„Challenge of Autonomous driving“ – a presentation by mm1 at CAR-Akademie Bochum

Within an exclusive range of participants, seven experts debated on the challenges of autonomous driving on January 27, 2014. In this context, mm1 expert Volker Scholz focused on the three dimensions of successful product innovation. The seminar was the opening event of a series of tutorials by CAR-Akademie and took place in RuhrCongress Bochum on the day before the CAR-Symposium 2014.

A total of 48 participants gathered in this exclusive event to share their current knowledge on opportunities, prerequisites and limitations of highly automated driving - representatives from OEMs and manufacturers as well as scientific experts took part. Volker Scholz, Managing Partner at mm1, concluded: “The format of the seminar enabled direct interaction between speaker and audience which led to valuable discussions among highly qualified participants”. Addressing an audience of specialists, Volker Scholz presented the topic “From a prototype to mass market – How to turn technical prospects into successful product innovation”.

The key message of his presentation: Mastering the required technology is only one out of three prerequisites for successfully launching driverless cars. In order to be successful in the market, customer-oriented as well as business-related dimensions need to be pursued at the same time. Hence, manufacturers are challenged to understand which customer-oriented expectations and needs are associated with autonomous driving functions and the resulting influence on car design and connected mobility solutions. Regarding business parameters, the query of business models plays a major role within the context of the autonomous car.

Volker Scholz highlighted possible approaches for solutions in practice. For example, his keynote encompassed the findings of an mm1 experiment on user behavior and experience during (simulated) autonomous driving. It was possible to derive stimulating findings on topics such as user acceptance, perceived usefulness, expected ease of use as well as perceived road safety.

Conclusion of the presentation: In the context of autonomous driving, OEMs as well as suppliers are facing a fundamental change of paradigms in the three dimensions of technology, customer and business model. This point of view achieved public acclaim among the seminar’s participants and triggered an inspiring discussion. Which framework will be designed by legislators? How resource-intense are verification and validation of the autonomous driving function? Is the market too optimistic regarding technical feasibility? Among others, these are only a selection of the discussed topics.

Excursion to the University of Duisburg-Essen driving simulator

After the event, the CAR-Akademie offered a trip to the University of Duisburg-Essen where participants took a seat in a driving simulator. “The driving simulator showed impressively well how driver behavior can be observed and analyzed nowadays. Yet, it became apparent that new requirements for different types of simulators will arise in order to simulate autonomous driving – for example in reference to car interior design and upcoming usage alternatives whilst driving autonomously”, reported Volker Scholz.