This blog will expand on themes and topics first mentioned in my book, "The Automobile and American Life." I hope to comment on recent developments in the automobile industry, reviews of my readings on the history of the automobile, drafts of my new work, contributions from friends, descriptions of the museums and car shows I attend and anything else relevant to those interested in automobiles and auto history. Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 , 2016 by the author.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Mercedes, Digital Technology, and the future of mobility
Stuttgart/Berlin. For the fourth time, Daimler is a partner at the internet conference #rp15, which takes place every year at the beginning of May in the German capital. Under this year's theme "Finding Europe", some 450 speakers from 45 countries are expected in STATION Berlin from 5 to 7 May. The over 6000 guests will have more than 300 hours of programme offerings to choose from. In keeping with the theme, everything will concentrate on identifying what is new in old systems and discovering digital innovations in the cultural space of Europe.
"It's just fun discussing 'tomorrow' with the ever-expanding community of this technophile, future-focused audience," says Wilfried Steffen, Head of Business Innovation at Daimler AG. He adds: "All the more so since, as an international company, we hope that this year's conference theme will give us some exciting ideas about Europe's growing diversity."
As in recent years, Daimler, with its Business Innovation department and moovel GmbH, is a partner at re:publica, where, with the subconference re:think mobility, it will once again provide a platform for innovative concepts while also offering opportunities to critically examine the existing situation with the participants. The cosy atmosphere at the joint booth will be a place to reflect and relax amid the hustle and bustle of #rp15. Yet, there too, the focus will be on communication: for example, movement and mobility will be made visible by interactions of the visitors.
Taking re:think mobility literally
"Our mobility innovations are the basis for a leading, international exchange of ideas through which we aim to play a key role in shaping the future of mobility. Digitally savvy people, like the ones who visit re:publica, are a valuable source of ideas for us," says Michael Kuhn, Head of Communications & Brand Management at moovel GmbH.
The programme for Daimler's re:think mobility sessions is as diverse as Europe itself and will take place at the second day of the conference from around 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For example, there will be a journey into the future in which humans and machines will share the roads. How will we communicate in the shared space of the future? What role can society play to ensure that living together works? Will we need to invent new languages? In this context, Daimler futurologist Alexander Mankowsky will report in his session on the new Mercedes-Benz research vehicle "F 015 Luxury in Motion” and discuss the relationship between humans and autonomous robots.
The scope of human communication will also be addressed by Philipp Wex, an expert on speech interaction and user sensing at Daimler, who will highlight the challenges of using technology in the context of voice control. After that, gesture researcher Vanessa van Edwards will provide multimedia access to the concept of digital body language. The session will be rounded off by a performance by the gesture artist Mathias Schäfer.
The "Female Leadership" session will involve a discussion from a variety of expert standpoints between Sanja Stankovic, freelance digital strategy manager, Regina Mehler, founder of the Women Speaker Foundation, and Kathrin Mahler Walther, member of the board of management of EAF Berlin, on the topical issues of women's quotas, gender equality and promotion of women in Europe. What are the promises of politicians and industry really worth? Especially in view of the high proportion of 40 percent female visitors to re:publica, the open Q&A session can be expected to throw up some new ideas. Alongside this panel, the other sessions of the re:think mobility subconference will be chaired by Stefanie Söhnchen, who, as a multimedia journalist and online communication strategist, feels at home in the area of mobility innovation.
A trip around the world is the subject of a presentation by Gunther Holtorf, who has many tales to tell after travelling through 215 countries in 26 years in his G-Class called "Otto". There are authentic insights into a fascinating kind of mobility.
There is no doubt that the future of mobility will be be more and more multi-layered and that the associated challenges will increase. How does a company best address these challenges and grow from them, especially when it is about the future of mobility and not a specific product or brand? The solution might be an international crowd in which every individual plays their part. With reference to moovel's crowdsourcing project, Rob Dawson, Chaordix, and Stefanie Söhnchen will provide a progress report on the future of mobility while also affording an insight into how and whether so-called crowdsourcing can work.
moovel GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, offers its customers innovative mobility services. With its free-floating carsharing service car2go, the company is the world's largest carsharing provider. mytaxi, which has been a 100% member of the moovel family since September 2014, is Europe's leading taxi-booking app with over 10 million downloads. The moovel mobility platform offers such a smart combination of different services that getting around a city becomes child's play.
Daimler's Business Innovation department is a pioneering ideas workshop tasked with addressing current trends, studying social, cultural and technological developments and enriching the core business of automobile production with creative solutions and business ideas. Thus, numerous pilot projects initiated in recent years have led to the establishment of successful corporate units such as the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy. Business Innovation has teams all over the world. Apart from the headquarters in Stuttgart, there are offices in Istanbul, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Beijing and Sunnyvale in California.
Programme for "re:think mobility"
Wednesday, 6 May 2015
Autonomous Cars: Is there a European approach in introducing automation into society? Alexander Mankowsky, Futurologist, Daimler AG11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., Stage J
Female Leadership: Defining and establishing female leadership in Europe Sanja Stankovic, freelance digital strategy managerRegina Mehler, founder of the Women Speaker FoundationKathrin Mahler Walther, member of the board of management of EAF Berlin1:45 - 2:45 p.m., Stage 3
Lessons Learned: Creating the future of mobility with an international crowd Rob Dawson, ChaordixStefanie Söhnchen, moovel GmbH3:00 - 3:30 p.m., Stage 3
Exceptional Journey: My trip, my wheels Gunther Holtorf3:30 - 4:00 p.m., Stage 3
Future of Mobility: Possibilities for using speech and gesture recognition Philipp Wex, Speech Interaction & User Sensing, Daimler AGVanessa van Edwards, Research into Body Language, Science of PeopleMathias Schäfer, artist4:15 - 5:15 p.m., Stage 3