Intelligent Antennas Continental Acquires Automotive Division from Kathrein

High-performance intelligent antennas are the key technology for holistic vehicle connectivity.
High-performance intelligent antennas are the key technology for holistic vehicle connectivity.

Continental is acquiring Kathrein Automotive, a manufacturer of vehicle antennas. Kathrein and its entire workforce are expected to become part of Continental in the first quarter of 2019. The company has over 1,000 employees in a total of eight locations.

From remote access keys, to navigation, to telematics, there are a vast number of interfaces for wireless communication both in vehicles and beyond. Thus, today’s vehicles are already equipped with 20 antennas and counting. Advancing holistic vehicle connectivity and new communication technologies, such as 5G, will further increase demand for high-performance intelligent antenna solutions. Analysts (Radiant Insights) estimate an average annual market growth of approximately 6.5 percent for vehicle antennas up to 2022. With the acquisition of Kathrein Automotive, Continental is thus not only expanding its own product portfolio, gaining essential development expertise, but it is also taking its successful and long-standing partnership with Kathrein to a new level.

Resulting from the cooperation between Continental and Kathrein, the Intelligent Antenna Module and Multifunctional Smart Device Terminal are already on the market providing successful connectivity solutions. The Intelligent Antenna Module replaces the single antennas that, until now, have been scattered around vehicles by combining the antennas and the accompanying electronics into one hardware module. This not only simplifies wiring and reduces installation space, but also improves signal quality at the same time. With the Multifunctional Smart Device Terminal, specialists from Kathrein and Continental have developed a solution that allows drivers to seamlessly integrate their digital lifestyles into their vehicles by easily and comprehensively linking them up with their mobile devices. The driver has only to place a smartphone in a tray in the vehicle cockpit for the phone to use Near Field Communication and Bluetooth to connect with the vehicle’s infotainment system, charge wirelessly and link its antennas with the vehicle’s external antennas to achieve considerably better signal quality.