Automotive.2019 in Linz: Back to the future.

Last week the Austrian Lorit Consultancy Team, Alastair Walker, Dijaz Maric and Martina Riebenbauer spent a whole day at the automotiv.2019 conference in Linz, Austria. This year it was all about getting connected, autonomous driving and what the future brings, which are also core topics at Lorit Consultancy.

It was our first conference as a new member of the Automobil-Cluster and we weren´t disappointed – so many interesting presentations and keynote speakers, a lot of new contacts and a warm welcome from Frederic Hadjari, Key Account Manager at the Automobil-Cluster.

The challenges with autonomous driving

The day started with a simultaneously entertaining and interesting keynote from Frantz Saintellemy (President and COO at LeddarTech). He gave insights on the automotive industry in Canada and autonomous development processes, which turned out to be harder than anticipated some years ago. What we face aren´t challenges in the microelectronics but in the fundamental physics. At the very end he showed us a video which made everyone laugh:

In the following plenum discussion with representatives from Kontrol Gmbh, DigiTrans GmbH and Reform-Werke Bauer it was all about strategic collaboration in autonomous driving projects which is key to be successful.

The start-up scene

Later that morning Jürgen Antonitsch presented his Robomart – a minimarket shop roboter and Georg Fürlinger from the AussenwirtschaftsCenter San Francisco showed us some impressing Austrian companies who are based in Silicon Valley and make an interesting contribution to the automotive industry developments there. Quantum Scape, Perceptive Automata, Nauto and Kitty Hawk – some of the names we might hear more from in the future.

The presentations were followed by a plenum discussion where Oliver Brandl from Kapsch TrafficCom focused on accelerators such as the V2X and what companies can learn when working together with start-ups. Positive effects like cultural changes, more drive and the need for faster decision making are only a few keywords.  Moreover, the speakers such as Mario Herger (technology and trend researcher), Georg Fürlinger and Jürgen Antonitsch discussed challenges in the automotive industry, that e.g. any wrong decision can have fatal consequences.

E-Mobility: chances & challenges

In the afternoon Florian Huber (Director R&D at KTM technology) showcased new technologies and already realized ideas at KTM. We were happy to see some projects in his presentation where we already had the chance to work on.

In the last vision plenum Florian Huber talked with Heimo Aichmaier (CEO of AMP), Erwin Negeli (BRP Rotax), Karl Radlmayr (voestalpine AG) and Thomas Zenner (Ford-Werke) about E-Mobility and the different challenges they all face – from politics to materials.

The last Driver License holder has already been born

After a presentation from Thomas Zenner about Ford and its way to be part of the E-mobility market Mario Heger (trend & technology researcher based in Silcion Valley) entered the stage and tried to “wake up” the automotive industry with his sometimes provocative but enormously interesting keynote. His presentation focused on autonomous driving in the US and showed how far they already are. With a lot of videos shown he pointed out one company which is far ahead of all others: Waymo (a former project of Google). He recently spotted cars without drivers from Waymo in Palo Alto, California. In his opinion some day we will be all forbidden to drive a car on our own as this will be too dangerous.

In this context he also gave insights on his new book with the interesting title: “The last Driver License holder has already been born.“

Stay tuned. The future is near.

Thanks, Automobil-Cluster for this great event. We are looking forward to more interesting get-togethers in the next months.

By Martina Riebenbauer, Marketing Consultant

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