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ISSUE 01 2012




SERIES PART 2 VANCOUVER The world’s innovation regions are places where high tech, economic power, and CANADA

regions has its own characteristic pattern of urban


mobility. TECHNICITY visits the most innovative metropolitan areas and accompanies the movers and shakers who have shaped their region’s economic



creative potential come together. Each of these


success as they go through their daily routine of work,

Japan is striving to develop innovative hybrid solutions. A technology report from one of the world’s most progressive countries.

leisure, and mobility.

ISSN 2190-0523



A Daimler publication © Stuttgart 2012

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How networked automation processes are drastically simplifying technical processes for mobility, the workplace, and daily life.

How it is possible to integrate stateof-the-art applications from consumer electronics into vehicles almost in real time.

Why researchers from a variety of disciplines are working closely together in order to design spaces and materials.

ISSUE 01 2012 6.50 EUR 9.00 USD 60.50 CNY


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TecHniciTy <Eng.> n; -ies (abbr. T) 1. Noun composed of the words  tech•nol•o•gy (1) and  ci•ty (2) 2. The name of a magazine that describes the use of (1) and particularly of mobility in urban environments and metropolitan areas worldwide 3. <Eng.> for the German  Tech•ni•zi•tät (3) 4. The technical nature of an  in•no•va•ti•on (4)

Freak Diavolo Flying Carrousel-Tourbillon with second flying tourbillon. 8-Day power reserve. Manual winding. Escapement in silicium. 18 ct white gold case.


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W W W . U LY S S E - N A R D I N . C O M

U l y s s e N a r d i n S A - S w i t z e r l a n d - T. + 4 1 3 2 9 3 0 7 4 0 0 i n f o @ u l y s s e - n a r d i n . c h - w w w. u l y s s e - n a r d i n . c o m

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HYBRID MODULE The disk-shaped electric motor between the combustion engine and the automatic transmission is one of the two hearts in the drive system of the Mercedes-Benz S 400 HYBRID.

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HYBRID NATION The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid, which is in service in Yokohama, is highlighting the openness of Japanese society to innovative hybrid solutions.

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MOBILE FUTURE I’m delighted that the current issue of our TECHNICITY magazine features so many examples of how visionary thinking and committed engineers are becoming a driving force for innovations. AutomAtion (p. 76) In particular, the interface between mobility and communication harbors tremendous potential for innovation, and our company intends to exploit it. As a consequence, we as engineers will experience a paradigm change that will open up completely new and fascinating perspectives for individual mobility and independence! nEtWoRKinG (p. 54) In the future, the young generation of “digital natives” will no longer be able to imagine a life without the possibilities opened up by their smartphones, tablets, and social networks — even when they’re driving their cars. A report in this issue about this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas makes it clear that the “digital lifestyle” will also propel the automobile into new dimensions as far as networking and safety are concerned. The new mobility concepts we feature in this issue will also be based on a high degree of digitization and networking. nEW DRiVE SYStEmS (p. 28) In this context, we are keeping our sights on automobile development — all the way to emission-free driving — and thus also on green mobility. Only in this way will it be possible to make the automobile of the future an integral component of a networked lifestyle that encompasses drive systems, connectivity, comfort, and the “smart city.” To find out more about the technical status of electromobility — for example, progress regarding hybrid drive systems — join us for a tour of our innovative mobility concepts, which we have launched all over the world. innoVAtiVE SPiRit (p. 10) In this issue we also want to give you an insight into the diverse research and development activities being carried out by our employees. Thanks to their expertise, curiosity, and dedication, we will remain mobile, independent, yet connected with one another in the future as well! I hope you enjoy this issue of TECHNICITY. Pleasant reading!

Thomas Weber Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development


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Multimodal transit systems

84 SERIES PART 2 Innovation regions

10 Increased efficiency


HYBRID NATION The concept of hybrid solutions is a guiding principle of Japanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s culture, economy, and society. The marriage of opposites generates entirely new qualities â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in future-oriented technologies and elsewhere.


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New technologies are the indispensable driver of innovations and progress in the 21st century — they’re exciting, electrifying, and fascinating.

“Winning the competition for talented employees is the key to business success,” says the U.S. economist Richard FLORIDA. In the innovation regions, creative people are defining the future.

Tolerance, openness, and cultural diversity are crucial to economic growth in large cities — and the expression of a new urban lifestyle.





Increased efficiency The Daimler R&D Center in Ulm, Germany, is continuously striving to boost the efficiency of vehicles and bring innovations to the series production stage as quickly as possible.


SPECTRUM High-tech news from innovation regions around the world.



Japan Hybrid solutions are the technology paradigm of the future. This trend is most clearly visible in Japan. Society, research, and industry are exploring innovative ways to combine individual technologies ranging from hybrid drive systems to high-rise roof gardens.


Interdisciplinarity Our perception of complex products such as automobiles is associated with very specific emotions. That’s why forward-looking design development takes place in interdisciplinary networks whose participants range from fashion designers to aerospace engineers.


ANALOGY The “Active Comfort” concept for vehicle interiors has a lot in common with modern spas — for instance, innovative technology and stimulating wellness functions.


Consumer electronics The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas offered visitors a visionary look at the future of the fully networked automobile. In this article for TECHNICITY, Johann JUNGWIRTH, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, analyzes the innovative trends at the interfaces between communication, entertainment, and mobility.


METROPOLIS From the city to the pool of ideas: the most exciting innovations from Portland (U.S.), Bengaluru (India), Johannesburg (South Africa), and Stockholm (Sweden).


European bus system of the future Local public transport is taking a giant step into the future. For the first time, a set of city buses is being equipped with the high-tech features of the digital age as part of the European EBSF project.

Automation Electronically controlled automatic processes are becoming ubiquitous, taking over some of our work, and enhancing our comfort. Many advanced artificial intelligence features can already be found in today’s automobiles.


SERIES PART 2 Innovation regions Vancouver, Canada, is becoming a global magnet for talented specialists in the areas of cleantech, biotechnology, and digital media. This metropolis is using smart urban planning to offer its inhabitants an outstanding quality of life. Long-time locals and new arrivals alike benefit from a wealth of mobility solutions that can be combined according to individual needs.





TRANSFER Multimodal transit systems The Brazilian architect and urban planner Jaime LERNER — “father” of the world’s first Bus Rapid Transit system — talks to TECHNICITY about the rise in quality of local public transport systems and the fundamental transformation of people’s individual mobility behavior.


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• Kunde: Mercedes-Benz (Daimler AG)

A Daimler Brand

Athlete, aesthete. The new SL.

• 216 mm × 279 mm

Consummate, cultivated sportiness: the SL 500 with V8 biturbo engine and fully aluminium body consumes up to 22 % less fuel while delivering 12 % more power. Fuel consumption (urban, extra-urban, combined) 12.9–12.7/ 7.1–7.0 /9.2–9.1 l /100 km, CO₂ emissions (combined) 214–212 g /km.

• Jung v. Matt

Figures do not relate to the specific emissions or fuel consumption of any individual vehicle, do not form part of any offer, and are intended solely to aid comparison between different types of vehicles.

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12 09:56

• Kunde: Mercedes-Benz (Daimler AG) • Produkt/Motiv: SL (R231) – 7/8 Seite – „Athlete“ • Titel/Objekt: technicity Magazin – ENG (DU 2.3., ET 21.4.) • 216 mm × 279 mm • 1/1-Seite • 4C • Jung v. Matt • 13404/18/12001/21 • DTP: Niels (-1185)

innovation, technology <eng.> -s, -ies (abbr. i, T) “The greater the number of possibilities (1) offered by technology (2), the more important it becomes to strive to achieve simplicity (3).” Hermann SIMON (*1947), German professor of economics and founder of the consulting company Simon-Kucher & Partners

(1) p. 28: hybrid nation (2) p. 10: an eye on efficiency (3) p. 40: Designing emotions

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TexT Kai-Holger EISELE


An EyE on EFFIcIEncy The Daimler Research & Development center in Ulm is continuously working to significantly increase the efficiency of all vehicle production series â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and to introduce groundbreaking innovations as standard equipment as quickly as possible.


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PARAMETERS NAMe: Daimler Research & Development Ulm FOUNDeD IN: 1990 (first phase of construction), 1993 (second phase of construction) eMPLOYeeS: more than 500 LOCATION: Ulm, Germany

Hamburg BERLIn cologne Frankfurt Stuttgart ULM

CONSOLIDATeD exPeRTISe The Research & Development center in the southern German city of Ulm is one of the largest and most diverse Daimler research locations worldwide. In addition to having expertise in materials research, the center also specializes in drive system technologies, production technology, intelligent transportation systems, safety technologies, software, and process technology. The R&D center is located in the “Science city” of Ulm — a highly networked technology and innovation cluster encompassing a university, a college, several hospitals, science parks with numerous start-up companies, and research centers of a number of major corporations such as nokia.

LASeR WeLDING LAB Behind the safety door, workpieces are being permanently welded together at breakneck speed.


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NANOSLIDe PROCeSS cylinder surfaces are coated with an ultrathin iron-carbon alloy and made extremely smooth.


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eNGINe TeST RIGS AND TRIBOMeTeRS Friction is still responsible for around 25 percent of the energy consumed by combustion engines, particularly when they are running at partial load. In order to reduce fuel consumption further and thereby also cut co2 emissions, the Research & Development center in Ulm extensively tests the engines of all vehicle series â&#x20AC;&#x201D; from passenger cars to heavy-duty trucks. The tests include experiments with the latest motor oils, coatings, and optimized components. other tests involve the use of tribometers (instruments for measuring friction), in which individual sections of the engines are moved against each other for hours in a rotary or translational manner in order to gain new insights into friction behavior and component wear and tear.

FRICTION TeST RIG Before the test rigs can be used to test the engines, they have to be painstakingly prepared for use.


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HOT AND COLD In order to test component behavior under extreme thermal conditions, the R&D Center in Ulm has the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only modular hot gas facility with four individual burners. At these rigs, separate exhaust system components such as turbochargers and manifolds can be alternately heated up to 1,300 degrees Celsius and subjected to cold shocks. The measurement data from these extreme tests flow into virtual models of the materials and components that enable precise forecasts of cracks and material fatigue and the corresponding optimization of the components. The simulation model will soon be so refined that it will be able to accurately predict not only the formation of cracks but also their subsequent development.

HOT GAS TEST RIG Here individual components can be thermomechanically tested at up to 1,300 degrees Celsius independently of the engine.


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CFRP hANDLING A robot grips the cut, semi-finished cFRP parts and puts them into the right position for subsequent process steps.


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PeRFeCT SURFACeS neon light reveals even the tiniest irregularities in the painted surface of plastic vehicle skin components.


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ehind a safety door that is locked from the inside, bright points of light flash in rapid succession and a sign warns visitors of an invisible laser beam. The room in question is the Technikum 7, which is located in the basement of the Daimler Research & Development (R&D) center in the southern German city of Ulm. At the site, a laser welding robot is joining two metallically shimmering workpieces together so that they can no longer be separated. In a fraction of a second, the system’s strongly focused beam of light heats up the material at the welding areas to beyond melting point. When the two workpieces cool off, they will join without requiring additional materials, which would increase the component’s weight. While cleverly arranged mirrors instantly channel the laser beam to exactly the spot desired, the robot arm carrying the laser moves along slowly, smoothly, and with great precision. The laser system makes the welding process five times faster than in the past while also opening up new possibilities for designing vehicle components that are especially light and have great dimensional stability. “We are the first point of contact whenever Daimler has to deal with materials, surfaces, production technology, and lightweight engineering,” says Thomas Behr, Head of the Tribology department at the R&D center in Ulm. Behr’s department examines the interaction of surfaces in relative motion. Examples include the interaction of pistons and cylinders in combustion engines as well as the behavior of lubricants. The ultimate aim of all of the work carried out by the researchers and developers at the center is to boost the efficiency of the vehicles from all production series. The center in Ulm is one of Daimler’s most important R&D facilities, not just in Germany but worldwide. As a key component of the technology and innovation cluster of the “Science city” of Ulm, the center benefits from the proximity of local academic institutions, which focus on scientific and technological subjects. When touring the labs, offices, and halls, one immediately notices that many young people work here. A large percentage of them are extremely talented graduate and postgraduate students from the surrounding colleges. In this way, the center recruits its most creative and skilled high potentials directly from the neighboring institutions. “We initially did a lot of basic research,” says Stefan Kienzle, Head of Research and Advanced Development for Lightweight Engineering, materials, and Production Technologies at Daimler, who is also the Director of the R&D center in Ulm. “Today, however, we strongly focus on application-oriented areas so that the results can be transferred to our series-produced vehicles as quickly as possible.” With its nAnoSLIDE technology, the team headed by Thomas Behr has already achieved a quantum leap in efficiency that has been incorporated into series production operations at mercedes-Benz. In this process, the surfaces of aluminum cylinders are coated with a nano-crystalline iron-carbon alloy and made extremely smooth. This creates an almost mirrorlike surface within the cylinders, thus cutting friction losses from the motion of the pistons in the combustion engine by up to 50 percent. The potential savings resulting from the development of such technologies are far from being fully exploited, as around one-fourth of the energy consumed in an engine is still needed to overcome frictional resistance. This is particularly the case

at partial loads — even in extremely fuel-efficient vehicles. The second efficiency-related advantage of nAnoSLIDE is that it reduces the weight of the crankcase. When combined with state-of-the-art fueleconomy motor oils, nAnoSLIDE can reduce fuel consumption by several percentage points, depending on the engine in question. This innovative leap is so great that Daimler is now making the technology available to other automakers and supplier companies so that more progress can be made toward global emission reduction targets. only a few steps from the Ulm nAnoSLIDE lab is a large room that at first glance looks like a modern production hall because of its robots and control stations. However, instead of producing current model series, the employees here are working to develop tomorrow’s lightweight vehicle. The use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (cFRP) parts in the vehicle structure as well as in interior and exterior components promises to make series-produced cars lighter and thus also reduce emissions and fuel consumption. However, the new cFRP materials’ processing costs have to be further reduced before they can be used in vehicles. Since most of the processes are still performed by hand, it’s essential that they be fully automated. In some cases this will require the development of completely new manufacturing techniques to get them ready for series production. The center in Ulm carries out a number of these development tasks, which range from the low-waste deposition of the carbon fibers and the automation of the handling and cutting systems to the automated three-dimensional shaping of the material and its rapid infiltration with liquid resins. The Ulm R&D center’s importance for Daimler’s research activities is also demonstrated by the fact that the company continues to invest vast amounts in the research facility’s technology. Among other things, Daimler is laying new cables throughout the center, installing new lab equipment, and setting up a separate production facility for cFRP prototypes in the former cleanrooms. “The center in Ulm gives us maximum flexibility for testing and implementing new technologies quickly and efficiently,” says Kienzle. “The scientific facilities that are located in our vicinity play a major role in triggering and promoting innovation.”

HYPERLINK Further information related to this article: DAImLER-TEcHnIcITy.DE/En/ULm

• PICTURe GALLeRY All of the images from the Daimler Research & Development (R&D) center in Ulm. • VIDeO Efficient innovation: A tour of the labs at the Daimler R&D center in Ulm. • INTeRVIeW with Thomas BEHR, Head of Tribology in Research and Advanced Development at Daimler. • BACKGROUND The innovative nAnoSLIDE technology in detail.

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SPECTRUM ASIA/OCEANIA   CANBERRA,  Australia  SUBStance wIthoUt ProPertIeS  Physicists at australian national University have developed an artificial substance that changes its structure in line with the amount of light or other radiation it’s exposed to. Unlike natural substances, the new material has no fixed properties. In normal conditions, it can be transparent, but when exposed to electromagnetic radiation it can become denser and more opaque. the “magnetoelastic metamaterial” reacts differently depending on the type of radiation it’s hit by. this characteristic would enable the development of window glass that would let in normal light from outside but block intense sunlight. the effect is achieved by installing optical resonators into the base substance. these resonators attract each other magnetically when they come into contact with electromagnetic radiation, and this causes the properties of the substance to change.

tokyo, Japan

tAipEH, taiwan SiNgApoRE, Singapore 

CANBERRA, Australia

4 gW

HumAN BuildiNg the elevators in Singapore’s new skyscraper generate their own additional energy.   SiNgApoRE, Singapore Green SKyScraPerS the skyline of the city-state has a new high-tech addition: the two towers of the “human Building” (41 and 46 stories) at the famous Marina Bay are among the most technologically advanced buildings in Singapore. Gigantic, non-reflecting leD screens at the site present the latest news around the clock, biometric sensors control access to restricted areas, elevators use their own kinetic energy to supply themselves with additional electricity, and UV emitters improve air quality in enclosed rooms, while also removing germs and other microorganisms. oily and greasy waste from restaurants and snack bars is processed into biodiesel in the new human Building at Singapore’s asia Square, and the fuel is then used to power generators and construction vehicles.

  tokyo, Japan Power Plant on the ocean floor the machine manufacturer IhI, toshiba, the University of tokyo, and the Mitsui Global Strategic Studies Institute plan to use the Kuroshio current off the Pacific coast of Japan as a new source of energy by building underwater power plants equipped with several dozen dual turbines each. the power generation units will be anchored to the ocean floor and float at a depth of 30–50 meters below the ships that travel over them. each of the mini-power plants could have an output of up to two megawatts. Plans call for as many as 2,000 of them to be placed in the water beginning in 2020 after various tests have been performed on land. their combined output would then total four gigawatts. By comparison, tokyo requires up to 60 gigawatts of power during peak consumption.


