At Continental, we promote the development and use of open-source software, and in line with this philosophy, we have adopted the "Continental Automotive FOSS Manifesto" that emphasizes our commitment to collaborative work with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Open source software are programs, whose source code is open and accessible to anyone. The corresponding software can be used, analyzed, modified, and distributed by all users in compliance with the respective license provisions. The use of open-source software can significantly save development costs and offers security and transparency for all users since weaknesses and security gaps can be quickly identified and eliminated through cooperation.
While we have been working with open-source software for some time, the Continental Automotive FOSS Manifesto now underlines the growing importance of open-source software for the automotive industry. In the manifesto, we commit to include all aspects of the development and use of free and open source software in our day-to-day business; to contribute to open source communities as a trustworthy partner; and as a reliable software-driven company to always put the satisfaction of customers and employees at the center of any commitment. The manifesto goes hand in hand with our fundamental corporate values: trust, freedom to act, for one another, and passion to win.
Open-source software is used today in crucial developments in the automotive industry. It usually forms the basis for extended software solutions that technology companies like us use to implement individual, customer-tailored innovations and shape the future of mobility. When developing driver assistance systems, for example, open source software offers the necessary basic or middleware software into which new, customized functionalities can be integrated according to customer requirements. Consequently, internal know-how can be used to advance significant automotive innovations.
We have about 20,000 specialists working with FOSS, including about 1,000 specialists in Artificial Intelligence, implying that every employee is required to pursue the safe and responsible development and use of open-source software. Our active members in relevant open-source communities are always looking for high-quality solutions for the FOSS community and for Continental. The basic requirement is the disclosure of the software’s source code, which is the key to using and further developing a software application. As good "open source citizens" they act responsibly, respectfully, and of course in compliance with all legal regulations.
Continental is already a member of key large-scale projects and organizations for the development and distribution of open source software, such as the Eclipse Foundation, Linux Foundation, OSADL (Open Source Automation Development Lab) and GAIA-X. The FOSS manifesto that has now been adopted represents the intensified commitment to FOSS-driven mobility developments.