Second day of the VDA’s 21st Technical Congress in Berlin – Key topics: AI and automated driving, world trade, changes in commercial vehicles and future production
What will artificial intelligence contribute to automated driving? What will happen with Brexit? What will the transport of tomorrow be like? How is digitization changing production? These and other questions are in the spotlight on the second day of the 21st Technical Congress organized by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) in Berlin. Top-level speakers from industry and politics are highlighting opportunities and challenges for tomorrow’s mobility, transport, logistics and production, in both plenary and specific technical sessions.
VDA Managing Director Dr. Joachim Damasky emphasized the important role of artificial intelligence (AI) in automated driving functions: “Automation and connectivity are two of the central drivers of innovation in the automotive industry. AI is also a deciding factor when it comes to deploying connected and automated vehicles in highly complex traffic situations. AI will be essential for realizing ‘Vision Zero’, that is, a future without accidents.” Dr. Damasky continued, “For this vision to become reality, AI systems must evaluate digitized data. The applications become better, the more data they can evaluate.” Dr. Damasky underscored the fact that manufacturers and suppliers drive forward the development of AI systems with the required caution: “AI applications do not learn in an uncontrolled way. Instead the algorithm is trained because the applications will be used in safety-relevant parts of the vehicle. Moreover, they must satisfy the international regulations for approving technical vehicle systems. The German automotive industry sees huge opportunities in AI technology and is driving its development forward with care.”
Dr. Andree Hohm, Director Driverless Mobility at Continental Teves AG & Co. oHG, said in his keynote speech on connected and automated driving: “Reliable detection of the vehicle’s environment is a key foundation for automated driving. Technology, type approval and acceptance are inextricably intertwined.” Dr. Hohm continued, “Broad acceptance demands that people can trust the technology and this makes riding in a driverless car as normal as riding in a driverless elevator.”
Alexander Kraus, Senior Vice President Business Unit Automotive, TÜV SÜD Auto Service GmbH, focused his keynote presentation on connected and automated driving from the viewpoint of a technical service provider: “Automated and connected vehicles mean that the safety checks have to be adjusted. We are working on adapting the testing methods to take account of new technological challenges and furthering their development. For this, simulations and data-based methods already have to be integrated during vehicle development and enshrined in global standards. And in the future, after market launch we will have to consider software updates and make a shift from periodic servicing to continuous servicing.”
Thorsten Freund, Vice President Sales & Services Automotive at Siemens Industry Software GmbH, stressed in his keynote speech: “Our slogan is ‘Digitization path – smart and fast from today into your digitization of tomorrow,’ as we present our cutting-edge solutions for comprehensive digitization of product development and production processes in the automotive industry. We are not only using expert solutions to connect data models in the various realms of mechanics, electronics, software and automation, but we also provide the necessary IT architectures such as micro services. So we are ready to move with you into an agile world of tomorrow’s mobility. How ready are you?”
Ulrich Schrickel, Executive Vice President of Robert Bosch GmbH, stressed: “Artificial intelligence (AI) and generating knowledge from data are the drivers of the fourth industrial revolution. Today we are challenged by the complex and heterogeneous data architecture. Our vision is therefore to have orchestrated production ecosystems: data standards will enable efficient data analyses. Homogeneous platforms will share knowledge gained and facilitate AI. Automation will relieve the burdens on employees and allow them to obtain further training.”
Prof. Peter Gutzmer, Deputy CEO and Chief Technology Officer at Schaeffler AG, used his keynote to examine mobility in a state of flux: “The current trends are changing mobility demands and require new solutions. Schaeffler is actively shaping the change with its technologies. As a partner in the mobility industry we are developing new system solutions such as the Schaeffler Mover and the Bio-Hybrid for series production. Parallel to that, we are concentrating on fully electric powertrains, which offer the greatest growth potential. Agility and innovations ensure sustainable success. That means both developing what is already tried and tested, and breaking into new fields.”