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martin fRitz asia correspondent and author who has been working in tokyo for norddeutsche rundfunk (nDr Info) since 2001


iNtERNEt tV technological revolutions are now occurring almost faster than we consumers can process them. the mobile Internet most recently gave us the smartphone — the first digital assistant truly worthy of the name. everyone is now online 24/7 as a result. the next big wave will impact tV, as extremely thin and, if necessary, flexible screens made of organic light-emitting diodes (oleDs) are set to replace leD liquid crystal screens. the Japanese chemical company Sumitomo has developed materials that make affordable mass production of oleDs possible. the first factory for manufacturing the intensely colorful,

  tAipEH,  taiwan  chloroPhyll In Solar cellS a team of researchers from taiwan and Switzerland have discovered new color components that can be used in dye-sensitized solar cells, also known as Grätzel cells. the team utilized porphyrin and cobalt as dye substitutes for ruthenium and iodine. the new design has increased solar cell efficiency from 10–11 percent to 13.1 percent. the researchers say the technology can be commercialized at a relatively low cost. Porphyrin is an artificial chlorophyll that enables a process in the solar cells that’s similar to photosynthesis in plants. the new substance colors the cells green, giving them a plant-like appearance.

“Broadcasting and broadband technology are merging. the tVs of the future will put the apps we use with our smartphones and tablet computers onto television screens”

gluCoSE poWER new paper-based battery technology from Sony powers a small fan.

  tokyo,  Japan GlUcoSe BatterIeS  the electronics giant Sony has developed a new type of organic battery that produces energy with the help of paper or cardboard containing cellulose. More specifically, the battery utilizes the glucose in the cellulose to power a small electric fan. no metals or potentially harmful chemicals are needed for the battery, whose energy yield is still extremely low, however. for this reason, Sony plans to use it in applications that don’t require much energy — in rfID transponders or battery-operated toys, for example. Sony researchers still need to address another challenge, though: If paper waste from old newspapers and advertising is to be used to generate environmentally friendly energy, then other substances in paper can not be allowed to negatively influence the chemical reactions.


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high-illumination, and fast reacting displays (previously available only in small formats) began operating at the beginning of 2012. the number of high-resolution television channels — a rarity up until now — can be expected to increase rapidly as a result. the new tVs will be linked to the Internet and put the applications we use with our smartphones and tablet computers onto television screens, thereby merging traditional broadcasting with broadband technology. you’ll then be able to use the app for your favorite television show to find out when the next episode will be on, and receive a reminder when the time comes. you’ll also get all the information you want on your favorite stars on the program, order the clothes they wear on the show for yourself, and download old episodes for a fee. the traditional remote control will become a thing of the past — the tV of the future will be controlled by your smartphone or tablet Pc. and if you have to leave the room or the house for some reason, you’ll be able to continue watching with your mobile device. your tV will also understand your voice commands just as well as your smartphone does today. 3D tV will still have to wait though — but not to fear, the revolution for that is also on its way.


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SPECTRUM NORTH AMERICA   pittSBuRgH,  u.S.  aDaPtIVe SUn ProtectIon  Inventor chris Mullin from Pittsburgh has developed smart sunglasses. Mullin’s company, Dynamic eye, produces the electronic glare-shielding sunglasses in cooperation with electrical engineers from the University at Buffalo, new york. each lens has a small liquid crystal (lcD) display that generates a gray square in front of the brightest point in the wearer’s field of vision. a miniature camera in the frame analyzes the incoming light, adjusts the position and intensity of the gray zone, and can even shift the darkened area when the person wearing the glasses moves his or her head, or when the angle of incoming light changes. the company says the system software can react within just 50 milliseconds. there’s no shortage of possible applications here: the sunglasses could be used by everyone from glaucoma patients sensitive to light to air force pilots — and the lenses could also be installed in rearview mirrors and windshields.

SuNNyVAlE, u.S.


CAmBRidgE, u.S.

pittSBuRgH, u.S.

29 kilobots RoBot CollECtiVE a swarm of miniature robots will provide new insights into software interaction.

  CAmBRidgE, u.S. SwarM IntellIGence Scientists at harvard University have dubbed the new small robots they’ve developed “kilobots,” despite the fact that they’re only about as big as a quarter and move around on three legs that are each about the size of a toothpick. the mini-robots allow researchers to test collective software behavior at a relatively low cost, as the robots can be built for only $14 each. the experts are looking to release hundreds or thousands of the kilobots and let them carry out operations on their own. the scientists will then be able to observe how robots form autonomous groups similar to insect colonies in order to explore unknown territory, search for “food,” and avoid danger. the kilobots are powered by a coin battery and use infrared radiation to navigate and communicate with other kilobots nearby. harvard researcher Michael rubenstein and his colleagues have already experimented with a swarm of 29 kilobots. anyone interested in working with the kilobots can order them from K-team, a Swiss company that manufactures the bots under license.


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Steffan HEuER U.S. correspondent for brand eins and the German edition of technology review. Specialist for high-tech and economics

NESt the intelligent thermostat will help reduce energy consumption, and thus energy costs, in the home.

  SAN  fRANCiSCo,  u.S. eVeryDay onlIne exIStence the “Internet of things” is moving closer toward the goal of transforming everyday life into a networked game. GreenGoose, a San franciscobased company, now offers programmable wireless labels that link any item they’re affixed to with the Internet. the item can then issue a report if it’s moved or knocked over. a small receiver installed in a household or office router transmits the adhesive sensor’s status report, which makes it possible to stay up to date with appliances and systems via smartphones. the start-up company nest, which was founded by former apple manager tony fadell, is putting more brains into energy consumption. the firm’s intelligent thermostat, which comes with an app, sold out shortly after being launched on the market. the elegantly designed knob-style thermostat can not only be remotely programmed; it also learns from the behavior of the user and applies this knowledge to reduce energy consumption.


  SuNNyVAlE, u.S. MarItIMe roBotIcS James Gosling has already gone down in history as the inventor of the universal Java programming language, without which hundreds of millions of cell phones and computers would be unable to function. now Gosling is planning to transform the world’s oceans into a computer lab with the floating robots built by his company, liquid robotics. this past winter, four of the company’s “wave Gliders” (which cost about $100,000 each) set out from San francisco on their one-year maiden voyage through the Pacific. two are headed for tokyo, the other two for Sydney. about 200 of the floating robots are now being tested for U.S. marine scientists and oil companies. wave Gliders have the same dimensions as a surfboard. the solar cells they’re equipped with allow them to paddle along in the sea for months or even years, and their radio chips are used to transmit data via satellite. the next generation of wave Gliders will be able to communicate with one another without human supervision. they will move through the ocean in swarms in order to monitor and analyze environmental problems, for example, or tell ships where the best currents are to be found so that they can save energy and reduce travel times.

SoCiAl mEdiA Do you know what one of your employees just posted on facebook? Probably not, since the big communication platforms like facebook, Google+, and twitter aren’t easy for companies or families to monitor. Information on the users themselves, their colleagues, or the companies they work for ends up circulating in places that the original posters never could have imagined. Such data leaks make experts cringe because they can cause as much damage

“Identity and reputation management systems for social media will become a standard feature at companies, which will then no longer want to do without them.” to a company, brand, or reputation as a hacker attack. technologists are therefore predicting that the market for social media expertise will take off in 2012. the customers for the associated services will be found at the highest managerial levels: executives and bosses who know and can quickly analyze what their employees often unwittingly blurt out online are better able to protect their organizations. after all, even a seemingly innocent tweet by an engineer visiting a plant in china could lead competitors to draw conclusions as to their rival’s potential partners or acquisitions in the region. Several companies now offer automated services for private and business customers that can be used to gain an overview of digital trails and take corrective measures where necessary. in Silicon Valley is a pioneer here: the company scans postings, tweets, and search results in dozens of networks and databases. is a firm in Munich that initially focused on the facebook community, which will soon have 900 million members. allows customers to not only search for negative and offensive content; its facial recognition feature also makes it possible to find out if someone is using their image without permission. like the antivirus software that came before them, identity and reputation management systems will become a standard feature at companies, which will then no longer want to do without them.


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10  m -9

BEdfoRdSHiRE, uk

  SAARBRÜCkEN, germany nano Data StoraGe  an interdisciplinary team of physicists and material scientists from Saarland University and the Universities of freiburg, augsburg, and Kaiserslautern have achieved a breakthrough in the production of quantum chips. the researchers succeeded in creating a light storage unit from diamond mirrors on the nanometer scale (10 -9 m, or BRigHtoN, uk one billionth of a meter). the unit could form the foundaAmStERdAm, Netherlands tion for future quantum communication technologies. Quantum communication on the basis of individual light particles would be far superior in terms of speed and security to today’s digital technologies for transmitting information. It would also be virtually impossible for anyone outside each closed system to intercept data stored or transmitted in this manner.

SAARBRÜCkEN, germany

piSA, italy

Blaze flExiBlE RolE modEl the shell of the artificial octopus arm is made out of silicone and high-performance sensors.   piSA,  italy BIoroBotIcS the octoPUS project, which is being carried out by an international research group under the direction of biorobotics expert cecilia laschi from the Scuola Superiore Sant’anna in Pisa, is attempting to build an eight-armed robot that will be as flexible as the octopus it’s modeled on. the arms of an octopus are extremely agile due to the fact that they contain no bones, only muscle tissue. the robot version of the octopus arm has a silicone surface lined with pressure-sensitive sensors, while the inside is filled with various wires and extremely elastic springs made of a titanium-nickel alloy. the project researchers believe the robots can be used in the future for highly sensitive underwater work.

  BRigHtoN,  uk laSer IMaGe warnS of collISIonS one of the main causes of accidents involving two-wheeled vehicles is that motorists don’t see them in blind spots. emily Brooke, a product design student at the University of Brighton, has come up with a clever invention that can help significantly reduce this danger. her battery-operated device, known as Blaze, can be mounted on the handlebars of a bike, motorcycle, or scooter. the unit projects a laser image several meters in front of the vehicle, and this warning light can also be clearly seen during the day.


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27.03.12 08:13

Jochen WittmANN freelance foreign correspondent for newsforum eurotopics and numerous Germanlanguage dailies since 1993;

4.5 g

  AmStERdAm,  Netherlands  UP, UP, anD away  the Dutch airline KlM has teamed up with Space expedition curaçao (Sxc) to offer space tourism packages. Plans call for passengers to fly for approximately one hour in a lynx jet that will take them to an altitude of 100 kilometers and expose them to acceleration forces of up to 4.5 G. the first amateur astronauts will take off from a planned caribbean space port in curaçao in 2014. the journey to the outer layers of the atmosphere won’t be cheap, though: Passengers will have to cough up $95,000 to make the trip.

HyBRid the dirigible of the 21st century will offer low-emission heavy-duty transport.   BEdfoRdSHiRE,  uk 1,000 tonS of aIr freIGht the British company haV, which is located in the county of Bedfordshire, wants to bring back the dirigible. the firm’s reinterpretation of the classic airship — the “hybrid air Vehicle” — will be filled with inert helium gas. Profitable potential applications include air space surveillance and heavy cargo transport, as the new dirigible, like its historical counterpart, will not require runways and will be able to carry up to 1,000 tons of freight. test flights with a much smaller hybrid airship than the haV have already been successfully completed.

based in london

gREEN ElECtRiCity here’s an idea that seems to make perfect sense: turning former coal mines in Germany’s ruhr district into pumped-storage power plants. It’s green electricity from black shafts at sites where coal — a major cause of co2 emissions — was mined for almost two centuries, and which now might become home to a climate-friendly industry of the future. the company raG wants to

“the eU is increasing funding for renewable energy. forward-looking pumped-storage technology could solve several problems at once.” begin utilizing the mine shafts for eco-friendly energy production after Germany’s coal subsidies expire for good in 2018. the plan is to release water from reservoirs at the mining sites through sluices that channel it into shafts around a thousand meters deep, where the water will be used to drive turbines. the water will then be pumped back up again when the power grid has a surplus of energy from renewable sources. this system will make it possible to store renewable energy with an efficiency yield of up to 80 percent, which is what makes the technology so appealing. the eU is subsidizing the expansion of renewable energy production so that it can achieve its climate-protection targets. Germany plans to be covering 35 percent of its electricity requirement with wind and solar power by 2020, and then increase that share to 80 percent by 2050. the problem here is that not enough storage capacity is available when winds are strong or there’s a lot of sunlight — i.e. when there’s a surplus of energy from renewable sources. Pumped-storage units offer a good solution, especially in a region like the ruhr district, where energy generation has been the backbone of the economy for years and which will therefore undergo a huge structural transformation when the last mine shuts down. raG’s plan is like killing three birds with one stone: Dirty coal is eliminated, clean energy is generated, and the region is presented with new economic opportunities.


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Martin Kölling

Robert gilhooly

HYBRID NATION First it was hybrid drives, now it’s electric vehicles — Japan is the global center of expertise for battery-powered vehicles. Daimler is using the world’s biggest open-air laboratory for e-mobility to develop its innovative hybrid drive systems. The concept of hybrid solutions, which has been a guiding principle of Japan’s culture, economy, and society, is being steadily enhanced in innovative ways. 28

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HYbRID CULTURe high-tech and tradition are not mutually exclusive in Japan; instead they merge to create new approaches to innovative solutions.


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PARAMETERs NAMe: Japan FOUNDeD: 660 B.C. POPULATION: 128 million AReA: 377,930 km2 CAPITAL: Tokyo (metropolitan region: 35.6 million people) CURReNCY: yen (100 yen = US$1.21) DeGRee OF URbANIzATION: 66.8 % LARGesT CITIes: Tokyo (8.95 million people within the city limits), yokohama (3.69 million), osaka (2.67 million), nagoya (2.26 million), Sapporo (1.91 million) GDP PeR CAPITA (2011): US$ 45,773


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ybrid solution approaches are the technology paradigm for the near future. Buildings and houses will continue to obtain their energy from fossil fuels in the future — but also from fuel cells and renewable sources of energy. Automobiles will be powered by economical combustion engines and powerful electric motors working in tandem. At the same time, natural human perception will be expanded to include new information levels through augmented reality apps on smartphones and in intelligent glasses. All of these examples have one thing in common: the innovative combination and fusion of previously separate solutions to create a whole new dimension of quality, conserve key resources, prevent bottlenecks via identical functions, and enhance performance through joint use. According to the U.S. magazine newsweek, the information age will be followed by the hybrid age. nowhere in the world is the trend toward the hybrid evolution of humans and technology as pronounced as it is in Japan. nowhere else are technological progress and small gadgets greeted with more openness and enthusiasm, and in no other country does the population adapt more fully to the technological zeitgeist while still holding firmly to its cultural traditions and moral principles. Moreover, because traditional culture and high-tech systems complement one another so perfectly in Japan, the country’s people are not afraid to dream the forward-looking dreams of the future that reconcile seemingly contradictory elements. Even the Tokyo Motor Show is famous for its sometimes quirky visions, as was the case once again in December 2011. on show were a vehicle akin to a touchscreen on wheels and a small car that comes to its owner like a dog when it receives a digital command. But an exhibit directly across from the Daimler stand stood out more than anything else among all this hi-tech in Tokyo: the world premiere presentation of a silent truck. There was no exhaust to be seen, no typical diesel rattling to be heard; the 3.5-ton vehicle crept onto the stage as nimbly as a cat. The man who climbed down from the cab was a german — Albert Kirchmann, President of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), Daimler’s truck subsidiary in Japan. A multitude of cameras flashed and the crowd, which included Andreas Renschler, a Daimler Board of Management member and head of Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses, broke into applause. The Fuso Canter E-CEll had made its first public appearance in the “land of the Rising Sun.” Although the truck moves silently, Kirchmann rightly expects that “it will make a lot of noise on the market.” The Tokyo Motor Show attracted a lot of attention to the latest products from Mitsubishi Fuso. There was the new generation of the Fuso Canter Eco hybrid, for example, which consumes 30 percent less fuel than a normal diesel truck when driven at moderate speeds in an urban setting. Right next to that was another new development: a prototype of Daimler’s first heavy-duty hybrid truck, the Fuso Super great Eco hybrid, which, according to preliminary field trials, boasts ten percent lower fuel consumption than its conventional-drive counterpart. it was not a coincidence that Daimler chose to unveil its electric commercial vehicle innovations in Tokyo. indeed, Daimler is the only Western automaker that uses Japan not only as a venue to showcase its products but also as a huge incubator for developing trucks that are powered either partially or fully by electric drive systems. it was back in 2008 that Daimler consolidated its global research and development activities for hybrid and electric trucks in the global hybrid Center (ghC) at Fuso. “one of the reasons we chose Japan as the site of our hybrid competence center was that so much is happening there in the passenger car sector,” says Renschler. T

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URbANITY in 2010 around 67 percent of Japan’s population lived in cities. Tokyo is by far the biggest metropolitan area in the world.

ATTACHMeNT TO NATURe Japan’s cutting-edge technology is not at odds with a love of nature, which is reflected in the country’s highly developed art of gardening, for example.


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eNeRGY eFFICIeNCY MADe IN JAPAN Japan is one of the world’s leading nations when it comes to energy efficiency. no stone is left unturned in the country’s effort to conserve even the slightest amount of electricity. Some examples: • The kotatsu, for example, is a knee-high table that has been making winters more comfortable in Japan for centuries, like a tiled stove. Japanese households traditionally heat the small areas under the table rather than the ambient air, and these days this heat is usually generated with electricity. in winter, the Japanese spread out a blanket under the tabletop and stretch their legs out underneath. • lED lamps are the latest Japanese trick for saving energy. The first lEDs were introduced by the Sharp electronics company. The top-of-the-line model today is a flat ceiling lamp whose lED brightness and color can be adjusted. • Portable solar cells, which can be used to recharge cell phone and laptop batteries, have become more and more popular in Japan since the recent earthquake, which triggered a tsunami and a nuclear disaster.


