Press Releases

Automotive industry and startups work together on mobility of the future

Berlin, 09 March 2017

VDA and German Startups Association present joint position paper: “Germany as a cluster for the mobility of tomorrow”

The German startups and the automotive industry have formulated joint theses and requirements for the mobility of the future. The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) and the German Startups Association (BVDS) presented them today in a position paper entitled “Germany as cluster for the mobility of tomorrow.” The background is the far-reaching change in individual mobility and the new diversity of mobility. Both sides see closer cooperation between new companies and the industry as an important component in Germany’s ability to remain a worldwide leader of innovation in mobility. According to the two associations, policymakers are also facing the challenge of helping to shape the shift in mobility and enabling innovations that are “Made in Germany.”

VDA President Matthias Wissmann commented, “The change in mobility is matched by changes in our companies that are stronger and faster than ever before, and they are breaking with traditional organizational structures and using interdisciplinary teams, swarm intelligence and platforms. And the increased cooperation with startups is part of this. Young technology firms can work more experimentally and take more risks, and are an ideal complement to internal research and development. The automotive industry wants these opportunities for cooperation to be used jointly and wishes to ensure that German mobility technology will continue to set the standards.”

“This cooperation will be more successful, the more politicians position themselves as our partners and the legal framework is adjusted so that new mobility concepts can also be implemented and experienced in Germany,” commented Dr. Tom Kirschbaum, member of the Board of the BVDS and Managing Director of door2door. “We, the mobility startups in Germany, are willing to cooperate with companies from the automotive sector in order to push our innovative technologies further forward and to offer them even more successfully worldwide.”

The paper entitled “Germany as a cluster for the mobility of tomorrow” by the BVDS and the VDA was presented at the event “Mobility of the future” in Berlin today. Dr. Kay Lindemann, VDA Managing Director, Prof. Jörg Rocholl, President of the ESMT and Dr. Tom Kirschbaum discuss the action required from politicians, the automotive industry and the technology sector. The startups Free2Move (Carjump), German Autolabs, door2door and evopark describe their experience with the application of innovative mobility ideas in Germany. Representatives of BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler report on cooperation with startups from their perspective.

The joint position paper categorizes the various mobility trends and developments and derives the needs for political action. For example, road users are increasingly pragmatic in their mobility behavior. Policymakers should therefore assume that fully informed mobility users will make efficient decisions. Digitization is accompanied by the use of data and this should be regarded as an opportunity. In times of increasing urbanization, data can also help to guide traffic in towns and cities more efficiently. Car sharing and ride sharing are offers developed by the automotive industry and startups. Legal hurdles for the sharing economy, e.g. those contained in the German Passenger Transportation Act (Personen-beförderungsrecht), should be eliminated. Startups and the industry still see cars as an indispensable part of mobility. At the same time, intensive work is being conducted on the transition to electric mobility, which has to be supported above all with the expansion of the charging infrastructure. Instruments of public promotion should be adapted so that it becomes attractive to invest in startup technologies.

The complete position paper can be downloaded here:

Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Speaker

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