Press Releases

Electric mobility, networking and vehicle safety at focus of Europe’s largest technology symposium

Berlin, 21 February 2013

“This year’s Technical Congress is devoted to technological change, which currently pervades all areas of the automotive industry and poses huge challenges for our companies,” said Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). He was speaking in advance of the congress, which will take place in the BMW Welt in Munich on 21 and 22 March. This will be the 15th time that the VDA has hosted Europe’s largest technology meeting, which is expected to attract more than 400 participants. “Our automotive manufacturers and suppliers operate in global competition. They are investing as never before in new technologies and developing completely new fields of business, innovative mobility concepts and safety systems. At the same time they are driving forward the optimisation of conventional drive trains. The second strategically important pillar is vehicle safety, where the German automotive industry is setting the standards world-wide,” Wissmann stated.

This range of automotive research and development is reflected in the programme for the two-day symposium. High-ranking representatives from automotive manufacturers and suppliers, and from the realms of politics and academia, will give presentations and discuss the topics. The congress will be accompanied by a technical exhibition.

One focus of the event will be electric mobility. “Electric mobility represents an opportunity for Germany to expand its leading position as a location for industry and innovation and to drive forward future technologies. Here new solutions have to be found that are good in terms both of technology and of business,” the VDA President said. Networking and vehicle safety will be key topics. Potentials in accident safety and in automated driving, and safety in the use and operation of high-voltage vehicles, will also be discussed extensively. Furthermore there will be two plenary sessions on sustainable mobility and networked driving.

The introductory lecture will be delivered by Dr Norbert Reithofer, CEO of BMW AG. In addition to VDA President Matthias Wissmann the speakers will include:


    • Prof. Hans-Hermann Braess, former Head of Science and Research Division, BMW AG
    • Dr Ralf Cramer, Member of the Executive Board, Continental AG
    • Dr Herbert Diess, Member of the Board of Management, BMW AG, Development
    • Wolfgang Dürheimer, Head of Technical Development, Audi
    • Prof. Emilio Frazzoli, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Dr Christoph Grote, Head of Research and Technology, BMW AG
    • Prof. Herbert Kohler, Vice President Group Research and Sustainability, and Chief Environment Officer, Daimler AG
    • Prof. Jürgen Leohold, Executive Director Group Research and Head of the Autouni, Volkswagen AG
    • Reiner Mangold, Head of Sustainable Product Development, Audi AG
    • Dr Peter Morfeld, Head of the Institute for Occupational Epidemiology and Risk Assessment (IERA), Evonic Services GmbH
    • Michael Odenwald, State Secretary, German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS)
    • Andreas Ostendorf, Vice President – Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering, Ford of Europe GmbH
    • Dr Peter E. Rieth, Senior Vice President Systems & Technology, Division Chassis & Safety, Continental AG
    • Martin Zeil, Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology, and Deputy Premier of Bavaria


The conference programme can be downloaded from Representatives of the media can register with Ms Ute Botterschulte ( Attendance is free of charge for journalists.


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