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in other words, Daimler recognized early on that Japan is the world’s largest open-air lab for electric mobility. The country has now also initiated the next stage of automotive electrification in the form of fully electric vehicles. Daimler’s Japanese partner nissan has already sold 20,000 units of its electric leaf model since the vehicle’s market launch in December 2010. Japan’s early start with electric mobility is the result of a unique mixture of strategic decisions taken by “Japan inc.” and various social aspects. The initial spark came from the automotive industry, which had been caught sleeping when manufacturers in Europe started developing clean diesel engines. “The automakers then decided to invest in something new rather than trying to catch up with advanced diesel technology,” Renschler recalls. it was a risky bet, as even in Japan many automotive experts doubted that the new hybrid idea would ever prove to be financially viable. it was true that hybrid vehicles could recover the braking energy that’s wasted as heat in conventional automobiles — and that this energy could be re-used in an electric motor during initial acceleration from standstill. That conserves fuel, especially in stopand-go traffic. But the problem was that the extra weight of the electric motor and — more importantly — of the battery led to higher fuel consumption on longer highway drives. What the critics overlooked, however, was that Japan’s geography and government policies meant there was plenty of braking energy to be harvested in the country. Japan is a long jagged massif of islands covered by volcanoes and mountains with steep slopes and deep valleys. This landscape was created by the convergence of three tectonic plates that move around under the Eurasian landmass. For this reason, most of Japan’s 127 million residents live in the country’s few low-lying areas, and this has resulted in the creation of huge cities. The Tokyo metropolitan area, for example, is the world’s largest megacity, with a diameter of roughly 120 kilometers and a population of 36 million. An additional 17 million urban residents live in the osaka region. To manage this huge population, the Japanese government has introduced high road tolls and set strict speed limits in an effort to get people to leave their cars at home and use the rail system for travel between urban centers. As a result, most traffic has been shifted to mountain roads or the city streets themselves, which means a lot of braking. But more than anything else, the hybrid concept captured the imagination of government officials and urban residents. “The government therefore subsidized automakers’ efforts to develop hybrids,” Renschler explains. Japanese business leaders began to see a huge potential market for electric drive systems, battery technology, and therefore energy management systems as well. The situation was similar to what had occurred in the past with shipbuilding, computer chips, and flatscreens. The Japanese people also supported combined drive

Even in Japan, many experts initially doubted that the new hybrid drive concept for vehicles would ever prove to be financially viable. They were wrong.


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Japan: 283,000 U.S.: 236,000 China: 110,000 France: 82,300 germany: 48,000 UK: 39,000 Spain: 36,000 italy: 8,000




SoURCE: Ministry of land, infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MliT)

• Tokyo Motor Show Automobiles: 45%

• Fuso Aero hybrid city bus in operation at the airport

on foot: 20%

• University of Tokyo

Motorcycles: 18%

• Keio University • Waseda University KITsUReGAWA

Rail: 14%

• Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC)

Buses: 3%

• Daimler global hybrid Center


(ghC) • Mercedes-Benz TechCenter Japan Daimler Design Studio KYOTO





yokosuka Research Park (yRP) Panasonic Sustainable Smart Town


Proving grounds (nissan) where Fuso hybrid vehicles are tested FUKUOKA

Daimler Trucks and Buses sHARe OF GLObAL PATeNT APPLICATIONs IN 2010

proving grounds • Fuso Aero Star Eco hybrid

SoURCE: European Patent office

fleet test Japan: 28.7% U.S.: 20.2% Europe: 17.6%

Kansai Science City • University of Kitakyushu • Kitakyushu Eco Town Fukuoka University

Korea: 10.6% other regions: 22.9%


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LIGHT HYbRID The new generation of the Fuso Canter Eco hybrid was largely developed at the global hybrid Center (ghC) in Kawasaki, Japan.


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FUSo CAnTER ECo hyBRiD Automated mechanical

TYPe: light truck


LAUNCHeD: 2006 DRIve sYsTeM: Series hybrid, diesel-electric COMbUsTION eNGINe: 4-cylinder inline eLeCTRIC MOTOR: 35 kW bATTeRY: lithium-ion battery (1.9 kW/h)


lithium-ion battery

diesel engine

inverter Motor/generator



Motor/generator inoMAT-ii

Diesel engine

lithium-ion battery



When the stationary vehicle starts, the power is provided by an electric motor only

When a certain speed is reached, the clutch is engaged, and the vehicle is

with the clutch disengaged. Fuel consumption is lower and the vehicle is quiet.

then propelled by the engine.




When the vehicle slows down during braking, the motor/generator unit acts

The extra torque of the electric motor assists the engine when extra power is

as a power generator and converts the kinetic energy into electricity, which

needed for smooth hill-climbing or acceleration.

is then stored in the batteries.


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HYbRID HOMes in the Fukuoka hydrogen Town pilot project, fuel cells cover around 60 percent of the housesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; energy needs.

HYbRID DRIve The diesel-electric Fuso Aero Star Eco hybrid is in continuous, fuel-saving operation at Tokyo Airport.


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systems because the hybrid concept was already very popular in the country. “We Japanese are very curious when it comes to new technology,” says Japanese technology advisor Morinosuke Kawaguchi, Associate Director at the Arthur D. little consulting firm. “Basically, we’re a country of engineers.” Japanese inventors think differently, Kawaguchi says — they consistently focus on making things smaller, more refined, and more emotional. This mindset is typified by bonsai trees, which the Japanese trim over decades to make sure they never grow beyond their miniature dimensions. The Japanese also don’t subscribe to a dogmatic “either-or” philosophy. They don’t believe in mutual exclusivity, but rather in the peaceful coexistence of contradictions. A good example of this is the hybrid religion that most Japanese people practice, which consists of the original animist religion, Shintoism, and Buddhism brought over from China.

MIcROscOPE eFFICIeNCY AND GReeN ADvANTAGes OF THe NeW FUsO CANTeR eCO HYbRID 30% less CO2 emissions Canter Eco hybrid Standard diesel truck

– 30%

Co2 emissions

30% less fuel consumption in city driving

JAPAn AlloWS APPAREnT ConTRADiCTionS To CoEXiST There’s coexistence everywhere. Both young and old in Japan have been surfing the Web for more than a decade while they’re on the move, and they’re increasingly living and working in virtual environments. Despite that, many people still dress up in traditional costumes (such as splendid silk kimonos) on ceremonial occasions, and they also don cotton yukatas for fireworks celebrations in the summer. high-tech companies also have no problem buying screws from small firms that continue to mill them by hand, just like in the old days. Japan also recently began trying to reconcile nature and the city. instead of building idyllic temple gardens or courtyards, the Japanese are now setting up green spaces on skyscraper roofs. Japan’s biggest staffing services company, Pasona, has even planted a rice field in the foyer of its headquarters. The latest craze involves growing lettuce in a nutrient solution under lED fixtures in restaurants and apartment buildings. here, technology is used to recreate the good old days — it’s typical Japanese ingenuity. This fertile cultural and technological soil has produced a rich biotope of engineering firms and suppliers that is the envy of many other countries. Japan is now home to at least half a dozen companies that are at the top of their high-tech global sectors for everything that’s needed for electric mobility systems, from batteries to fuel cells that generate energy from hydrogen and oxygen. The electric mobility craze has now spread throughout Japanese society. Automakers and electronics companies are attempting to apply their expertise in battery technology, solar and fuel cells, and energy management systems to other sectors, such as intelligently networked green house construction and urban systems that combine electric mobility with climate-friendly residential infrastructure. The government is generously supporting this development, especially in light of the nuclear disaster that occurred in Fukushima. on the one hand, Japan needs to quickly reduce its great dependence on nuclear power; on the other, the country views networked and ecological urban development as an industrial sector that offers huge potential for growth on a global scale. last year, for example, the innovation network Corporation of Japan, a public-private investment fund, helped the electronics giant Toshiba acquire the Swiss smart meter manufacturer landis+gyr. Back at home, the government is not only subsidizing the purchase of electric cars and plug-in hybrids whose batteries can be recharged from a socket; it’s also funding four large Smart City projects in which DAiMlER-TEChniCiTy.CoM

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Canter Eco hybrid Standard diesel truck

– 30%

Fuel consumption in the city

41% less nitrogen oxides (NOx ) Canter Eco hybrid Standard diesel truck

– 41%

no x emissions

46% less particulate matter (PM) Canter Eco hybrid Standard diesel truck

– 46%

PM emissions


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HIGH TRAFFIC DeNsITY Extensive metropolitan areas and mountainous terrain make Japan an ideal testing ground for hybrid drives.

HYPERLINK Further information related to this article: DAiMlER-TEChniCiTy.DE/En/hyBRiD

• bACKGROUND (1) E-bike boom in Asia: Japan is leading the way in Asia in the market for auxiliary electric motors for bicycles. (2) The age of rechargeable batteries: innovative battery technology is needed if energy is to be supplied from renewable sources. • vIDeO The premiere of the Fuso Canter Eco hybrid at the Tokyo Motor Show. • PHOTO GALLeRY impressions from the “hybrid nation.” • CHRONICLe Trend-setting commercial vehicles: The history of Daimler’s hybrid drive vehicles.


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civil society and industry are jointly developing new products, energy management systems, and business models that can be exported. Panasonic is now building a fully networked turnkey ecological residential complex for 3,000 people at an abandoned factory site in the city of Fujisawa, near yokohama. Almost everything in “Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town” will be “made by Panasonic” — the houses, the solar and fuel cells for local electricity production, the lithium-ion batteries for storing energy, the air conditioning systems and refrigerators, and the integrated energy management systems for the entire settlement. Those who wish to can also purchase an electric bike from Panasonic, one of Japan’s leading manufacturers of such vehicles. The company is also now testing an export model of the bike in Singapore. genichiro ishii, Director of the global hybrid Center, uses this wealth of ideas to help Daimler Trucks further develop an old and familiar technology. ishii’s team of technicians at ghC headquarters in Kawasaki is working on increasing the use of electricity for drive systems in commercial vehicles. They’re testing their ideas at the labs and proving grounds at the ghC testing center in Tochigi, 150 kilometers north of Tokyo. Many people don’t know that commercial vehicles have often been the trendsetters for hybrid technology in the automobile industry. Daimler put the world’s first hybrid bus on the road in the 1960s, for example. The bus’s lead battery, which weighed over a ton, was towed along in a trailer behind the vehicle. Regular-service hybrid buses from Daimler have also been operating in new york City for more than a decade. “We at Fuso were also the first to use a lithium-ion battery in a series production model,” says ishii. That was in 2004 — in the first generation of the hybrid Aero Star bus. only now are these batteries starting to make their way into passenger cars. As with today’s hybrid cars, the main focus of the first hybrid commercial vehicles was to increase public awareness of the hybrid concept. Without government subsidies, the technology would not have been able to pay for itself within an acceptable period of time, says ishii. Still, Fuso has been able to sell around 1,200 hybrid Canters since the model’s launch seven years ago. ishii now wants to achieve the big breakthrough with the new Canter generation, which will be introduced in germany in 2012. The model’s higher production volume will lower the cost of the battery to the level of the rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries that have been used in electric passenger cars to date. ishii is especially proud of the hybrid variant of the Fuso Super great — the first heavy-duty hybrid truck. in this model, the additional cost of the battery will be recouped in just three to five years. “hybrid drives make a lot of sense in heavy-duty trucks,” ishii says. That’s because the combination of their great weight and the speeds at which they travel produces a large amount of kinetic energy. “A lot of energy can be recovered even on low downhill gradients,” ishii explains. As it strives to make the dream of a fully electric future a reality, Fuso is already looking beyond the Fuso Canter E-CEll. An electric bus based on the Fuso Aero Star Eco hybrid bus has already been tested in the old imperial city of Kyoto, where it ferried passengers back and forth between landmark temples and shrines. Although its range of only 20 kilometers may seem short, such a limitation doesn’t mean much for a city bus. After all, it’s easy to set up charging stations along the routes, says ishii, who is convinced that any vehicle capable of proving itself in Japan could also soon be appearing in other countries.


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Albert KiRChMAnn “Japan is destined for hybrid technology because Japanese customers are very open to new developments.”

DeveLOPMeNT Mr. Kirchmann, Mitsubishi Fuso in Japan serves as Daimler’s global center for developing hybrid and electric trucks. How did this come about? Daimler already has many years of experience with alternative drive systems. however, we decided to locate our center of expertise at Mitsubishi Fuso because Japan offers an ideal social environment and a culture of innovation. Mitsubishi Fuso was already working on hybrid technologies and Japanese passenger car manufacturers have also been very active in the hybrid field. Moreover, the Japanese government is very open to, and supportive of, drive system hybridization and electrification, and it funds the associated research projects. Finally, Japan has more hybrid vehicles on its roads than any other country in the world. POTeNTIAL What do you hope to achieve with the center? First of all, there’s great potential in terms of gaining access to know-how regarding battery technology and key components from Japanese companies that are at the top of their global industries. There are also a lot of local companies with which we can establish development partnerships. At the moment, for example, we’re testing electric buses in Kyoto in cooperation with Mitsubishi heavy industries and the Mitsubishi Corporation trading company. A total of ten percent of our engineers are now working on hybrid and electric drive systems. PROFITAbILITY Do you believe Mitsubishi Fuso’s launch of the Canter eco Hybrid will pay off? it’s already paying off for customers today. if you include the subsidy payments, a small hybrid truck pays for itself in three to five

years. it’s true, of course, that the 1,200 hybrid Canters sold to date don’t exactly add up to a very large volume, but we believe the new Canter Eco hybrid is allowing us to move toward a situation in which we no longer need any subsidies — not just in Japan but all over the world. That’s why we’ll roll out the new hybrid generation around the globe. POPULARITY Why are hybrid and electric vehicles so popular in Japan? Popularity and demand are based on the utility the vehicles offer to customers and drivers. Customers in Japan benefit greatly from hybrid technology because of the constant stop-and-go traffic in the cities and the country’s hilly topography. The popularity of hybrids in Japan is also driven by a combination of high fuel prices, sluggish economic development, a high degree of environmental awareness, and the desire to demonstrate this awareness by purchasing and driving a hybrid vehicle.


INvesTMeNT Fuso has now even developed the prototype of a heavyduty hybrid truck — the super Great eco Hybrid. Why do you think a hybrid can be successful in this segment as well? Japan is destined for hybrid technology because Japanese customers already know a lot about it and are very open to new developments. initial tests have shown that the first generation of the Fuso Super great Eco hybrid has almost reached the point at which customers will be able to recoup their additional investment for the hybrid system in three to five years. in addition, the hybrid drive’s braking energy recovery system lowers fuel consumption by around ten percent, even on long highway trips. DAiMlER-TEChniCiTy.CoM

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PIONeeRs The most recent Tokyo Motor show focused on electric vehicles, and that’s also true of Mitsubishi Fuso. Are you planning to produce the Canter e-CeLL concept car? The Canter E-CEll is an important test vehicle. We plan to start refining the technology now so that we’ll once again be the electric mobility pioneers when the next development stages are reached. The question is not whether a small electric truck is coming but when we will be able to manufacture it at a reasonable cost. That could take five or ten years, but it could also take 15 years. Regardless of what happens, we’re convinced that electric trucks harbor their own specific application potential and that a future-oriented manufacturer therefore has no option but to offer them.

President and CEo of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC)

+++ Master in Business and industrial Engineering, University of Karlsruhe +++ Ph.D. and start of work at Daimler in 1984 +++ occupied various positions in Controlling at the Mercedes-Benz plants in Wörth and Bremen +++ From 1997 Director of Strategy and Planning, Powertrains at Daimler +++ From 2006 Director of Finance & Controlling, Business and Product Planning at Daimler Trucks and Buses +++ From 2006 Member of the Board of Management of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) +++ Since June 2009 President and CEo of MFTBC


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Peter Thomas

Rafael KRoeTz

DESIGNING emotions

The perception of complex products such as automobiles involves all the senses and elicits a broad range of feelings. Forward-looking design developments take place in interdisciplinary networks whose participants range from fashion designers to aerospace engineers and trend researchers.


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aerospace technology inspirations and insights from the aeronautics sector.

Trend research


Global developments and future fore-

innovative impulses from

casts from the areas of art, fashion,

flora and fauna for design and

culture, architecture, technologies,

new technologies.

and lifestyles.

haptics researching the interaction between the human body and the surfaces of materials.

Textile design Selection and development of materials and new processing technologies.

materials research research and development of existing and new materials.

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TrenD anD FUTUre reSearCh alexander manKoWSKy from the Daimler Society and Technology research Group in the new city library of Stuttgart.


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“Using futurology as the basis of pioneering design requires diverse types of knowledge and close attention to social, technological, and cultural trends ranging all the way to art and aesthetics.”

 ConCePT a-CLaSS at auto Shanghai 2011 mercedes-Benz presented a visionary look at the a-class of the future: the concept a-class concept car, which has a revolutionary automobile architecture and bold design elements in the interior and the exterior. The outer surface is characterized by a play of lines and surfaces that was inspired by wind and waves, whereas the instrument panel and the central console in the interior suggest associations with futuristic airplane cockpits.

