a technological milestone but also represents a strategic investment. The Corporate Venture unit played a crucial role by participating as a financial investor in DeepDrive’s Series-A financing, solidifying their commitment to driving forward this transformative vision. With this partnership, the automotive industry is poised to witness a paradigm shift, setting new standards in efficiency, compactness, and affordability.