This post is also available in: French
My name is Grégory Vial, I’m a software engineer. After 15 years in the food industry where I held positions in France, Germany and Russia, I decided to settle down at Continental in 2017. I joined the Commercial Vehicles & Services division (CVS) in Toulouse as a Machine Learning engineer.
I was drawn to Continental’s Vision Zero: zero deaths, zero injuries and zero accidents. It’s important for me to be able to invest in a project in which I believe.
What I appreciate most in my role is the spirit of sharing that drives each collaborator. I have learned a lot since my arrival thanks to a very competent team, and it is fortunate since my field is constantly evolving.
The “Cariño” Project
Cariño is an acronym for Continental ARtificial INtelligence Olympics.
This is the first artificial intelligence competition launched at Continental. The idea is very simple: share the data of a Continental project with all of the group’s employees and let them offer innovative solutions.
A dedicated platform allows you to submit your solutions and receive a score in real time, and participants therefore measure themselves against all the others which creates emulation. At the end of the competition, the best participants are rewarded with prizes.
This first edition was based on the eHorizon project, namely the connected and intelligent vehicle. In parallel to the competition, we have programmed “live” code sessions, the idea being to allow beginners in AI to acquire bases and to launch themselves in the competition.
The idea for this competition came to me by observing how keen interest in artificial intelligence is at Continental. With a small group of enthusiasts, we have created an “AI guild” within CVS France to organize practical sessions about key subjects.
With the success of these sessions growing, I thought of other ways to promote AI within Continental, and that’s how the idea for a contest came to me. After a pilot with CVS France in early 2019, we launched the competition worldwide.
What I enjoyed most was organizing the training sessions for beginners by teleconference. The feedback I received afterwards comforted me in the idea that I was filling a real need. My personal objective was to exceed 100 participants. Mission accomplished!
The Results of the First Edition and Next Steps
We awarded prizes with the first 5 teams, two of which are based in Singapore, one in Romania, one in India and one in Germany. We will now use and test the results. We are also in discussion for the organization of the second edition of Cariño, probably this summer, the expectation of the participants is great!
I think this contest and the way it was organized illustrates one of the core values of Continental “Freedom to Act”. It’s very rewarding to be able to convert a passion into a project, I feel very fortunate to evolve in an environment that allowed me to do so.