 DeSign highLighT The grille of the concept a-class consists of numerous metallic silver dots on black columns.

alexander MankowSky,  futurologist at the Daimler Society and Technology research Group

With the kind support of the city library of Stuttgart


ur environment is a chaotic concert of physical, chemical, and mechanical messages that are interpreted in a completely individual way by each recipient. electromagnetic waves (light) and pressure waves (sound) stream into our eyes and ears. myriads of molecules float in the air and carry chemical messages to our olfactory nerves. and in the background is a staccato drumbeat of neuronal signals triggered by mechanical factors and changes in the temperature. all of these are signals on which we base our daily orientation, as well as our focused perception of individual objects — for example, a work of art, a film or an automobile. To put it another way, our perception of the world around us is a holistic sensory experience. only our sense of smell plays a slightly less important role than the others. This complex process can be summarized in a somewhat simplified way as follows: The brain receives the neuronal signals that are generated by the various receptors and translates them into sensory perceptions. in the process, the brain decides which impulses one’s perception will pick out from this huge stream of information and pay particular attention to. in parallel, the brain compares the received information with an archive of stored experiences. These experiences include basic knowledge concerning spatial relationships as well as personal preferences, motivations derived from one’s media consumption, social norms, and lots more. This is how an individual’s subjective perception of his or her environment is created. it is also the basis of feelings and of the individual assessments (such as “beautiful” or “ugly”) that people constantly make, whether consciously or unconsciously. Good design must therefore address the faculties of seeing, feeling, hearing, and smelling in equal measure.

and that’s also true of vehicle interiors. exactly what this means becomes clear if we take a look at the interior of the mercedes-Benz concept a-class concept car, which was presented at auto Shanghai in 2011. here, unusual shapes and surfaces create accents, spark curiosity, and inspire wonder. Flowing and futuristic lines and surfaces create an interplay of light and color. in particular, the space around the steering wheel seems to dissolve into an organic haze of woven metal. on the other hand, this car is firmly anchored in the world of mercedes-Benz brand values by familiar perceptions: the feel of soft leather and velvety metal under one’s fingers, a harmonious sound, and the smell of high-quality materials. The designers responsible for developing the shapes within the car’s interior were inspired, among other things, by motifs from the world of aeronautics, according to hans-Peter Wunderlich, head of interior Design for the concept a-class. These motifs include strong elements such as the exhaust vents of the air conditioning system, which are reminiscent of jet nozzles. other elements are subtly suggested, such as the lines of the door interiors, which trace the flow patterns of the air turbulence behind a jet engine, says the designer. There are also bionic structures such as the physical features of sea animals, whose complexity poses special challenges for the digital development process. a survey of the interior of a vehicle is similar to a movie for the eyes, ears, nose, and fingertips. “When we get into a car,” says martin Bremer, head of Design color & Trim at mercedes-Benz Design, “a movie for all of our senses is being shown in our heads.” The art of the designer consists of staging this movie by directing the elements of form and space, colors and materials. The result of the designer’s work plays a key role in determining whether a customer finds the car fascinating or boring, associates the car with strong values, or

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inSPireD by arT nicola ehrenBerG-UhliG, manager at Daimler’s color & Trim unit, in front of anselm Feuerbach’s “iphigenia” in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.


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MaTeriaLiTy innovative design requires innovative materials. That’s why one of the tasks of designers is to find new materials and new processing technologies. Some materials can basically change customers’ perceptions of a vehicle’s interior. Wood and leather are two materials that have characterized mercedes-Benz designs for a long time. Silver-colored metal elements are a perennial reminder of the brand’s great tradition of motor  CoLorS The interior is dominated by titanium, silver, and beige tones with red accents.

sports. inspiring such expectations and cleverly fulfilling them through the use of innovative materials is one of the biggest challenges of interior design.

 aTMoSPhere leather dyed with metallic pigments gives the interior a touch of elegance as well as a technical aura.

perceives it as simply a practical machine, according to Bremer, whose team is responsible for designing the colors and materials in car interiors. “The interior of a car is perceived much more intensely than the exterior, and this process is strongly influenced by the work we do at the color & Trim unit,” says Wunderlich, who is also creative Director interior Design and in this capacity is responsible for all the car interiors of mercedes-Benz, amG, and smart. “The senses are always seduced through the authentic qualities of the materials we use — among other things,” says the designer, who emphasizes the importance of having the right materials, surfaces, and finishes.

research Group — experts in the social sciences and the humanities — based in Berlin, Palo alto, and Sindelfingen work out predictions of the potential for mobility solutions in the international markets of the future. The sociologist alexander mankowsky works as a futurologist in this Daimler research group. During the development process of the concept a-class he contributed, among other things, ideas from the global youth culture. “This culture, which also includes many people who are still young at heart, has a very independent sense of style that defies the edicts of fashion,” says mankowsky. “aesthetics and individual elegance play a major role here.” This kind of focusing is important, because younger and older generations of drivers tend to have different perceptions of the details of a new vehicle. in most cases, these perceptions are preceded by the information the individuals nicola ehrenberg-UhLig, manager at Daimler’s color & Trim unit receive from the media. Paolo The creative network in which the mercedes-Benz de- Tumminelli, a professor of design concepts at the intersigners work is just as complex as the process by which national School of Design in cologne, explains that many a car is perceived by the beholder’s senses, whether younger people are becoming increasingly interested it’s a futuristic concept car like the concept a-class or in infotainment, interior design, and the semantics of a a new production series. in every development process, vehicle, whereas older people are primarily interested in automobile designers and engineers work hand in hand what it’s like to actually drive the car. as a result, he adds, with experts from numerous other special areas, ranging the modern automobile is in general “the most complex from philosophy to aerospace engineering. This innova- product you can buy in one piece today.” tion network consists of people working together on the in general, however, a good deal of research demonsame project in different places and with very different strates that most people have similar reactions to a new skills. But a network is also a decentralized communica- vehicle. They look at the car, run their hands over its extion and organizational structure — and this is what makes ternal contours, grasp the door handle and open the car developments such as the concept a-class possible in door, take a seat, and let their impressions of the vehicle’s the first place. interior — its shapes, lighting, colors, smells, textures, and Daimler has extended this network all over the world. ergonomics — sink in. “Testing routine” is the experts’ For example, members of the Society and Technology term for the customers’ initial perceptual process. That

With the kind support of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

“Good automobile design has always appreciated art as a valuable source of inspiration.”

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PerFeCT ForMS in naTUre hans-Peter WUnDerlich, head of interior Design at Daimler, with a collection of eggs at the State museum of natural history in Stuttgart.


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bioniCS The technologies of the future also benefit from the models provided by nature. This interdisciplinary sharing is called bionics, a term that includes parts of the words “biology” and “technology.” it refers to the way automotive designers and engineers, for example, find inspiration for their innovative ideas in models from the world of plants and animals. That applies to materials science as well as aerodynamics and lightweight construction. a good example of bionics is the instrument

 inSTrUMenTS The instrument panel is a single structure of brushed aluminum.

panel of the concept a-class, which has a translucent textile stretched  CoCkPiT The shape of the air vents is reminiscent of the jet

across it. its structures were inspired

nozzles of a modern airplane.

by the fins of whales and other large marine animals.

makes it sound like a clear and rational process, but we background of current design, yet fascinate us through know that most of the aesthetic perception of a car takes their details, are part of a long tradition. For example, auplace subconsciously — via associations and feelings that tomotive design draws on elements of aeronautics, but cannot be simply planned ahead of time. The process of this is not a one-way influence. “automotive design also identifying these associations and feelings and tracing has a reverse effect on airplane design,” says möser. “There are many points of contact between automothem to their origins is therefore a central component of tive design and other design areas, as well as science, the design process for a new car. World-class fashion elicits strong feelings. it there- art, and daily life,” confirms Bozhena lalova, a designer fore makes perfect sense that the fashion designer nicola from the color & Trim unit at Daimler. That’s why the ehrenberg-Uhlig, a manager at the color & Trim unit, is a creative process includes keeping abreast of the latest leading member of the team that designed the interior developments in materials and colors. When the designof the concept a-class. as an expert when it comes to ers are developing concept cars such as the concept haute couture, she considered it an exciting challenge to a-class, they always keep in mind possible applications provide the bionically designed framework of the instrument panel and the central console with a functional surface that seems to float in space. For this purpose the team chose a trans- hans-Peter wUnDerLiCh, head of interior Design at Daimler lucent textile that is stretched over the structure in a way that’s reminiscent of the wing in series-produced vehicles. after all, these fascinating panels of early airplanes. “This results in a unique combi- one-of-a-kind creations also result in the identification nation of the typical elegance of mercedes-Benz with an and discussion of trends and the development of future impression of high quality and modern sporty lightness,” series-produced models. The path of a mercedes-Benz model from the inisays ehrenberg-Uhlig. “That’s exactly what i regard as the tial idea to the series-produced vehicle lasts about five mercedes-Benz world of tomorrow.” Setting one’s sights on the future and thinking be- years on average. concept vehicles are developed much yond the limits of one’s own mobility solution are impor- faster. The designers were assigned the job of developtant skills when it comes to automotive design — and that ing the concept a-class in may 2010. one year later the has been the case for a long time. automotive design has finished vehicle received accolades from the visitors at always vigorously interacted with the spirit of the times auto Shanghai and gave them a foretaste of future design and especially with the design of other means of trans- at mercedes-Benz. That’s because the design idiom of portation, according to Dr. Kurt möser, an automotive the concept a-class will be reflected in upcoming serieshistorian who teaches courses in the history of technol- produced models of the brand, according to hans-Peter ogy at the Karlsruhe institute of Technology (KiT). in other Wunderlich. and that includes the sensory impressions words, aspects that might seem futuristic against the and emotions the concept a-class stands for.

With the kind support of the State museum of natural history, Stuttgart

“nature is full of inspiration regarding shapes, colors, and materials in automotive design.”

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The inTerDiSCiPLinary DeSign TeaM oF The MerCeDeS-benZ ConCePT a-CLaSS (left to right): alexander manKoWSKy, futurologist at the Daimler Society and Technology research Group • martin Bremer, head of Design color & Trim • hans-Peter WUnDerlich, head of interior Design • nicola ehrenBerG-UhliG, manager at color & Trim • Bozhena laloVa, designer at color & Trim • andreas FranK, Design


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HYPERLINK Further information related to this article: Daimler-TechniciTy.De/en/inTerior • baCkgroUnD (1) haptics: The art of feeling. (2) Bionics: learning from nature. (3) materiality: materials that dreams are made of. • inTerViewS (1) hans-Peter WUnDerlich, head of interior Design at Daimler (2) Prof. Paolo TUmminelli, international School of Design in cologne (3) Dr. Kurt mÖSer, Karlsruhe institute of Technology (KiT)


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ACTIVE COMFORT CONCEPT The “Active Comfort” vehicle concept represents a natural connection between wellness and technology. This automobile’s interior focuses on the physical and mental comfort of the driver. Numerous innovative functions support a holistic concept of health and provide a driving experience that activates the senses. Visuals





An innovative lighting

Specific music selec-

Pleasant scents enhance

The hot stone and mas-

Temperature manage-

concept that can be

tions either stimulate

the driving experience,

sage function in the seat

ment creates a sense

either relaxing or

the driver during quiet

menthol guarantees

prevents stiffness and

of well-being. The car’s

stimulating, regardless

stretches of the journey

alertness during longer

relaxes tense muscles.

interior has a pleasant

of whether the vehicle

or reduce stress when

drives, and an ionizer

temperature and is free

is in motion or at rest.

there’s traffic conges-

ensures a constant sup-

of drafts all year round.

tion. Driving comfort is

ply of fresh air.

further enhanced by excellent noise insulation.


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THERMAL SPA The complex technology and austere architecture of ultramodern wellness areas has been conceived to stimulate all the senses. Baths and relaxation rooms are designed according to individual concepts that are tailored to the needs of customers looking for relaxation, health, and a high quality of life.






Daylight in all its facets

The design of the spa’s

Flower-scented baths

Hot basalt stones relax

Wellness pools have

streams into the spa,

interior reduces the

spread their perfume,

the muscles, and subtle

a temperature of 14°

stimulating the metabo-

reverberation time to

and smart ventilation

massage stimulates

to 42° Celsius; steam

lism and lifting one’s

the especially pleas-

management provides

blood circulation.

rooms and saunas have


ant range around the

a natural supply of

a humidity of 85 to

1.8-second mark.

fresh air for temporary




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ability, talENt <eng.> -ies, -s (abbr. a, T) “What starts out as science fiction (1) today may wind up being finished tomorrow as a report (2).” Norman MAILER (*1923, † 2007), U.S. author and Pulitzer Prize recipient

(1) p. 54: The appification of the automobile (2) p. 64: Public Transport 3.0

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The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas offered visitors a visionary look at the future of the fully networked automobile. In this article for TECHNICITY, Johann JUNGWIRTH, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, analyzes the innovative trends at the interfaces between communication, entertainment, and mobility.

Particulate filter: FREE Tank: CLOSED

mbrace2 ™

Agent dashboard Position: 35° E 32° N Model: SL-Class Tire pressure 29




Engine: OK Tire pressure: LOW Battery: OK

REMOTE ACCESS The networked automobile enables its owner to access important displays and functions wherever he or she may be.


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Appification of the

Automobile TEXT Johann JUNGWIRTH


he art of trendspotting consists of connecting many large and small data points until they form a whole, which may often be entirely unexpected. In a fastpaced industry such as the consumer electronics sector, trendspotting is now more important, and at the same time more difficult, than ever before. In the automotive industry as well, the wheel of Internet-based innovations is turning ever faster as the concept of fully networked mobility, which used to be utopian, gradually becomes a reality. Visitors who worked their way through the halls of the 45th Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas received an insight into the dizzyingly vast range of products and innovation pipelines of the major electronics brands, automakers, and thousands of smaller companies from all over the world. Over 3,100 exhibitors and 153,000 visitors — 34,000 of them from abroad — tried to filter out the most important trends of the coming years from the high-caliber keynote speeches, presentations at the trade fair stands, and personal conversations. There was no lack of concrete clues for the trend scouts to consider. About 2,000 new products were unveiled during the four days of the trade fair. Ultrabooks, tablets, and increasingly powerful smartphones and their accessories are making work and entertainment increasingly comfortable, compact, and independent of the user’s location. TVs with OLED screens, 3D imaging, and Internet access will bring about the long-awaited convergence of old and new media and enable viewers to experience sharply focused worlds. Revolutionary new technologies such as 3D printers are coming a step closer to the vision of the “Internet of things” for households and offices by enabling users to download the digital models they want from the Internet and produce them right away, wherever they are.

CONNECTIVITY AND CONVENIENCE But what do these trends mean for a premium automotive brand like Mercedes-Benz, which is committed to innovation as well as tradition? They mean nothing less than a completely new definition of the concept of independence and individual mobility in the 21st century. In his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, explained that Mercedes-Benz is writing a new chapter in the “automotive Declaration of Independence” with its latest products in the areas of telematics and infotainment, which will deliver more freedom and flexibility to every driver. “Just as a smartphone can be far more than simply a communication device, an ‘intelligent’ car can be much more than a means of transportation,” said Zetsche in his highly acclaimed speech. “There’s tremendous untapped potential for innovation at the interfaces between communication and mobility in particular.” The automobiles of the near future will exploit this potential primarily to make a big leap forward when it comes to innovative forms of connectivity and convenience that enable the “digital drivestyle” of a networked world. Thanks to increasingly powerful smartphones, tablets, infotainment systems and, above all, a rapidly growing number of smart software solutions, automobiles are becoming genuine digital companions of human beings. They learn their drivers’ habits and adapt to their choices, they think ahead and along with their drivers, they observe our social network and surroundings, and they discreetly blend both of them into our mobile daily lives. They can be operated very naturally via gestures and voice control. And they do


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all this without distracting the driver or defaulting on the most important promise of the networked mobility of tomorrow: reaching every destination safely. That’s the vision we are close to realizing. If we combine all of the large and small innovations presented at the CES, we’ll have a comprehensive overview of the technological direction of our progress toward a vehicle that is a smart digital companion. Almost all of the important innovations can be combined into four major theme areas: the seamless experience of driving and digital lifestyle; the natural interaction of human beings and machines; sensory perfection in our use of technology; and remote convenience via cloud computing. Taken together, all four of these elements transform the automobile into a mobile communication hub whose functions can be smoothly transferred to other devices such as smartphones and tablets and make the car a key component of the flow of digital information.

WINDSHIELDS OR HEAD-UP DISPLAYS One telling example of this is the DICE (Dynamic and Intuitive Control Experience) sculpture that Mercedes-Benz unveiled at the CES. This simulated car interior impressively demonstrates how a vehicle can acquire a new and unexpected personal connection with its driver through a clever combination of augmented reality (AR), constant Internet access, and intuitive gesture-based controls. The entire windshield is transformed into a brilliant head-up display (HUD), and the instrument panel becomes a display band. AR is already familiar to many people as a futuristic concept in which reality is overlaid or enhanced with current and relevant information — for example, for pilots or technicians dealing with complex machines. DICE uses this technology to blend in current information about a car’s environment from the Internet directly to the driver’s field of vision. For example, another car that is approaching the next intersection can be virtually projected onto the windshield so that the driver can avoid possible risk situations. And drivers looking for a place to park can have the locations of free parking spots blended in. DICE is revolutionary for a number of reasons. For one thing, there’s hardly a better place than a car to fully exploit the promise of AR and high-resolution 3D imaging. The windshield and even the side windows offer a natural projection screen that surrounds the driver and the passengers and is only waiting to have images projected onto it. Secondly, there’s a seamless and elegant connection to the cloud, from which relevant information can be fed in immediately, depending on where a person is located and who is driving. Menu contents such as “media,” “social,” or “places” are depicted in the infotainment system as an information swarm that shows the user’s friends, acquaintances, and places dependent on his or her actual location. The automobile of tomorrow thus possesses intelligence that is related to the location, context, and individual person. It becomes an additional important interface with an individual’s social network and with data from the entire Internet. Thirdly, the interaction logic behind DICE’s innovative user interface is very similar to intuitive human behavior. The iPhone and the iPad were pioneers in this area through their multi-touchscreens, but they are only the beginning of a much broader trend of interaction with hardware and software. Instead of requiring the user to turn knobs or tap keys or displays, DICE reacts to simple hand gestures that are fa-

miliar to everyone from childhood on. With the help of these gestures, users can get around in an unfamiliar city just as quickly as they can move through their address book or music collection.

