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The smart world is the future. That was the mood of the high-calibre presentations at this year’s A2A conference on June 9 at the Neckar Forum in Esslingen, Germany. The integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) into classic products and processes improves functionality and workflows, and there are new fields of business through which new markets can be accessed.
This year saw the A2A conference being held for the seventh time already. A2A originally stood for “apps to automotive”, i.e., the integration of IT applications into the vehicle. This was the original focus of the conference. “Vehicles are an integral part of the networked world. Now, the Internet of Things includes whole systems of smartly networked products. This is why we have further developed A2A into an interdisciplinary platform for experts to exchange their experiences with intelligent networking in the most varied fields,” is how Felix Traier, GIGATRONIK’s manager and presenter of the A2A conference, explains the substantive conception of the symposium.
Principally for technology-based enterprises, the future will depend on their ability to innovate – their capacity to develop new ideas into commercial successes. Heiko Morgenweck of GIGATRONIK clarified how that is achieved with systematic innovation management with various examples, such as process optimization in the food industry through the use of new technologies or GTconnect, an incubator for new business models in the automotive industry.
Electrification, digital networking and the economy of sharing offer new opportunities for the automotive world. Now, the focus is no longer on the car as the product, but on mobility. But how innovative tomorrow's mobility can be will strongly depend on how it is organized, explained Gabriele Scheffler of the Fraunhofer Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation (IAO) in her presentation. Researchers tested mobility and energy-management solutions in the Living Lab eFleet testing environment and came to the conclusion that electromobility can be made more efficient as a system and can be integrated into adjacent fields of activity with the help of information and communication technologies. Stefan Stark disclosed that BMW is also pursuing a holistic approach to mobility and, in addition to its core business, is also successfully concentrating on providing mobility services, such as car sharing, parking services and a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. The prerequisites for this are provided by new collaborations with franchise partners and infrastructure operators.
Highly developed technology offers users a variety of advantages. Dr Christian Maihöfer of Daimler AG demonstrated how a networked vehicle can improve customer comfort even before getting into the vehicle with the Mercedes me connect remote service. The app allows numerous functions to be adjusted remotely, such as the interior temperature. This means you start your journey at a comfortable temperature from the very first minute. As such, the advantages of the car as part of the connected world are experienced directly as service for the customer, and that’s what it’s all about, stressed Maihöfer. Prof. Ansgar Gerlicher of the Hochschule der Medien Stuttgart (Stuttgart Media University) presented a success strategy for the development of novel applications in the automotive environment. In the Automotive App Challenges cooperation projects, students develop apps in cooperation with companies, so gaining practical experience in structured development processes.
Increasing digitization is creating more and more data. Networked vehicles can take advantage of swarm intelligence and so inform their drivers about the parking situation or warn about local hazards, as Gerhard Stanzl of Audi Electronics Venture GmbH explained. However, in indoor environments such as multi-storey car parks, the GPS data normally used for localization services is inadequate. Florian Mickler of Audi Electronics Venture and Robert Kesten of GIGATRONIK showed how highly accurate localization can be achieved using feature recognition and car-park map data.
Prof. Dr Vahid Salehi of the University of Munich showed how not only customers, but especially companies benefit from digitization. He presented a method for using a laser to scan entire factories to 2-millimetre accuracy, thereby modelling digital twins of real spaces. This virtual image removes the need for site visits when acquiring new machinery and can be taken into account in the development of new, tailor-made machines.
Dr.-Ing. Rainer Kallenbach of Bosch Software Innovations demonstrated the diversity of the Internet of Things (IoT) with the fields of connected mobility, connected manufacturing, connected energy and building as well as the connected home. As an example, he presented the vision of future mobility based on multi-modal transport systems, self-steering vehicles, e-mobility and intelligent parking-space management. Pia Balz and Steffen Hinderer of Daimler addressed how the networking of different systems can be technically implemented. They presented a platform for exchange between the connected car, smart home and other devices of the Internet of Things, demonstrating the interaction in an exemplary use case.
Our participants on the A2A GIGATRONIK SMART WORLD SYMPOSIUM 2016:
“The most innovative event in the region” – A. Beck, Esslingen University
“A good cross section of topics with highly qualified speakers” – M. Grill, Kries Energietechnik
“A genial platform for promoting mobility ideas between companies!” – S. Stark, BMW Group
A2A 2016 – Experts discuss pioneering strategies for the digital world
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