Inmarsat and Continental cooperate for holistic vehicle connectivity

06 January 2017: Inmarsat and Continental, the international technology company, are exhibiting at CES 2017, the world’s largest tech event, to showcase the capabilities of satellite communications and global over-the-air updates to power the Connected Car of the future.

Joel Schroeder, Director Strategic Development, Inmarsat Enterprise and Greg Ewert, President, Connected Car Programme, Inmarsat Enterprise at CES 2017

The rise of the Internet of Everywhere (IoE) has led to a spike in demand for connected car services and as a result, the software in modern vehicles has grown to millions of lines of ever-evolving code.

Keeping this highly complex system of software, mechatronics and electronics up-to-date or even installing new software functions post sale has, in most cases, involved a trip to the auto repair shop. Continental has helped vehicle manufacturers solve this problem with over-the-air updates for over a decade and currently ships various products capable of being updated over-the-air to different vehicle manufacturers.

Key enabler

Together with Inmarsat, Continental is now expanding its portfolio to enable updates of electronic control units across the entire vehicle from powertrain to infotainment systems.

Utilising Inmarsat’s two-way data connection combined with a global broadcast capability, Continental will be able to deliver rapid, responsive and efficient over-the-air updates to vehicles across the globe through a single network.


“Satellite broadcast services will be a key enabler of the connected car, offering the most efficient and secure means to deliver common content to millions of vehicles; from software and cybersecurity updates to precise positioning data,” said Greg Ewert, President, Connected Car Programme, Inmarsat Enterprise.

Unparalleled capability

“Combined with a two-way data network to acknowledge receipt and installation of updates, Inmarsat’s global network brings an unparalleled capability to this important market.”

This will allow Continental’s customers to deploy worldwide update campaigns at the push of a button, bypassing the complexity of dealing with multiple mobile network operators.

The cooperation between Inmarsat and Continental will also enable vehicles to leverage intelligent routing over satellite and terrestrial wireless (mobile, Wi-Fi) networks to achieve the best quality of service, least cost and highest availability.

Over-the-air updates

“Until recently the number of electronic control units in the vehicle connected directly or indirectly to the cloud has been extremely limited and the demand for updates was low. However, uploading new functions, greater system complexity, as well as the high need for security and safety has created a strong need for over-the-air updates,” said Helmut Matschi, member of the Executive Board at Continental and head of the Interior Division.

“Continental and Inmarsat are now setting out to enable over-the-air updates around the globe for the entire vehicle electronics over Inmarsat’s satellite network at the simple push of a button.”

Discover more at CES 2017, the Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall Booth 3128.