A CLOSE-KNIT DATA CARPET Of course, a smart companion of this kind can function only if virtual data are available almost anywhere via a fast mobile network, and if they can be accessed from the vehicle so that they can be spread out as a flexible data carpet over the vehicle’s actual surroundings. This digital information space, which will have almost no blind spots, is currently being created. It will soon enable drivers to interact with almost any location. The onboard and offboard software can adjust itself to the needs of any driver, just as a smartphone or tablet adjusts to its user. Playlists, address books, route planning, and social networks will suddenly be flexible and give drivers a completely new level of self-determination. When it’s equipped with modern algorithms’ ability to learn, a vehicle can observe the driver’s preferences and learn over time to present him or her with individual suggestions — for example, with a shorter or more efficient route to a destination or with a playlist of music that matches the time of day and the driver’s mood. This concept of a vehicle as an intelligent companion might seem like science fiction, which would explain the crowds of people that surrounded the DICE demonstration in Las Vegas. But COMAND Online, which Mercedes-Benz launched in 2011 in Europe, Japan and other regions, as well as the new mbrace2 telematics system that was introduced by Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. in the spring of 2012 are already a concrete reality that is bringing this vision a big step closer. For the first time, drivers can use apps to access almost the entire range of Internet services — from Google Local Search, including Google Street View and the Panoramio photo service, to the full integration of Facebook, the restaurant reviews on Yelp, headlines from news agencies like Associated Press, a parking finder, and the latest price movements on the stock market. With COMAND Online and mbrace2, drivers can also plan trips comfortably on their PCs at home or at work with Google Maps and send them to their vehicles with just a mouse click. The planned route is then displayed on a large high-resolution display as soon as the driver gets into the car.

INDIVIDUAL AND INTUITIVE VEHICLE CONFIGURATION All of these features put COMAND Online and mbrace2 at the interface with several other important technological trends. Experts refer to the “appification” of the automobile — that is, a smooth transition between smartphones, tablets, and the vehicle which displays these devices’ applications and functions or can download them onto the vehicle’s onboard computers. This connection is not a one-way street. On the contrary, it will be possible to configure electric vehicles such as the A-Class E-CELL as is already the case with the smart fortwo electric drive, together with their multimedia systems, via a vehicle homepage. If the vehicle’s battery has reached a certain charge level, it sends a message to the driver’s smartphone. mbrace2 also offers many remote services such as remote door lock and unlock, vehicle finder, remote horn and lights, and the driving journal.


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Open onboard access to the Internet creates a seamless link between a digital lifestyle and individual mobility.















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PARTICULARS Johann JUNGWIRTH has been the President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. (MBRDNA) since March 2009. This research and development center, with headquarters in Palo Alto, California, and seven other locations in the U.S., was founded in 1994 and is responsible amongst others for the advanced engineering of new infotainment and telematics systems and user interfaces, the development of Mercedes-Benz Apps, as well as research and trends in society and technology. MBRDNA is working closely with the companies and startups of Silicon Valley. Johann JUNGWIRTH was previously responsible for the development of the next generation of infotainment and telematics systems in the U.S. The Tele Aid system that was later renamed mbrace, the pioneering telematics system myCOMAND, the Mercedes-Benz Apps for COMAND Online and mbrace2, the Digital DriveStyle app, and the smartdrive app for the iPhone were developed under his leadership.

Social Networking Protocol Can we meet at the sushi place? like • comment • share • April 20, 3:04 p.m.

I’ll be there in 25 minutes.

like • comment • share • April 20, 3:06 p.m.

mbrace2 ™

MERCEDES-BENZ APPS COMAND Online and mbrace2 offer the most important apps, specially adapted for use in a vehicle.

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A further trend is the perfect and seamless integration of smartphones into the vehicle. Besides mbrace2 and DICE, at the CES Mercedes-Benz presented the Digital DriveStyle App and Drive Kit Plus concept for the iPhone, which will be offered to customers starting in fall 2012 to extend their digital lifestyle to a digital drivestyle. Mercedes-Benz will thus be the world’s first automotive OEM to offer the comprehensive integration of the iPhone into the user experience concept of the new A-Class and other vehicle lines. With the Digital DriveStyle App, which was developed in Palo Alto, California, drivers have access to a rich feature set of connected and socially interactive applications of their iPhone, which are shown on the in-vehicle display and can be operated conveniently and with minimal distraction to the driver via the controller on the center armrest. The attractive look is guaranteed by the revolutionary user interface design. As a world premiere, with this system Mercedes-Benz is also introducing in-vehicle access to the innovative speech-based intelligent companion Siri. As result, the car of the future can be decoupled from the industry’s relatively long innovation development cycles — which last five to seven years on average — and stays linked with the fast innovation pace of consumer electronics, which is measured in months rather than years and encourages third-party developers to contribute their ideas. Daimler has been conducting research and development for almost two decades in Palo Alto in the heart of Silicon Valley, working closely together with companies such as Apple and Google. As a result, the fast development of new apps is almost a matter of course. The announcements concerning CES 2012 make it clear that vehicles are becoming a dynamic cloud-based platform for software applications that can be easily updated as soon as they meet the high safety and quality standards of the Mercedes-Benz brand. Users have by now become very familiar with such applications, and they expect to be able to control and enjoy a large part of their work and private life safely, conveniently, and intuitively from a mobile device of their choice. They want to have the certainty that their

favorite services will be able to follow them wherever they go — especially when they’re behind the steering wheel. Daimler identified these trends early on, and it already offers this kind of remote convenience, even if the vehicle in question is hundreds of kilometers away. This is the seeming contradiction of the “always on” world: The user’s location is becoming less and less relevant, because the flow of digital information reaches into every corner of our world. At the same time, the user’s location is becoming more important than ever, because the vehicle always has the right individualized answer for every turn of the road and every update.

HYPERLINK Further information about this article: DAIMLER-TECHNICITY.DE/EN/CES

• VIDEO (1) DICE: This futuristic AR system from Mercedes-Benz is revolutionizing the interaction between human beings and vehicles. (2) mbrace2: The new generation of telematics services platform in the U.S. turns central vehicle functions into a component of cloud computing. • PHOTO GALLERY Daimler at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012 in Las Vegas. • BACKGROUND An overview of the main features of the mbrace2 telematics services platform from Mercedes-Benz.


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PORTLAND The “City of Roses” attracts worldwide attention thanks to its high quality of life, well-developed public transportation system, and sustainability-oriented urban policy.

PARAMETERS PORTLAND STATUS: Largest city and economic center of Oregon FOUNDED IN: 1845 AREA (metropolitan region): 17,312 km² POPULATION (city): 584,000 POPULATION (metropolitan region): 2.3 million POPULATION DENSITY (city): 1,690 inhabitants/km² WEBSITE:


Vancouver Seattle



Salt Lake City

San Francisco Las Vegas

SOURCE: Portland State University Population Research Center


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URBAN PLANNING Portland is renowned as a green and livable city with a network of bike paths and public transportation that is unusually close-knit and extensive by U.S. standards. In addition, in 2012 the city will be hosting the third EcoDistricts Summit, the first conference of its kind, which will be devoted exclusively to the sustainable planning and development of city neighborhoods. This summit meeting will be attended by companies, NGOs, citizen initiatives, urban planners, architects, and representatives of administrative institutions from all over the U.S. and Europe. The conference is being organized by the Portland Sustainability Institute and its founder, Portland’s mayor Sam Adams. ECONOMY The heart of the “Silicon Forest”: This is what technology insiders call a cluster of high-tech companies and start-ups located in and around Portland, which boasts the headquarters of the sports equipment megacompanies Nike and Columbia Sportswear, as well as the research centers of Intel and Hewlett-Packard. Portland is also the headquarters of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, the biggest manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks in North America, with approximately 19,000 employees. IBM is now planning to tune in on the heartbeat of the “Silicon Forest”. The IT company is working together with the city to make Portland the world’s first “Smarter City” by depicting it virtually as a living system so that its dynamics can be better understood and the future scenarios developed by urban planners will be a perfect fit. MOBILITY People who want to travel via public transportation in Portland’s city center and its surrounding area don’t have to rummage through their loose change so they can buy a ticket. The city’s public transportation operator TriMet offers a Free Rail Zone in which everyone can ride the commuter trains and streetcars free of charge. This offer of free transportation has existed since 1975 under the name of “Fareless Square,” and since 2010 it has been expanded to cover a larger area of the city. Bus lines are not included in the offer. T

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BENGALURU Bangalore, as the city was officially called until 2006, has long been a key engine of India’s booming economy. Its infrastructure must now keep up with its economic success.

PARAMETERS BENgALuRu STATUS: IT center and the third-largest city in India FOUNDED IN: 1537 AREA (metropolitan region): 2,208 km2 POPULATION (city): 8.4 million POPULATION (metropolitan region): 8.5 million POPULATION DENSITY (city): 11,371 inhabitants/km2 WEBSITE: Mumbai Hyderabad



Batticaloa COLOMBO


SOURCES: Census of India 2011, Government of Karnataka

MOBILITY As a result of Bengaluru’s economic progress, its population is growing rapidly. In 2010 alone, it increased by 3.25 percent. The urban development authority BDA expects that by 2021 at least ten million people will be living and working in Bengaluru. The increasingly chaotic situation on the city’s streets is now being addressed by means of large and small infrastructure projects. The first stretch of the new Namma Metro, with wagons offering WLAN access for passengers, was commissioned at the end of 2011. This transport system will eventually comprise a 42.3-kilometer rail network serving three-quarters of the city. A test run of the ATCAG bicycle sharing system is now being conducted in the Jayanagar district and the area around the busy Mahatma Gandhi Street. If it is successful, it will be expanded to include additional neighborhoods. ARCHITECTURE There’s no lack of extravagant and ultramodern construction projects in this metropolis in southern India. The most spectacular new constructions include: • Bagmane Tech Park, which includes a shopping mall and a lake covering 4.7 hectares. • The six buildings of the International Tech Park, which is laid out in the U.S. campus style. • UB City, the largest new addition to the skyline with four office and administration towers. TECHNOLOGY In the past, the Indian government strengthened the innovative power of Bengaluru by setting up state-run companies and research centers for electronics, aeronautics, and finally space research in the areas of rocket and satellite technology. In the course of ongoing globalization, call centers came to Bengaluru. Subsequently multinational companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Nokia, and Cisco moved their software development operations here. Today the IT sector accounts for a third of India’s exports, and in turn a third of these come from Bengaluru. The Mercedes-Benz Research and Technology Center in Bengaluru also relies on the digital expertise of the local workforce. Its focus is on computer aided design and engineering (CAD and CAE), embedded systems and telematics as well as engineering IT tools. DAIMLER-TECHNICITY.COM

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JOHANNESBURG No other city in sub-Saharan Africa can boast greater economic success. The World Cup soccer tournament has also speeded up the pace of urban development.

PARAMETERS jOhANNESBuRg STATUS: South Africa’s most populous city and its financial center FOUNDED IN: 1886 AREA (metropolitan region): 2,525 km2 POPULATION (city): 3.8 million POPULATION (metropolitan region): 7.5 million POPULATION DENSITY (city): 2,365 inhabitants/km² WEBSITE:



SOUTH AFRICA East London Cape Town Port Elizabeth

SOURCE: Demographia World Urban Areas: 7th Annual Edition


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MOBILITY Since 2011 the express trains of the Gautrain Rapid Link have been connecting Johannesburg with O.R. Tambo International Airport and with the capital city of Pretoria, which lies to the northeast. The project is the biggest joint venture between public authorities and private companies in Africa. The trains travel this 80-kilometer stretch at up to 160 km/h, which means that it takes less than 45 minutes to get from Johannesburg to Pretoria. Passengers can transfer to the trains from the existing local public transportation network or use one of the 125 Gautrain buses — low-floor buses from Mercedes-Benz that operate within a radius of 15 kilometers around each of ten railroad stations. The chassis of the buses are assembled in the Mercedes-Benz plant in East London, a city located about 1,000 kilometers to the southwest of Johannesburg. Starting in 2014, the next generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class will also be produced at the plant, which has approximately 2,400 employees. NEW URBANISM The new Melrose Arch neighborhood demonstrates how living, working, and entertainment can be cleverly combined along the lines of the “New Urbanism” concept. In the Melrose Arch neighborhood in northern Johannesburg, several hundred condominiums and penthouses are combined with a shopping mall, offices, restaurants, bars, cafés, and two trendy hotels to form a “city within the city.” This model project has been expanded in three phases so far. It goes without saying that it has a shuttle bus connection with the Gautrain express trains. ARCHITECTURE The Sandton district in northwestern Johannesburg is the city’s undisputed and growing financial and office center, and has also become a magnet for designers and architects. With their curving glass and aluminum façades, the Alice Lane Towers look more like an art museum than the headquarters of one of South Africa’s biggest law firms. Not far away is the Sandton City complex, where the highest building in Africa, with 65 floors, will be built in the next few years. T

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STOCKHOLM This Scandinavian model metropolis is working tirelessly to remain Europe’s pioneer for innovative concepts ranging from telecommunication to the energy supply.

PARAMETERS STOCKhOLM STATUS: Capital of Sweden and center of administrative services FOUNDED IN: approximately 13th century AREA (metropolitan region): 6,488 km2 POPULATION (city): 847,000 POPULATION (metropolitan region): 2 million POPULATION DENSITY (city): 4,309 inhabitants/km2 WEBSITE:



Gothenburg Alborg



RESEARCH Stockholm aims to become a global hotspot for the life sciences, and to this end it is investing heavily in a new cooperation cluster in Hagastaden, on the border with the neighboring town of Solna. The construction work on the “Stockholm Life” project will continue until 2025, and during this time industry, academic research, and medical institutions will collaborate more and more closely. The prospects are favorable: About 60 percent of Sweden’s activities in the life sciences sector are already concentrated in the Stockholm-Uppsala region today. In proportion to the total population, no other European country has more companies active in this sector. SUSTAINABILITY When Stockholm was named a European Green Capital by the EU Commission in 2010, it was the first European city to receive this honor. One reason for this was that the “Venice of the North” recovers huge volumes of biogas from its wastewater and garbage and uses it as a renewable fuel for public buses, taxis, and service vehicles. The Stockholm Vatten waterworks now produce about 4.1 million cubic meters of biogas annually, and the international Sita Group uses only biogas-fueled Mercedes-Benz Econic NGT special vehicles to collect the city’s garbage. COMMUNICATION In 2010 Stockholm became the first city in the world to provide its center with an area-wide high-performance commercial broadband network with LTE radio technology. The network enables downloading with a data transmission rate of 80 to 100 megabits per second, provided that the user is out in the open air. By now most Swedish cities have followed suit by installing their own LTE networks. And the next step in this evolutionary development is coming soon: At a site near Stockholm, the Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson has already started the first tests of LTE Advanced, which has download rates of up to one gigabit per second. Plans call for the system to be introduced in 2013.

SOURCES: Stockholms Stad Facts and Maps, Statistics Sweden


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EURoPEAN BUS SYSTEM oF THE FUTURE (EBSF) Local public transportation will have to meet new requirements if it is to remain an attractive option for passengers. A key step has already been taken in order to achieve this goal.


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LIGHT SIGNAL For the EBSF project in Bremerhaven, Germany, a Mercedes-Benz Citaro was ďŹ tted with numerous high-tech features to make it ready for the future.


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EUROPEAN BUS SYSTEM OF THE FUTURE As part of the international EBSF project in Bremerhaven, an articulated bus from Mercedes-Benz has been operated in cooperation with BREMERHAVEN BUS since mid-2011. • The test vehicle is based on the three-door Citaro G urban bus (39 seats and standing room for 108 passengers). • The bus features numerous technical innovations ranging from wireless LAN to a seat guidance system.

TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT • Equipment features: Six areas to lean on in the two passenger compartments as well as two wheelchair area walls. • Additional special feature: Three seats arranged laterally to the direction of travel in the front part of the bus plus seven passenger infotainment screens. • Articulated bus • Three axles • Three doors • Length: 18 m • Transport capacity: 147 passengers


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SCREENS Dynamic presentation


POWER SOCKETS Installation of 230 V

of news, weather forecasts, event information,

and WLAN router for enabling mobile Internet use

power sockets to enable recharging of laptops,

and other items.

on the bus.

cell phones etc.


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ACHIEVING SUCCESS WITH TEAM SPIRIT The aim was to make riding the bus a pleasure and create added value. The idea was that new vehicle technologies and infrastructures could be combined with optimized operating strategies to make local public transportation attractive. The result was a Mercedes-Benz Citaro G boasting many high-tech features that are impressing passengers in Bremerhaven. 68

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THE PEOPLE BEHINd THE MERCEdES-BENZ TEST VEHICLE (left to right): Roland SCHARL, Technical Project Leader and Interior Engineering EBSF • Tammo VoIGT, Steering Board Member EBSF • Fritz EINBERGER, Technical Coordinator and Interior Engineering EBSF Demonstrator Bus Bremerhaven • Helmut WARTH, Project Coordinator EBSF 69

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Steffan Heuer

rafael DABuL

“every city can improve its quality of life.” Brazilian architect and urban planner Jaime Lerner, the famous father of the Bus rapid Transit (BrT) system, talks about its global success and how a functioning city is more than the sum of its transportation routes.

