Scientists, experts and employees from all over the world were invited to the production plant of AUDI in its hometown of Ingolstadt next to Munich for MQ! 2018. Our reporter Frank Horlbeck attended the two day summit at which the focus was on the big question – how to find a mobility quotient (MQ).
The event first took place in summer 2017 and it is more and more becoming an international summit featuring a very wide range of mobility experts. Over the two days it was obvious that future mobility is no longer just about driving cars. Public transport, digitalization of traffic route and autonomous driving form part of the equation and are no longer separate terms.
“We have to bring it together now,” says transport scientist Martin Randelhof from the University of Dresden. In his opinion driving tomorrow can only be a solution if its connects all forms of transportation. “Mobility is about belonging to a network system,” adds the Planetary Futurist Alex Steffen.
Lisa Fueting, Urban Mobility Strategist, discussed the needs in mega-cities such as Mexico City which has massive traffic jams and Beijing which has more than 2 million bikes in its city centre. “Now we have a good data sharing and we can learn more about city-planning which is covering the next 30 years. The future will be, for sure, electric mobility.” One necessary step is the creation of an agreed glossary of transportation terms, because cities and car manufacturers have previously had a different understanding of the subject. Now they are defining standards together.
On the second day there was a very special moment in the conference hall when the former NASA astronaut, serial entrepreneur and keynote speaker Ron Garan showed the audience the wonderful view from a spaceship back to earth. His message was very clear: there are “no border made by our blue planet, only by human beings. But we can work on the future topics and we must work together.” And there should be no borders at all when searching for solutions for the future of mobility.
The former US army pilot -who travelled 71,075,867 miles in 2,842 orbits of the planet over 178 days in space – is quite sure about what will be driving tomorrow. In his opinion autonomous driving will be a standard in the future because every year more than 1.3 million people die in road accidents. That is as much as the whole population of the city of Munich. Garan says: “We should save our lives.”
In the workshops and in a lots of discussions between the international experts as well as AUDI employees and guests there was a deep understanding that electric mobility in big cities is coming pretty soon. In a very personal presentation, Bram Schot, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG (temporary), speaking about his ambitions says : “I like to have more new voices, more women for our company and we all need more time in our working day to think about what we are doing.”
Schot is looking forward to speeding up the search for future mobility solutions. He talked a lot about his vision and his opinion for a new culture in the car industry. “If you want to go further in life you have to be diverse.” He adds: “And then we will go to the Moon with AUDI.” It seem that he has found the mobility quotient…