SHIFT mobility @IFA spotlight:

Already the opening fireside chat between Nakul Duggal from Qualcomm and Susanne SchöneThe Connected & Intelligent Future of Automotive“ was filled with topics around sustainability. New relationship between customer and vehicle and what happens after.

Of course the smart cockpit was a topic as well, but it became really interesting with the “second life” of the vehicle. What happens after the “ownership“ with the data, the battery, the software, the whole lifecycle e2e. Only a decade ago, a car disappeared from OEMs focus after production – now the car still develops and can gain value.

Some players already think about how to keep their finger on the whole lifecycle, not “selling“ but renting only. We’ll see.

Followed by Dr. Patrick Nathen about the journey of Lilium in “How Start-Ups Can Enable the Transformation Towards a Sustainable Aerospace Industry – The Start-Up Story of Lilium

He sketched the early beginnings, the first tests and their vision. How Advanced Air Mobility is an add-on to transportation choices and where it makes sense. How air mobility and ground based mobility complement each other. Not the usual airtaxi or Jetsons nonsense used by politicians or media.

Vanessa Thompson gave a keynote about “Sustainability as the Source for Innovation”.

Vanessa brought great insights and examples what is already possible, what exists and „just“ needs to scale and what the next steps for sustainability and planet-friendly solutions could look like. But as she pointed out, the time is ticking and the next five years really count in the change process.

One personal remark from my side: sustainability, circularity and planet-friendly behaviour is not a left-green thing. And it should not become, a buzzword bingo to sell more nonsense no one needs, to impress ppl we don’t like.

The planet can restore, without us.

Evolution will continue, without us.

So it’s our choice if with or without us.

EV Charging is one of my personal interests, so had to attend the speech from Alexander Junge as well. In “Need for Speed – The Future of Charging in E-Mobility“ Alexander described the transition of Aral from an “international oil company to an integrated energy company”. I don’t agree with everything but he shared really great insides from the technical and customer perspective.

Later came a “Multi-Stakeholder-Dialogue as a Key Tool for Building Sustainable Ventures across Nations“ presented by Dr. Jeremias Kettner and Bernhard Randerath with very interesting insights how future of our mobility could look like. Interesting for me was the reminder of cultural differences and how UAE are a huge super fast growing and accelerating area for future visions. Surprising was on their slides the massive involvement of German companies… I hope not just “paper tigers“, anyway we have to talk when in Dubai again.

Another highlight came from Marcel Minter in his “The Mercedes-Benz SUSTAINEER: An Innovation Driver for a Sustainable Urban Mobility“. When he mentioned that “Vans are shaping today’s cities“ it made click.

We see mostly the personal vehicles, the nasty SUVs or the large delivery vehicles blocking the second row. But the real heartbeat of our urban life are the countless vans. Purpose vehicles with built in active filters, sensors and many more. And here Marcel brought up a very interesting aspect. Fine dust is mainly caused by tires and is whirled up every time you drive through. Thus, with every trip, some of the existing pollution can be “removed“ again. Now imagine that every vehicle would have an additional purpose: to clean after themselves.

In the panel “New Urban Mobility & Smart Cities – Does the Ideal City for Future Mobility Exist?“ Marcel was joined by Jason Whittet and John Schoenbeck. Smart Cities, Data and Mobility. The smartification of our urban areas can only succeed with necessary standards and players talk WITH each other.

Next presentation came from Rumbi Ebbefeld and Jürgen Perschon. With “AfricroozE: Setting a Milestone in Africa’s Mobility Transition“ they presented an e-Bike (sorry I know you don’t like to be called e-Bike) that is repairable, affordable and has an impact. I could imagine these devices even in German cities.

Next was Lynn Greenberg with “Human-Scaled Mobility in Cities“. A focus on the most important when we talk about mobility. The humans. The impact on us when we are somewhere else, when we are mobile and nomadic.

Let’s Give Cars a Sense of Smell“ by Thorsten Graunke, explaining a device to detect all kinds of smell. Let’s call it a digital nose. But the way he presented… “Löwenzahn“ or “Sendung mit der Maus“ on the next level. If you ever leave science, I see another career for you. Thank you, I need the video.

Meanwhile in the other part of the conference StartUps were pitching under the professional supervision of Sarah Elsser. Am so sorry that had to miss this.

The whole bandwidth from vertical parking, via robotic services and even transformable vehicles were presented.

The CityTransformer is reconceptioning the idea of the vehicle itself. Not our large war cruisers on streets where mostly just one sits. Vehicles that can even share ONE lane while driving. Sharing concept embedded and transformable to even fit into the smallest lot. Take my money Hilla.

With “A New World on the Horizon? Smart Cities Powered by Quantum ComputingRomi Lifshitz explained the basics of #QuantumComputing and dived into use cases like Climate Prediction. She explained the story so understandable, that the whole morning felt easy. If anyone ever needs support, ask Romi.

I could write for hours about Autonomous driving, Female Perspectives in Mobility or New Horizons in Design. Well write… talk.

But I have one more I’d like to share … with “Creating Utopia? Designing an Optimal World with Artificial IntelligenceShalev Lifshitz came on stage to explained Reinforcement Learning. A very interesting way to teach AI systems in simulations to crate best practices. Maybe a promising way to create Utopia?

Thank you SHIFT mobility for the amazing two days during IFA in Berlin.