Jaime lerner on a tour around the Brazilian

Travel Mr. lerner, how do you get around in your hometown of Curitiba? I am lucky, since I live right in front of my office, so I have a seven-meter commute. The house where my institute is in used to be my own house, which I built in the 1950s. When I retired from politics, my late wife wanted to live in a place with a view, so we moved into an apartment building across the street. But I do travel a lot to give speeches and advise other cities.

city of Curitiba together with author Steffan Heuer.

TransPorT you laid the groundwork for the BrT system. have people in Curitiba changed their mobility patterns because of this network? About 45 years ago, Curitiba had around 600,000 people. Today there are 1.75 million inhabitants. Common wisdom held that when a city approaches one million people, it should have a subway system. But we didn’t have money, nor could we get loans, so we started to think what else we could do in terms of modern mass transport: something that runs fast, with fewer stops and very frequently. The quality of the system was key -- not having to wait for the next ride. We realized we should try to 70

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build such a system on the surface. There were many options: build dedicated lanes or have the buses stop less often, not every 400 meters. The boarding had to be fast and you should have to wait no more than one minute. So why not build boarding tubes that made it look and feel more like a subway ride and made getting on and off the bus fast and easy? That idea was the seed for the bus system we began debating in 1968, and it was officially launched in 1974. We had 25,000 passengers a day back then, but through all those years we have improved and expanded it. Today, Curitiba’s BrT system transports 2.5 million passengers a day and it pays for itself -- no subsidies! Co-resPonsiBiliTy Why do you think this concept took off around the world so that there are 120 BrT systems in operation? It’s helpful to compare such a bus network to the oldest subway system in the world, the Tube in London, which was built in the 1850s. The city of London is much, much bigger and the system is much more evolved, but it transports only three million people a day. That means a lot when a city


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exPerienCe Architect and urban planner Jaime Lerner, father of the world’s first Bus rapid Transit (BrT) system, launched in the Brazilian city of Curitiba in 1974.

today thinks about how to build a public transport system. Being successful is not about the money, but how to transform a problem into a solution: to build a good equation of co-responsibility. The bus system here was designed to be a public-private initiative, since we needed 300 million dollars for the fleet. The city would invest in the routes, the private companies would invest in the fleet, and the city would pay them by the kilometer. That concept must look attractive, since there are now 120 cities around the world with a BrT system, including mexico City, Seoul, Istanbul, Bogotá, and Guangzhou. CoMPleTe sysTeM Many cities in Brazil are trying to get funding for new subway lines for the crowds expected for the World Cup in 2014. That’s honestly a stupid idea. It doesn’t help if you have just one or half a subway line. you need a good complete system. There are few subway systems in the world that can offer what a BrT system does: quick boarding, high frequency. The secret of mobility is to never have different systems compete in the same space. They have

CURRICULUM vITAE +++ Brazilian architect and urban planner, born in 1937 +++ lives and works in Curitiba, capital of the state of Paraná +++ served as the city’s mayor for three terms and state governor for two terms +++ father of the world’s first Bus rapid Transit or BrT system (rede Integrada de Transporte/rIT) introduced in 1974 +++ has been recognized with numerous awards, most recently the Leadership in Transport Award by the International Transport Forum at the oeCD in 2011 and the Globe Sustainable City Award in 2010 +++ founder and director of the Instituto Jaime Lerner and Jaime Lerner Associated Architects, an architecture and urban planning firm with 20 employees that advises clients worldwide +++ participated in the Symposium of China Bus rapid Transit Initiative in Shanghai in 2005 to promote BrT systems in China +++ author of several books, among them Acupuntura urbana (2003) +++


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2:00 p.m. sTarT at Jaime Lerner’s architecture office.

2:30 p.m.

3:00 p.m. CenTro CiviCo A walk around Jaime Lerner’s former official residence as governor of the state of Paraná. 5:00 p.m. BrT A visit to the busy BrT terminal at Passeio Público.

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Picture: © 2010 Google, © 2011 Geoeye, Gray Buildings © 2010 Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya

shorT sToP at the oscar niemeyer museum.

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to be complementary. A subway system, for example, is only useful if it is integrated with a good surface system. In some cases, you don’t need to build a subway, since it’s 50 to 100 times more expensive and takes a lot of time. A BrT system can be built in three or five years instead of spending 20 years on one single line. Let’s take new york. They have been discussing adding a Second Avenue line for 50 years. If they finally start construction, it will take 20 years to be ready. That’s 70 years and four billion dollars, and this line will not transport more passengers than a busy express bus line on our system. you can have a surface line in three years and with one percent of the investment. WorldWide What do you think about BrT systems in other cities, for instance the ones in nantes and istanbul? I naturally have not seen all other BrT systems around the world, since there are so many. Some have a good concept and are well operated, like mexico City, others like the one in São Paulo don’t work that well. The key thing is to realize that transportation is not an expertise in itself, it’s part of city planning. If you try to build a city just for optimized transport, its not going to be a good city. A living city is not the sum of its roads and tracks. eMissions What improvements can BrT systems bring about with regard to noise and pollution? you need to keep in mind that emissions from cars are responsible for more than 80 percent of a city’s carbon footprint; buses only contribute about eight percent. even using diesel buses is still better than having thousands of cars. But when you have a good system, you naturally have to improve the engine. engines have to move to hybrid or biofuels, and many cities are doing that already. But most important is how the bus network will connect with the normal city life. First, you need a functioning system, then you can introduce biofuels, fuel cells, hybrids or electric buses. urBan aCuPunCTure To what extent can the design -- or re-design -of an urban center shape mobility? What basic concepts do planners and politicians need to pay attention to? every city can improve its quality of life, it doesn’t matter how big it is or what financial

condition it’s in. my advice to planners and politicians is: Think about what you want and do it fast, in one or two years. That’s not to say that planning doesn’t take time, but there are some focal ideas you can implement very fast. They can provide new energy to the city: Turn a street into a pedestrian mall, lay the foundations of a BrT system. That’s what I call urban acupuncture. It’s done not instead of urban planning, but to help urban planning. Innovation is about starting something, and to leave some room for people to correct you.

comes from. electric drives can improve air quality, but you still have congestion. So electric vehicles alone are not the solution. But if you have an eV that does not just transport you once or twice a day, but transports 30 or 40 people over the course of a day, then change happens. I have so far built five prototypes of the Dock Dock and we are now making three pre-series cars. We need to give potential partners an idea what they look like. With some luck, Curitiba could be again the first city in the world to debut a private-public car.

QualiTy What role do buses, cars, and other modes of transportation play in a sustainable mix? The only way to improve mobility is to continually improve the quality of public transport, not in penalizing people who use their cars. When the frequency and reliability drops, people do not perceive it as a system anymore, but dismiss it as “just buses” and go back to their old ways. I have nothing against the car, all I’m saying is that it depends on the way you use it. on routine itineraries, you have to have very good public transport, then people will take the bus or subway. For leisure or longer trips you can of course use your car. The car is like your mother-inlaw: you have to have a good relationship with her, but you cannot let her run your life! We cannot only depend on the private car. We need a smart alternative for individual public transport: a car where you’re not the owner of the car.

PreMiuM oPTion how much will it cost? Zero, the only thing you pay for is the usage. you are not the owner of the car; it should be operated by a public-private partnership. But it doesn’t require you to give up your own car, so you have something roomier for longer trips. If the car industry understands this concept, they can offer a whole, integrated system. you’d buy a regular car and it comes with 500 hours of Dock Dock; the usage is part of your automobile purchase. It will be an additional, premium option of public transport.

MoBiliTy Mix you are suggesting expanding car- or ride-sharing schemes like daimler’s car2go? I mean something completely novel that goes beyond car- or ride-sharing. Such a car has to be very small, electric, recyclable; it has to be part of a larger system. It should share the bike lanes since it travels at low speeds of 20-25 km/h and has a range of about 50 km. I’m designing a car called Dock Dock, which is one-fourth the size of a smart, and still even I can fit inside it. It becomes part of the mobility mix. you can drive your car to a bus terminal, board an express bus and then switch to a Dock Dock for the last mile.

Further information related to this article: DAImLer-TeCHnICITy.De/en/Lerner

• PhoTo gallery Getting around in Curitiba with architect and urban planner Jaime Lerner and author Steffan Heuer. • BaCKground

Changes you are not the first to argue that the future lies with cleaner engines and electric cars. It’s not really about changing the engine technology. It depends on where the energy DAImLer-TeCHnICITy.Com

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(1) Bus rapid Transit: The mercedes-Benz BrT website. (2) A success story: BrT systems around the world which use buses by mercedes-Benz. (3) Traffic report: The Bus rapid Transit system of Istanbul. (4) Dock Dock: The prototype of the world’s smallest vehicle.


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OPENNESS, TOLERANCE <eng.> (abbr. o, T) “after all, it is ultimately only the spirit (1) that brings every technology to life (2).” Johann Wolfgang VON GOETHE (*1749, † 1832), German poet and student of nature

(1) p. 84: Vancouver — Future Technology meets Green Urban Planning (2) p. 76: The Future is coming — automatically

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Andreas KUNKEL




What’s the IQ of your apartment? Or your offi ce? Although it’s probably not very high at the moment, this could change soon. That’s because buildings will be more than just a roof over one’s head in the near future; they will also offer more than just individually designed homes or workplaces. As far as the automotive sector is concerned, many advanced artifi cial intelligence features can already be found in today’s automobiles. 76

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CHRONICLE THe THree STAgeS OF AUTOMATiON • For the past c. 80 years Automated processes Transfer of work from human beings to indi- vidual, electronically controlled machines. • For the past c. 20 years Development of convenience enhancement systems Interlinking of different control devices in vehicles, for example; increased sharing of information. • Current state of development Ubiquitous nature of networked, automated systems Control of a wide variety of components inde pendently of their location, and the increasingly system-wide “intelligence” of the assistants; possibilities for intuitive operation.


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Smart living AUTOMATiC lAWNMOWer Independently operating robots constantly monitor their surroundings and take the initiative.


n 15 or 20 years, people will be surrounded by a wealth of “muscles,” which consist of many small switches and motors. Some of highly effi cient networked systems,” forecasts Frank Ruff, these systems are found in homes, while others are installed in offi ces, a futurologist at Daimler’s Research Center for Society, Ve- warehouses, and factories worldwide. hicle Concepts and Human-Machine Interaction. However, What makes such systems extraordinary is that the houses can this doesn’t mean we should imagine the future in the way operate independently. Because buildings will learn their inhabitants’ it is presented in most science fi ction movies, with human- basic habits in the future, they will increasingly be able to take occulike robots serving as companions and performing various (generally pants’ preferences and interests into account. onerous and dangerous) tasks. “Instead of using classic robots we As a result, houses will be able to adjust the temperature, lighting will launch automated processes that we can use separately through arrangements, and music and TV show recommendations so that they ubiquitous control elements which can be intuitively operated in much correspond with the occupant’s tastes. They will also be able to set the same way we handle apps today,” Ruff adds. the shower’s water temperature or the strength of the coffee brewed Does that mean there won’t be anything like R2-D2 and C-3PO in the morning so that they conform to the user’s preferences. A lanin “Star Wars,” who took on the rather humorous roles of “tin men” guage module will enable users to ask the refrigerator whether there when they fi rst appeared in the is still enough milk at home, for 1970s and 1980s? And cars example. The system can also won’t be “best buddies” such as download recipes from the Inthe one in “Knight Rider”? Will we ternet, while cameras or RFID not even have enhanced versions receivers report whether any of Japan’s current showpiece ingredients are still needed and robot, Asimo, which not only unthe oven is automatically set to derstands the words of complex Frank rUFF, futurologist at the Daimler Research Center for Society, Vehicle the prescribed temperature and commands, but can move combaking time. Because the house Concepts, and Human-Machine Interaction paratively freely in a predefi ned uses customary values or comarea so that it can climb steps, for example, or serve drinks? Does municates with the home occupant’s vehicle to determine who will it mean that in the future we won’t own any personal robots that are arrive at what time, it can, for example, cool the wine in advance, turn comparable to today’s personal computers? on the air conditioning, or simply let the family know when the driver “yes and no,” replies Ruff. There will, of course, be specialized will get home. service robots that will help to shape our professional, private, and In Europe, essential elements of the house of tomorrow are bemobile lives. However, they will merely be visible symbols of the main ing presented by the Fraunhofer Institutes, whose scientists and reattraction: an emerging system for ubiquitous, intelligent information searchers are cooperating with more than 80 partner organizations to handling. test the basic features of smart homes and smart cities. Houses, for example, could become attentive and intelligent pro- One example of this is the inHaus in Duisburg, Germany, which will viders of digital services. With the help of networked cutting-edge bring together systems and ideas developed by manufacturers all over electronics in rooms, corridors, gardens, and vehicles, an individually the world. Test inhabitants will fi nd out how these systems work in the controllable microcosm would be in the offi ng. There would be func- bathroom, for example, where sensors measure the humidity and regtions for enhancing comfort and safety, saving energy, and provid- ister the air quality. If the air quality is at an uncomfortable level, the ing entertainment, medical care, and counseling. This would open up system will open a window and close it again later on. And because completely new opportunities for occupants to feel snug, safe, and the sensors can, for example, also detect the smell of wilting fl owers even pampered. in a vase on the table, the inhabitants of the house can be promptly The associated technology can be compared to an effective and notifi ed about such minor developments as well. unobtrusive (digital) butler. Touch-sensitive walls, sensors, cameras, What’s more, the refrigerator, freezer, washing machine, and dishand RFID chips that are installed throughout the building to identify washer will coordinate their operating times with one another so that and localize objects all correspond to a human servant’s senses. electricity is used as much as possible when it’s cheap and power These systems collect information about temperature, humidity, suppliers don’t experience overloads. Others sensors will be found sounds, movement, and even facial expressions so that the technol- in mattresses and favorite armchairs, for example, where they will be ogy can “recognize” the occupants’ current needs and wishes. The able to measure the occupant’s vital functions and send off an alarm central control unit is the “brain,” where all of the information fl ows if a critical value is reached. In the future, houses will also register that together and is compared with preprogrammed settings and experien- the occupants are leaving the house, and will then switch off the range tial values. All the impulses needed for controlling the electronics sys- if it has been left on, turn off any water faucets that may be running, tems are issued from here. These commands are implemented by the and turn down the heat.

“Instead of using classic robots, we will launch automated processes that we can use separately.”


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rFiD CHiP Microchips can automatically identify and localize objects in the home (e.g. food in the refrigerator).

SeNSOrS The smart house continuously collects information concerning our preferences and adjusts the water temperature and other factors accordingly.

CONTrOl CeNTer In the future, the house’s “brain” will independently collect relevant information and compare it with its database.


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Car in the cloud It goes without saying that vehicles will also be a crucial part of future smart living concepts, since many people spend more time in cars than anywhere else except for their homes and workplaces. That’s why people will soon be able to control all of the functions of their homes from their cars. For example, motorists will be able to monitor the alarm systems and also open the front door from the driver’s seat if a visitor arrives while they are still stuck in a traffic jam. Conversely, people who are at home will be able to contact their cars in order to call up information about certain parameters such as tire pressure and fuel level. In the future, smart houses will finally become service providers, thanks mainly to the insights gained from the robotics research that is being done today. For example, engineers are currently working on a “rolling minibar” that can move on its own to fill people’s orders. Specialized robots for cleaning floors, sorting and folding laundry, mowing lawns, or performing surveillance work are being put into operation in the United States and, above all, in Japan. South Korea’s Ministry of Information and Communication estimates that assistance systems and specialized robots will be found in every one of the country’s households in a few years in order to ensure that the inhabitants are in “good hands” in the home of tomorrow. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is also predicting that specialized machines that are continuously supplied with information will soon dominate every area of our lives. And even though few of these systems will look anything like the two-legged humanoid robots that are shown in science fiction movies, Gates is convinced that automated geriatric nurses and remotely controlled surgeons, for example, will change our daily Walter Ziegler, Head of Driver Assistance Systems for Collision Prevention lives as thoroughly as computers at Daimler Group Research and Development have done in the course of the past three decades. Despite such fascinating prospects, the automation of the private home seems quite strange to some people. However, the development of today’s automobiles provides an example of how this might happen. In premium-class vehicles, assistance systems have to take on two pioneering roles. According to Ruff, “They substantially increase safety and comfort, while at the same time boosting our trust in the reliability of smart technology as well as our familiarity with its capabilities in our professional and private lives.” For example, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (fuel consumption, combined cycle: 12.2-4.4 l/100 km, CO2 emissions, combined 285116 g/km, energy efficiency class: G-A)*, which has more than one dozen safety assistance systems, is now so intelligent that it can not only warn the driver of danger but also act on its own if necessary. Thanks to features ranging from the ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system to DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control, the vehicle gives drivers extensive support. To do this, the assistance systems use state-of-the-art radar, camera, and sensor technology. These systems are designed to counter frequent causes of accidents, such as insufficient distance between vehicles and impaired visibility at night.

DiSTrONiC PlUS This radarbased assistance system keeps the car at the desired distance from the vehicle ahead of it and activates the brakes in line with the traffic situation.

“Linking automotive systems with a wide variety of information clouds will substantially increase vehicle safety and comfort.”

*The figures do not concern an individual vehicle and are not part of the offer; they are provided solely for the purposes of comparison between different types of vehicles.


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DIALOGUE Walter Ziegler


Head of Driver Assistance Systems for

This groundbreaking assistance system

Collision Prevention at Daimler Group

in the F 125! research vehicle allows

Research and Development

the car to operate semi-independently and switch lanes without any risk.

