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Budapest to host Continentalʼs AI development center

Pharma

press release

German-owned automotive industry supplier Continental is setting up a HUF 5.5 billion software development center in Budapest that will employ 100 experienced engineers and fresh graduates from May 2018, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced on Tuesday.   

Szijjártó speaking at an earlier Continental event.

Continental will open its artificial intelligence center in May 2018 in Budapest, Karl Haupt, who heads the companyʼs Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) business unit, announced at a press conference Tuesday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as reported by business news portal vg.hu.

The company is developing complete systems for self-driving vehicles, Haupt noted. Hungaryʼs government is supporting the investment with a HUF 1.4 bln grant, Szijjártó revealed.

The Hungarian capital was chosen because of its already active automotive industry, numerous universities and research centers, as well as the availability of the kind of specialists the company seeks, said Markus Strothjohann, Continentalʼs head of HR in Hungary. He noted that around 100 software and hardware experts are expected to be hired for the new unit as soon as possible.

Experts specializing in machine learning, big data engineers, hardware and software designers, and system and application engineers, are continuously being sought, emphasized Jens Brüning, head of the new Budapest competence  center.

The establishment of the new Continental center will further enhance Hungaryʼs competitiveness, strengthening its regional role in research and development of self-driving systems, said Róbert Ésik, president of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA). He described the project as an important milestone in the Hungarian automotive industry, demonstrating that the economyʼs transition forward from the "Made in Hungary" to the "Invented in Hungary" period is "not merely a strategic goal, but an already ongoing process."

Continental Automotive Hungary employs more than 8,000 people at present, including almost 5,000 in its automotive business.

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