IIT Palakkad partners Continental India for a Joint Research Programme in cutting-edge Automotive Technologies

Fri, 8th Jul, 2022 - 12:00 am

Automotive Technology company Continental’s Technical Centre India (TCI) and IIT Palakkad signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a three-year joint research programme on 7 July 2022. The MoU will facilitate an exciting collaboration between the technical expertise available at Continental and the academic and research excellence of IIT–Palakkad in the areas of autonomous driving technologies, connected mobility, and advanced safety solutions. Continental will also offer internship opportunities and co-design inputs for course offered at IIT-Palakkad, to keep students up-to-date with current and upcoming industry trends.

Speaking on the occasion, Latha Chembrakalam, Head of Technical Centre India (TCI), Continental, said, “With this programme, we will have a strong emphasis on joint research projects complementing automotive megatrends. We believe this programme will mutually benefit Continental and IIT-Palakkad in terms of acquiring technology competence and academic excellence. It is in our interest to provide opportunities to the students in the form of internships and specially designed course work that will help bridge the gap between industry and academia.”  Dr. Santhakumar Mohan, Dean, Industry Collaboration & Sponsored Research, IIT- Palakkad, said, “We are delighted to join hands with Continental to create a unique programme to forge a value-adding industry-academia interface. With this initiative, we want to set a benchmark that will help us address some of the problem statements unique to this industry while ensuring real-time technical exposure for our students. Our academic know-how will propel this programme in the right direction.” 

Niche skills for both Continental and IIT Palakkad that the collaborative programme will foster through R&D include those in areas like optimising high-performance computing, simulation models for image and video processing chain for autonomous driving, autonomous mobility safety features based on human vision features, and advanced safety solutions for an intelligent battery sensing module. With a key thrust to groom the IITians at Palakkad into highly competitive industry-ready talent, the salient features of the project include internships for students to work alongside Continental’s topic experts, and interactive and insightful hackathons and competitive challenges to inspire students to prove their mettle.

Continental, founded in 1871, specialises in vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation.  As of 2021 when the company celebrated its 150th anniversary, it employed more than 190,000 people in 58 countries and generated sales revenue of over 33 billion Euros.  Continental has been present in India for close to 50 years through technology partnerships (Continental Tyres since 1974) and joint ventures for its various businesses. With about 8000 employees across 13 locations, including seven plants that cater to the Indian market, its Indian presence includes the Technical Center India (TCI) that supports Continental's global R&D activities. IIT Palakkad, one among the newer IITs that started functioning in 2015, will be graduating the Institute's fourth batch this month. There are currently about 100 faculty and 1200 students, with roughly 50% in undergraduate programmes (B.Tech) and the rest pursuing postgraduate programmes and research.