FreeDOM How will the further development of assistance systems change the way we drive over the next 20 to 30 years? There are many indications that these systems will allow us to let the vehicle drive on its own when we think it’s necessary — for example, if we would prefer to watch a movie during the trip, surf the Web, or take care of some office work. Even more importantly, the new developments will be much more effective at preventing collisions and thus helping Daimler to make its vision of accidentfree driving a reality. MileSTONeS What are the highlights among the automated processes in vehicles? Firstly, a proximity cruise control system using radar technology (DISTRONIC), and secondly, the mono camera for preventing the vehicle from swerving out of its lane (Lane Keeping Assist). Another milestone will be the stereo camera in the next S-Class, which will deliver dramatically improved analyses of the vehicle’s surroundings. Car-to-X communication will be one of these highlights as well, of course. It will enable vehicles to communicate with one another ATTeNTiON ASSiST

and with the infrastructure along the route, as well as allowing

Mercedes-Benz’ automatic drowsiness

their occupants to enjoy numerous infotainment offers inside the

detection system warns drivers if they


get too tired or are at risk of falling into phases of microsleep.

FUNCTiONS What role will motor vehicles play in the coming years? They will continue to be the main element of our mobility, but they will also be able to offer users additional functions. Linking systems to a wide variety of information clouds will substantially increase vehicle safety and comfort, and at the same time it will enable drivers to surf the Web or enjoy their home music collections while they’re on the road. However, they will only be able to do all these things if they are willing to let the vehicle drive itself! you can be sure that we’ll do everything possible to enable our customers to enjoy such features. TrUST To what extent are today’s assistance systems taking on a pioneering role in the development of new smart devices in other areas of life? Because we are spearheading the development of vehicles, we can indeed set milestones that will subsequently be used in altered forms for the automation of homes and offices. What’s particularly important is that vehicle assistants are already so advanced that they strengthen people’s trust in the technology and increase their interest in enjoying similar possibilities outside of vehicles. The LINGUATRONIC voice control system is a good example of this development.


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Plug and work

THiNKiNg MACHiNeS The comprehensive linking of information makes it possible to customize mass production ad hoc. Production robots communicate with one another and can respond independently to changes in the manufacturing process.

In its current F 125 ! concept car for the future of the S-Class, in Germany, or simTD for short. The project’s aim is to use car-to-X Daimler is showing what vehicles might look like in 15 years. A prox- data-sharing systems — which create links between vehicles — or other imity control and lane keeping system will then be augmented by a interfaces to create the conditions for a quick and reliable automotive lane-changing assistant that uses radar sensors and a stereo camera communications infrastructure. This would allow vehicles to notify one to monitor the traffi c behind the vehicle. If the driver presses a key on another about current danger spots, communicate with other automothe steering wheel, the system will change lanes fully automatically biles at intersections in order to issue warnings, or take action at the as soon as the traffi c situation allows it to do so. The F 125 ! controls last moment in order to reduce the risk of accidents. In other words, both the longitudinal and the transverse movements, while the sen- vehicles will be able to think ahead because large numbers of sensors sors keep their “sights” fi xed on the other road users at all times. and onboard electronic systems will make them increasingly smarter. “In order to make humanThis will allow vehicles to prepare machine interaction more intuiahead of time to deal with traffi c tive, the vehicle might feature an situations that are still several kiinstrument cluster with three-dilometers down the road. mensional displays,” says Claus In addition, car-to-X commuEhlers, who is responsible for venication will substantially improve hicle concepts and future trends the interaction between different at Daimler Research. To ensure Olaf SAUer, Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and modes of transportation. That’s that drivers don’t need special Image Exploitation because more and more people glasses to see the effect, a stewill become “mobility hoppers” in reo camera continuously monitors the distance to the motorists’ eyes. the future — that is, they will be able to switch between different means There will probably be far fewer switches in the driver area than is the of transportation easily during a trip. One possibility would be for travcase today, since it will be possible to activate the majority of func- elers to change from local public transportation to long-distance trains tions by voice control. or planes, after which they could rent a car or use special (chiefl y The vehicle will also be completely online. “Users will be able to electric) transportation systems in cities (see also the section titled upload playlists from their computers at home,” explains Ehlers. Ve- “Transfer” on page 74). hicle occupants will then be able to control infotainment functions Automobiles will remain the main mode of transportation, but they by means of gestures, as is already the case today with Microsoft’s will also provide their users with a “mobility chain” that is as smooth as Kinect system, which enables people to play video games via their possible because the vehicle systems will know the various transporbody movements. tation offers and departure times and will be able to handle ticketing. To enable vehicles to share experiences, receive information from Most important of all, there may be some drastic changes in the way traffi c management systems, and forward messages, a consortium of roads look. “In large cities in particular, streets and traffi c fl ows might leading automotive manufacturers and suppliers headed by Daimler is look like those in photographs taken 90 years ago,” explains Ruff. That currently working on a project called Testing Safe Innovative Mobility means there would be few traffi c lights, traffi c signs or guardrails, or

“The focus will be on linking production plants to IT systems so that the former can react to changes independently.”


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none at all. In spite of that, there would be huge numbers of vehicles moving along the streets in a smooth but apparently uncoordinated manner. But unlike the traffi c fl ows of the 1920s, vehicles will “talk” to one another in the future and calculate how each one should travel in the safest and most effective way. This would mean that the traditional systems of traffi c control would increasingly become superfl uous. In the future, factories and many other workplaces will also be greatly impacted by the omnipresent exchange of information and the spread of assistance systems. Companies and production facilities will then operate like an organism, in which everything will be networked and machines will do some of the thinking. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO) in Stuttgart, researchers are convinced that workplace and organizational structures will change dramatically due to the new technological situation. In the case of many offi ces and departments with “knowledge workers,” the number of people doing their jobs at fi xed workplaces is already decreasing. Instead, people are performing their tasks in a mobile manner, working either at the company, at home, on the road, or in a park. Meetings are increasingly held virtually or in special function rooms containing large light tables or walls on which documents and objects can be called up, drawn, enlarged, and moved around in a way that’s similar to how we operate smartphones today. “Thanks to the intelligent interplay of information, employee knowhow, and assistance systems, it will become increasingly possible to accommodate individual preferences during the production of machines, vehicles, and food products,” says Ruff. The assembly line is becoming “liberated” and the traditional mass production process will take a back seat in favor of customized, needs-based manufacturing. “The primary focus will be on intelligently linking production plants to IT systems so that the production plants can react to changes independently,” explains Olaf Sauer from the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB). The

expectation is that a factory could then switch over to the production of a different model or product just as easily as we now hook up a new printer at a USB port. Instead of “plug and play,” the slogan would be “plug and work.” No matter whether scientists and futurologists study scenarios in the world of work, mobility, or private households, there is currently a large body of evidence that the future will not conform to the expectations of classic science fi ction authors. Instead, the further development of global information-sharing and assistance systems will give people and societies more liberty and open up a wide range of new opportunities. Thanks to new, intuitive modes of interaction, these systems will integrate themselves into our daily lives as a matter of course. Our lives will become safer and more comfortable as a result — nothing more than that, but nothing less either.

HYPERLINK Further information related to this article: DAIMLER-TECHNICITY.DE/EN/AUTOMATION

• viDeO Fully networked: Microsoft Offi ce Labs’ view of the automated world of the future. • BACKgrOUND (1) Farewell to R2-D2: How the vision of human-like robots is being superseded by that of automated processes. (2) The doctor in the mattress: Intelligent diagnostic systems monitor patients within their own four walls. (3) Smart homes: The Fraunhofer Institutes’ inHaus in Duisburg.


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Green urban planning and

A STAR ON THE PACIFIC Vancouver offers its residents a quality of life matched by few other cities in the world â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not to mention a wealth of smart mobility options.


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TExT Steffan HEUER


the technologies of the future

The Vancouver city flag

SERIES PART 2 MOBILITY IN INNOVATION REGIONS REPORT High-tech systems, dynamic economic growth, and creative potential — the innovation regions of the world bring all of these things together. Each of the regions also has its own specific strategy for urban mobility. 85

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DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER The most important transport routes,

Through street

1 Entertainment and cultural district

usable space, and service clusters


2 Robson Street (retail)


3 Yaletown (design, IT, restaurants, lofts)


4 GM Place/BC Place (sports complex)

West Coast Express

5 Canada Place (conference center/ship terminal)


6 Gastown (restaurants, retail)


7 Chinatown (retail, commercial)


8 Central Waterfront (container port) 9 Victoria Square (hotels)

Green spaces Industry

10 Granville Island (market halls, restaurants)


11 South of Granville (retail, commercial)


12 Denman (retail, restaurants) 13 4th Avenue (retail, restaurants) 14 West Broadway (commercial) 15 Medical district 16 Mount Pleasant (commercial)


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t’s a little past eight, and Toby Reid is standing at the living room window of his house in North Vancouver, as he does every morning. He’s looking at Burrard Inlet, the sea inlet that separates his part of the city from the downtown skyline. Reid is drinking a cup of coffee while his eight-month-old daughter, Sophie, crawls around at his feet. Mount Seymour and Grouse Mountain rise up behind Reid’s one-family house — like the skyscrapers of Vancouver, they’re only 15 minutes away. “Time to go; the next bus is mine,” says Reid as he shoulders his laptop bag. His trip to work is timed down to the minute because he uses four and sometimes even five different modes of public transport. Down the block is the 228 bus, which gets him in four minutes to the SeaBus, the ferry that carries him across the inlet right to the center of Vancouver. “That’s the best part of the morning,” says Reid, a young entrepreneur. “You get a great view of nature — and a few minutes to think.” After the SeaBus docks, a stream of commuters heads up the ramp to Waterfront Station, Vancouver’s old central railroad station, where transcontinental trains used to arrive from Montréal and Toronto. These days, the station is home to the three lines of the SkyTrain system, which transports more than 300,000 passengers every day. Normally, Reid would switch transport modes now and take the Canada Line three stops to the Olympic Village and then hop on an express bus to the west end of the city. That’s where the campus of the University of British Columbia is located, and also where Reid’s company, Solegear Bioplastics, rents office space. But today is going to be another day when Reid spends most of his time downtown. He’s here to meet a man who has applied for the job of Chief Financial Officer at Reid’s startup. “Taking my car would have been a real pain. There’s really no reason why I should have to deal with all the traffic jams and drive around looking for a parking space,” the 37-year-old says as he walks by the conference center on the waterfront promenade. Ten minutes later he’s sitting in the lobby of the Westin Hotel at Coal Harbour, where he checks his e-mails on his BlackBerry and prepares for the interview. The shiny glass and metal skyscrapers that surround the new buildings in the Coal Harbour district are symbolic of the booming economy of this city on the Pacific. With 5,039 people per square kilometer, Vancouver is one of the most densely populated cities in North America, according to the most recent census from 2006. Some 600,000 people live together here within an area of 114 square kilometers; the metropolitan region as a whole has around another 1.8 million. Experts believe the population of greater Vancouver will rise to three million by 2030. The city of Vancouver itself is situated at the tip of the Burrard Peninsula and surrounded by water on three sides. It ends in the north at one of the biggest city parks in the world. As a result, urban planners and architects have no place to go but up for their projects. Vancouver is also a true melting pot of cultures — a “hinge” between America and Asia and a city that has always attracted immigrants. It was settled by the British, who were followed by gold diggers. Its wealth of lumber and fish made it rich, and today it remains a key port and transshipment center for goods on their way to and from all over the world. Nevertheless, the things that really make Vancouver successful in the 21st century are its unspoiled nature reserves and a well-educated workforce that’s extremely innovative. One out of every three Vancouver residents has a university degree, for example. Large numbers of Chinese immigrants began streaming into Canada’s third-largest city in the 1980s. They brought with them assets, an entrepreneurial spirit, and their Asian culture. As a result, less than half

TECHNOLOGY CLUSTER ON THE PACIFIC CLIMATE Vancouver lies in a temperate climate zone in the northwest Pacific region. Its geographically shielded location and the North Equatorial Current make for mild seasons with average winter temperatures rarely below -10 degrees Celsius, and maximum temperatures in the summer of 22 degrees Celsius. There are around 166 rain days on average each year, however. (SOURCE: Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada)



5,039 inhabitants per km2 . Vancouver has the fourth-highest population den-

sity in North America after New York, San Francisco, and Mexico City. (SOURCE: Census 2006)

POPULATION GROWTH The population of Vancouver (city center and metropolitan area) has increased by 18 percent over the last 1997

15 years. Between 2007 and 2010, the number of people living in the Vancouver metropolitan area grew from 2.2 million to 2.4 million (approximately


600,000 within the city limits).

(SOURCE: Statistics Canada, City of Vancouver Planning Department)

POLITICS Vancouver is governed by a ten-member City Council and a mayor. The current mayor is a member of the center-left Vision Vancouver party. Vancouver also has 11 seats in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. ETHNICITY


Less than half of Vancouver’s citizens speak English as their native language. The huge wave of immigration from China in the 1980s and 1990s now makes the Chinese the largest ethnic group in Vancouver (25.3 percent of the population). (SOURCE: City of Vancouver Planning Department)

ECONOMIC OUTPUT Vancouver’s Pacific port and transcontinental rail freight terminus make the city one of the leading transshipment and industrial centers in Canada. The value of all port activity totaled C$10.5 billion in 2008, with port facilities accounting for 129,500 jobs throughout Canada. Approximately 1.1 million people work within the Vancouver city limits, 378,000 of them in the downtown area. (SOURCE: City of Vancouver, Port Metro Vancouver)


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CAR2GO The innovative mobility concept from Daimler has been operating in Vancouver as well since 2011.

VANCOUVER IN COMPARISON VANCOUVER STATUS: Third-largest city and service center in Canada FOUNDED IN : 1886 AREA (CITY): 115 km² POPULATION (METRO AREA): 2.4 million POPULATION DENSITY: 5,039 residents per km²



Canada’s largest city; a global

Finance and New Economy

center of commerce and finance

center in California



630 km²

601 km²

5.5 million

4.3 million

3,972 residents per km²

6,632 residents per km²


7th place

8th place


9th place

1st place


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San Francisco U.S.


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*SOURCES: Economist Intelligence Unit, Siemens (U.S. and Canada only, 2010)

of the citizens of Vancouver now speak English as their first language. Despite ongoing population growth (an 18 percent increase over the last 15 years) and a high cost of living, Vancouver is still considered one of the best places in the world to live. For example, the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Mercer international consulting firm regularly rank Vancouver among the cities with the best quality of life. “We’re an unusual city for North America because we already decided back in the 1960s that Vancouver should not be accommodating motor vehicles at all costs,” says City Councilwoman Andrea Reimer. She’s referring to the successful public campaign to prevent the construction of a highway into the city center. This achievement was all the more remarkable because Vancouver is at the terminus of two major highways: Highway 99, the extension of U.S. Interstate 5, which runs along the Pacific all the way from the Mexican border near San Diego to Canada in the north, and the Trans-Canada Highway, which links the eastern and western parts of the country over a distance of around 8,000 kilometers. Popular opposition to the proposed downtown highway changed the way Vancouver residents and officials viewed their city as an urban center. “This consensus on sustainable development remains unshaken today,” Reimer explains. “The fact that we don’t have much physical space to expand is a challenge for us. Every day, commuters swell the city’s population from 650,000 to around one million, all of whom need to get to the center and back home again in the evening. On top of that, food and other goods need to be delivered every day.” Vancouver has beautifully mastered this logistical challenge, and under the direction of the city’s mayor, Gregor Robertson, it has also launched an ambitious program known as “Green City 2020,” whose goal is to make Vancouver the world’s most environmentally friendly city by 2020. The agenda focuses on ten core areas that include everything from the expansion of green economic sectors to more efficient buildings, a sustainable transport system, and clean air and drinking water. One of the program’s main goals is to increase to 50.1 percent the share of trips taken in the city with public transport or by bicycle or on foot. “We’ve already made a lot of progress,” says Reimer. The share of individuals traveling without their own vehicles in the city center was already 40 percent in 2008. Still, private cars remain the transport mode of choice, if only because of the sheer extent of the Vancouver metropolitan area — around 75 percent of all commuters here use their own vehicles to get to work. car2go, the innovative mobility system from Daimler, already covers half of the city and has been offering residents an easy-to-use mobility alternative since its launch in 2011. Reid is one of car2go’s enthusiastic customers. He enjoys being mobile on the spur of the moment with a smart fortwo that he can rent for as long or as short a period as he wants. It’s now 10:30 a.m. and Reid’s meeting in Coal Harbour is over. He takes a short walk to one of Vancouver’s 28 public parking lots where the blue and white smart car2go edition models can be rented. The car2go vehicles all have a permit that allows them to be parked on any residential street. “It’s often the best way of getting quickly from Point A to Point B,” says Reid, who opens the door of a smart with a magnetic card and then starts the engine. A total of 10,000 people registered for car2go in the first six months after it was launched in Vancouver in June 2011. These customers use the initial fleet of 225 vehicles in approximately 7,000 rental transactions per week. “People in Vancouver were already familiar with carsharing, and they took up our program with enthusiasm,” says Sandra Phillips, Business Development Manager at car2go Canada.




The median household income of Vancouver residents was C$67,550 in 2009.

This amount was slightly less than the C$68,410 median income of all Canadian households. ( SOURCE: Statistics Canada) RECREATIONAL AREAS

85% A total of 85 percent of Vancouver residents live less than 300 meters from a public park. To the north of the city center lies Stanley Park, which covers roughly 400 hectares. It’s Canada’s biggest urban park, with hundreds of thousands of trees, numerous bike and pedestrian paths, a golf course, four picnic areas, and 21 tennis courts. (Sources: Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation)

“Cities interested in sustainable development can learn a lot from Vancouver.” Gordon PRICE, Director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University (SFU) QUALITY OF LIFE Vancouver was rated the world’s number one city in terms of its residents’ quality of life in the 2008 Economist Livability Ranking, finishing just ahead of Vienna, Melbourne, and Toronto. Vancouver also finished fifth in the 2011 Mercer Quality of Living Survey (Vienna was first). REAL ESTATE PRICES



The average home in Vancouver cost C$678,000 in 2011. That’s more than ten times the average annual income of the city’s residents. This makes Vancouver the world’s second-most expensive English-speaking metropolis after Hong Kong. Condominiums in the new downtown high-rises often sell for as much as C$1 million. (SOURCE: Demographia, The Vancouver Sun)



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The Pacific Center Mall is the biggest shopping complex in downtown Vancouver. Nevertheless, with its relatively high taxes as compared to the neighboring U.S. (Harmonized Sales Tax of 12 percent introduced in 2010), Vancouver is definitely not a shopping paradise.


