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IFA International 2019 Review Edition

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SHIFT AUTOMOTIVE

SHIFT AUTOMOTIVE SESSIONS FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY What is the future of mobility? At IFA 2019, the Shift Automotive sessions were the place where start-ups, technology giants, automobile manufacturers and urban planners were able to meet and explore the big themes set to influence transport in the decades to come. “This revolution is coming,” said Owen Gaffney, global sustainability writer and analyst at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in his address. “We have to make sure it drives us to a sustainable path,” he added. It was a view echoed by many speakers. Venkat Sumantran, Chairman, Celeris Technologies, explained that “Nations all over realise something has got to change when it comes to mobility. We have to find smarter ways.” Tamy Ribeiro was direct in her choice of words. “Thrive, adapt, or die,” the Head of Partnerships at Wunder Mobility said, noting that many companies feared change. She warned that as future generations evolve, those firms will fall behind. Claire Jones of What3Words identified a need for a more intuitive method of location-finding. “We want to take the power of GPS components and make them work for voice,” she said. The What3Words app utilises three word location addresses that are more accurate and better for voice recognition devices. Perhaps Boyd Cohen best summed up the discussion. “We see our cities seeking new solutions,” said the CEO & Co-founder, iomob. “Micro mobility is here to stay and micro mobility is a critical part of our travel system. We need these solutions in our cities” VIEWING AUTONOMY THROUGH THE VR LENS Richard Seale Lead Automotive Designer, Seymourpowell At Shift Automotive, Richard Seale, Lead Automotive Designer at Seymourpowell, gave a fascinating talk about “Bringing Autonomous Mobility to Life With VR”. IFA International asked him to outline the themes in his presentation: Supported by visualisations and stories behind the automotive vehicle concepts from Seymourpowell, I shared a snapshot of how we think autonomy could manifest itself, looking at vehicles, but also touching on the broader consumer landscape, infrastructure, and wider effects this technology will have on our lives. In addition – I also showcased some of the new design tools built in house at Seymourpowell. Could you tell us about your work in automotive design? I naturally bring an automotive point of view to the transport projects we work on, but from my design experience outside automotive - I also bring a wider design knowledge and influence to the automotive projects that come into our studio. I firmly believe that lessons learnt in one design sector are valuable in others. Over the last few years I have also led the creation of RealityWorks (our Automotive VR design tool), technology that has transformed our transport design workflow. How do you see the future of mobility? EVs are getting cheaper and more mainstream. Autonomy is starting to happen. The technology will bubble up from underneath. Intelligent cruise control, automatic braking/parking are now the norm on mid-range executive car. We will see many more features added and eventually all the gaps will be filled and the steering wheel will become obsolete. What is perhaps more interesting are the cultural shifts we’re seeing towards preference of access over ownership 14

FROM VOLKSWAGEN TO PIXAR: DRIVING OFF INTO THE FUTURE The Shift Automotive 2019 panel on the Future of Mobility brought together minds from design, entertainment, and science to share their ideas on the driverless car revolution. Francesca Bria, CTO at Barcelona City Council, kicked things off with a passionate talk about how her city is taking a citizens-first approach as it moves into the future. The focus is on changing collective behaviours, with the common goals including accessibility, creating space for pedestrians, and improving air quality, while committing to keeping citizens’ data accountable and secure as these changes are made. A CAR BY ITSELF HAS NO CHARACTER, BUT IN THE FUTURE IT WILL LEARN MORE ABOUT ITS PASSENGERS AND ADAPT TO THEIR PERSONALITIES” Jay Ward, Creative Director, Pixar Ahead of its 2020 Olympic games, Tokyo is having to make space and consider the possibility of teleworking, a new concept in Japanese culture. Falling back on the example of Mazda shutting down its carsharing services, Christof Schleidt, Head of Business Development Automotive at Fujitsu Central Europe, stated that simple carsharing is not necessarily the answer to traffic problems, due to the immense pressure for all customers to have an excellent experience. John Lippe from Ford Mobility saw this as the biggest paradigm shift in the auto industry in 100 years and the huge potential for big data to help prevent road accidents, citing Ford’s city data report in London correlating driving events with accidents in order to identify future road safety hotspots, tracking factors such as revs per minute and hazard light usage. Tech analyst Melba Kurman debunked myths about how driverless cars will impact the economy, arguing that one model shows they will be cheaper and it will become commonplace to own driverless cars. She also asserted that far from robots taking human jobs, humans will still be needed for manual tasks such as general maintenance, repairing, and cleaning. Daniela Snyders from smart, Daimler’s division of smart cars, announced that as of early 2020, all their smart cars will be fully electric. Tyron Louw from the University of Leeds’ Institute for Transport Studies asserted that 93% of road accidents are due to human error, which could provide a compelling case for driverless cars — yet automation is imperfect, too, and that’s why we need to merge the two. “There is no average driver. Each driver is made up of a myriad of different backgrounds and factors … human development deserves the same attention and treatment as tech does when it comes to making driverless cars.” Peter Wouda from the Volkswagen Future Centre Europe stressed the importance of not forgetting the needs of rural areas as we think about how we can mobilise smart cities. The number of user cases is diversifying, such as schoolbus windows being used as teaching screens. “It’s about designing magic moments. This is what people are looking for and putting on social media.” Cities, like people, move and challenge us. Deneb Moosmeier, Director of Strategic Partnering at BMW’s Smartworks, describes an ideal future as one where we are free to make decisions from an emotional perspective and not out of necessity. Designing for trust is key in an autonomous era where the possibilities are endless. Sebastian Stegmüller from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering put forward that automated cars could be the future of multimedia entertainment, as car journeys are in fact a block of free time that could be dedicated to other pursuits. New Ways to Drive: Future Technologies and Experiences Richard Seale from seymourpowell said that the shift to automation is equally shifting to a focus on passengers. He presented the company’s Reality Works simulator, which gamifies design by switching it to from inside outwards. He states the consumer trend of nomadism will also change the general view of mobility and living spaces. Finally, Jay Ward, a creative director at Pixar, compared the hit animated film Cars to automated cars. “A car by itself has no character, but in the future it will learn more about its passengers and adapt to their personalities,” as well as giving insights into how art and tech challenge each other during the car design process www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday 23 September 2019 15

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