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8:15 A.M.

Toby Reid heads off to work in downtown Vancouver.

8:20 A.M.

The bus brings Toby Reid to his ferry in just four minutes.

8:35 A.M.

The SeaBus ferry travels between North Vancouver and the city center.

8:50 A.M.

Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s joined by 650,000 other commuters every day.

Toby Reid rents a car2go vehicle for his trip to the UBC campus.

11:30 A.M.

Reidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office at his startup company, Solegear.

10:40 A.M. 90

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Customers drive their smarts for 20 to 50 minutes on average, and the average distance traveled per trip is eight kilometers. “When you use car2go, you quickly realize how rarely you actually need your own car,” says Reid as he parks the smart in front of the Solegear company’s building. “You really only need a car to go somewhere on weekends or to transport bulky items.” Reid’s startup, which has five employees, is a spin-off from the University of British Columbia. Under Reid’s direction, the firm developed a procedure for manufacturing plastic from plant starch. Solegear was named the “Best Green Business” of the year by the Canada Youth Business Foundation in 2010. Vancouver is home to seven out of every ten cleantech companies that operate out of British Columbia — a total of more than 800 firms that employ around 12,000 people who work on groundbreaking technologies such as wind and tidal power generation. Vancouver’s startup scene has also made a name for itself in terms of green logistics. The city funded a company called Shift Urban Cargo Delivery that was established by local students. The firm delivers merchandise weighing up to 270 kilograms with three-wheeled vehicles it developed itself, and which are driven solely by muscle power and an electric auxiliary motor. Another startup financed in part by the city plans to send couriers on Vancouver’s SkyTrain to deliver urgently needed documents in an environmentally friendly way. The entire world now wants to learn from Vancouver’s innovative concepts, which is why delegates from more than 30 major cities (including London, Vienna, Copenhagen, and Singapore) met in Vancouver in February 2012 with representatives of major corporations for the first-ever Cities Summit. Participants at the conference shared ideas and best practices for urban living and business operations in the 21st century. “I’m always a little skeptical about superlatives like ‘the greenest city in the world’ — but on the other hand, you certainly can’t say Vancouver lacks motivation when it comes to change and moving forward into the future,” says Reid. Like many of his fellow creative minds in the city, Reid came to Vancouver because of its breathtaking natural beauty and ended up staying to become a young entrepreneur. “My wife and I wanted to ski, hike, and climb mountains, but we quickly realized that this place offers everything you need to launch a biotech company.” This is due in part to the city’s dense network of academic institutions, especially Vancouver’s five public and five private universities. The two biggest ones — the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Simon Fraser University (SFU) — have around 80,000 students in all. If you walk around the UBC campus near Reid’s office, you’ll hear everything from Chinese to Panjabi and Farsi — evidence of the global attraction of Vancouver’s institutions of higher education. Filmmakers refer to Vancouver as “Hollywood North” because the city is the third-largest film production location in North America. Shooting and post-production of feature films and television series account for 36,000 jobs in the city, including an increasing number of positions for special effects and computer animation experts. Renowned computer game companies like Activision and Electronic Arts have also made the city a magnet for designers who develop innovative software. Vancouver is home to some 400 digital media firms that employ approximately 10,000 people, and one out of three of these companies is located directly in the city center. Graduates of SFU and the private Emily Carr University of Art and Design often find work while still in college, and many form their own startups. “The design scene is booming — especially for computer games, interactive design, and mobile applications,” says Swiss design professor Andres Wanner,

MOBILITY IN VANCOUVER AIRPORT A total of 17 million passengers and 224,000 tons of air freight in 2011 make Vancouver International Airport (YVR) Canada’s second-largest airport after Pearson International Airport in Toronto. From YVR 68 airlines fly to 121 destinations around the world. (SOURCE: YVR Traffic Update)

LOCAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT Buses make up almost two-thirds of daily trips via the local public transport network (589,471 of Bus Subway Ferry

by ferries (17,111). The number of passengers using the public transport network increased by 50 percent from 1999 to 2009. (SOURCE: TransLink, City of Vancouver)

TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES TransLink, Vancouver’s public transport company, operates buses in its Blue Bus Transit System, the oldest city bus network in North America. It also manages the private Coast Mountain Bus Company, which operates almost 1,500 buses as well as three ferries. There are also 13 trolleybus lines in Vancouver. B-Line express buses run along Vancouver’s east-west axis, linking the city with the University of British Columbia campus.

“ With a total of 10,000 members just six months after it was launched, car2go is a huge success in Vancouver.” Sandra PHILLIPS, Business Development Manager at car2go Canada LOCAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT NETWORK

1,075 km


The Skytrain’s three fully automated light rapid transit lines have a total length of 68.7 km and serve 47 stations. The West Coast Express commuter railway runs along a 65-km route, and several dozen bus lines serve an area of 44 km2 in the city and 1,075 km2 throughout the Vancouver metropolitan area.


Metropolitan area Own car

Own car

Car passengers

Car passengers

Local public transport

Local public transport



Some 51.5% of commuters drive their own cars to work; a further 6.1% travel by car as passengers (corresponding figures for the metropolitan area: 67.3% and 7.1%). A total of 25.1% of commuters use public transport (metropolitan area: 16.5%).


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918,322); subways are next (304,376), followed


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4:00 P.M.

5:30 P.M.

He uses car2go to travel to a business meeting in Yaletown.

The Canada Line takes Reid back to the SeaBus ferry.

PERSONAL MOBILITY MAP Toby Reid drew this map of his daily travel patterns in Vancouver.


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who has been teaching at SFU for three years. Wanner can quickly name five startup innovations that originated from among his 100 or so students, including a navigation system for the blind and interactive maps that guide people through large building complexes. Wanner, who used to work in Zurich, lives in the eastern part of Vancouver. Every morning he takes the SkyTrain to the university campus in the suburb of Surrey. “I get to the office in 30 minutes; it would be difficult to beat that time by car,” he says. “A lot of my students are surprised when they find out their professor takes the train. The new attitude toward mobility is only slowly sinking in. I’ve noticed that my students are thinking more and more about sustainability. The city, for its part, is trying very hard to achieve its sustainability goals, and its modern transport network is a big help here.” The 2010 Winter Olympics in particular got the city to expand the SkyTrain system and highlight the advantages that the TransLink public transport company offers to residents and tourists alike. “We set aside space for cars, but we don’t let ourselves become dependent on them,” says SFU professor and urban researcher Gordon Price, a former member of the Vancouver City Council who played a major role in the development of the Green City 2020 program. “Vancouver’s infrastructure demonstrates how you can develop a modern city on top of the existing grid of an electric tram network.” Indeed, Vancouver’s rail and bus lines, and even the recently built bike paths, follow the long-standing residential patterns that link a densely populated center with suburban areas that are teeming with economic activity. “Home and work used to be close to each other, and this arrangement has been re-created today under the ‘live-work’ concept, with artist and designer lofts set up in old industrial districts,” Price explains. “The idea is actually a throwback to urban life at the end of the 19th century.” An important step here was the introduction of an eight-kilometer bike path system in the downtown area and over the Burrard Bridge on a lane previously reserved for vehicles. The number of residents who ride their bikes to work in the city center has risen to 3,500 per day since the paths were installed. The city also plans to electrify half of all public transport vehicles by 2020 with clean energy from hydroelectric power plants in the vast hinterland of British Columbia. Electric mobility is a top priority in building construction as well. New one-family houses are now required to have a connection for recharging electric vehicles, while new multi-family buildings must equip 20 percent of their parking spaces with recharging stations. “We can’t dictate to people how they should get around, but we can offer them attractive options that correspond to their mobility needs — everything from carsharing to bikesharing, which will also soon be available,” says Price. People like Toby Reid benefit every day from the foresight of urban planners like Price and Reimer when they smoothly segue between ferries, subways, and other transport modes and options like car2go. “Vancouver has been a green pioneer for quite some time — and it’s no coincidence that the city’s Kitsilano district is the birthplace of Greenpeace,” says Reid, who’s now heading back downtown from a business lunch near his office. He parks his car2go at a lot that stands in the shadows of the lofts of Yaletown, a densely built-up district of apartment buildings, software firms, boutiques, and restaurants. This is where creative minds go to work on their laptops in local coffee shops, while business travelers check into the trendy Opus Hotel, whose bar is one of the most popular networking sites in town. Its location in the city center is somewhat deceptive, because it takes only 22 minutes to get from here to the airport via the SkyTrain.

MOTOR VEHICLES Despite a continually growing population, the number of cars per capita is declining, as is the number of daily car trips. The number of cars within Vancouver’s city limits rose from 267,000 to 312,000 (+17 percent) between 1991 and 2006, even as the city’s population

+ 23%

grew by 23 percent. The number of cars driv-

- 10%

ing into the city center each day decreased by 10 percent between 1995 and 2005. (SOURCE: City of Vancouver)

ROAD TOLLS The Golden Ears Bridge, which opened in 2009 and connects northern and southern Vancouver, is the only toll bridge in western Canada. FUEL PRICES One liter of normal unleaded gasoline sold for C$1.266 in Vancouver in December 2011 — the highest price anywhere in Canada except for Montréal and Yellowknife (Arctic Circle). (SOURCE: Statistics Canada)

VANCOUVER INNOVATION REGION EDUCATION I More than 80,000 students are registered at the city’s universities, and over 110,000 children and teenagers attend Vancouver’s public elementary and high schools. (SOURCE: City of Vancouver)

EDUCATION II The level of education of Vancouver’s residents is well above the average for Canada as a whole: 63 percent (a) of all adults living in the city have attended a college or a university, and 39 percent (b) of them have a college degree. (a)


(SOURCE: Vancouver Economic Development Commission, Census 2006)


Vancouver is home to five public universities: the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Capilano University, the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, and Kawntlen Polytechnic University. There are also five private colleges in the city. BUSINESS SECTOR DISTRIBUTION A total of 25 percent of all employed people in Vancouver work in the retail and service sectors (a); 18 percent have finance and administrative jobs (b), while 11 percent occupy management positions (c). Scientific institutes account for 8.7 percent of the jobs in Vancouver (d) and 12 percent of all jobs in the downtown area. Less than 5 percent of Vancouver residents work in the manufacturing industry (e).

(a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

(SOURCE: Statistics Canada)


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+ 17%


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LIONS GATE BRIDGE The suspension bridge, a Vancouver landmark, spans the Burrard Inlet, linking downtown and North and West Vancouver.


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Reid is meeting this afternoon with a real estate broker who has been hired to help Solegear find bigger office space. “I travel between 300 and 400 kilometers through the city every week,” Reid says. “I spend around two and a half hours a day just going to the office and getting back home, and if I can reduce the distance I travel, it can only make things better. There are plenty of biotech companies in other locations as well, so I’m not worried about losing touch with the pulse of the business when we move.” Vancouver can also rightly claim to be the birthplace of the fuel cell. “Back in the early 1980s, Ballard Power Systems laid the groundwork for a cleantech cluster that all of us are benefiting from today,” says Andreas Truckenbrodt, CEO of the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC) joint venture between Daimler, Ford, and Ballard. The company, which was established in 2008 to conduct research and development of fuel cells for automotive applications, now employs 230 specialists. “Vancouver is an ideal location from a historical perspective — a place where we can utilize academic research results and, more importantly, recruit highly skilled personnel,” says Truckenbrodt, a native of Munich who’s been living in the city since 2007. “Vancouver offers a good mix of a relaxing West Coast atmosphere, technological expertise, and an ingrained instinct for good business ideas. It’s truly a rare combination.” Proof of this can be found just a few hundred meters from Truckenbrodt’s office at a facility where Mercedes-Benz Canada will begin pilot production of next-generation fuel cell stacks in 2013. “Fuel cells are a relatively new technology field for automakers, and Vancouver is a place where we can learn how to further optimize the associated manufacturing processes,” Truckenbrodt explains during a tour of the plant’s cleanrooms. It’s starting to get dark in the city center of Vancouver. Behind the city’s conference center, a seaplane starts its engines as it prepares to carry passengers to Vancouver Island before the sun sets. Toby Reid has finished his last meeting of the day, and he is now heading toward Water Street, a shopping thoroughfare in the historic Gastown district. Once there, he picks up a coffee to take along on his trip back to North Vancouver. He then disappears into the crowd of commuters at Waterfront Station, the point of departure for transporting Vancouver’s creative minds across the entire metropolitan area in an endless cycle.

BUILDING EFFICIENCY Vancouver is already one of the leaders in North America when it comes to energy efficiency in buildings. Only San Francisco, Washington, Pittsburgh, and especially Seattle are just ahead of it, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. This could change, however, as Vancouver’s master plan for 2020 includes the objective of a further 20 percent reduction of the


energy consumption of existing buildings. (SOURCES: Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future, Economist Intelligence Unit, Siemens)


1,300,000,000 Vancouver is one of the leading film and television production locations in North

America, ranking just after Los Angeles and New York. A total of 239 feature films were produced here in 2009 alone, with production costs totaling C$1.3 billion. (SOURCE: British Columbia Film Commission)


The Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC) was established in February 2008 as a joint venture between Daimler, Ford, and Ballard Power Systems. The company focuses on the research and development of fuel cells for automobiles. In parallel with this project, Daimler will launch a fuel cell manufacturing facility in Vancouver in mid-2012.


“The fuel cell stacks we developed in Vancouver are now the world market leaders.”

Further information related to this article: DAIMLER-TECHNICITY.DE/EN/VANCOUVER

Andreas TRUCKENBRODT, CEO of Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation

• INTERVIEWS (1) with Andreas TRUCKENBRODT, CEO of Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC). (2) with Sandra PHILLIPS, Business Development Manager at car2go Canada. (3) with Gordon PRICE, Director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver. • VIDEO Traveling through Vancouver with Toby REID, founder and CEO of Solegear Bioplastics. • PHOTO GALLERY Living, working, and traveling in Vancouver.

10,000 225 7,000 8


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CAR2GO car2go, the innovative mobility system from Daimler, was launched in Vancouver in June 2011, making the city North America’s second car2go location after Austin, Texas. A total of 10,000 Vancouver residents registered for car2go in the first six months. Customers now use the fleet of 225 smart fortwo vehicles in about 7,000 rental transactions per week for trips averaging eight kilometers.


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DIGITAL You can find additional information related to the articles in this issue at DAIMLER-TECHNICITY.COM VIDEO

PHOTO GALLERy Curitiba, which set up the world’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, has served as a model for multimodal transit systems all over the world. Take a tour of the Brazilian metropolis with the urban planner, architect, and “father” of the BRT, Jaime LERNER.




The Mercedes-Benz F 125! already demonstrates how emission-free mobility will be possible in luxury vehicles in 2025. Here you can follow all of the development steps of this pioneering research vehicle, from conception to the visionary telematics system.

At the Tokyo Motor Show, Mitsubishi Fuso presented a glimpse of the future of freight transport: the Canter Eco Hybrid, a pioneer of hybrid mobility developed in Japan. DAImLER-TECHNICITy.DE/EN/HyBRID

VIDEO Our exclusive video shows how the team at the Daimler Research and Development Center in Ulm is continuously enhancing the efficiency of vehicles in all of our production series. DAImLER-TECHNICITy.DE/EN/ULm



PHOTO GALLERy Hans-Peter WUNDERLICH, Head of Interior Design at Daimler, talks about the unusual design elements in the interior of the Concept A-Class Mercedes-Benz research vehicle and describes the next quantum leap in automotive development: media networking. DAImLER-TECHNICITy.DE/EN/INTERIOR

VIDEO At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Mercedes-Benz demonstrated its futuristic DICE sculpture, a revolutionary augmented reality system that enables intuitive interaction between drivers and devices inside vehicles. DAImLER-TECHNICITy.DE/EN/CES

New vehicle technologies and modern infrastructure enhance the attractiveness of local public transport systems. Hartmut SCHICK, Head of Daimler Buses and CEO of EvoBus, talks about the trend toward a smart mix of individual driving and local public transport systems.

The Canadian city of Vancouver combines a high quality of life with intelligent urban planning and a multitude of mobility options. TECHNICITY accompanies a young startup entrepreneur through a typical day of his mobile life in this metropolis on the Pacific Coast of North America. DAImLER-TECHNICITy.DE/EN/VANCOUVER



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IMPRINT AND CONTACT PUBLISHER Daimler AG, Communications, HPC E402, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany For the publisher: Thomas Fröhlich Mirjam Bendak Publications manager: Dr. Josef Ernst

The print and online editions of TECHNICITY complement one another perfectly. As a result, it is possible to make new knowledge even more understandable — for example, through the use of exclusive online videos, photo galleries, and supplementary links. You can find additional details, background information, and interviews with experts on the topics covered in the print edition by going to the hyperlinks listed underneath the articles in this issue. The news channel of DAIMLER-TECHNICITY.COM also provides you with regularly updated news from the fields of research, development, and science. If you’d like to keep abreast of the publication of new articles, we recommend that you subscribe to our RSS feed, which is of course free of charge. What’s your assessment of the developments in technology and mobility that are presented here? We welcome your comments and invite you to participate in the current dialogue about innovations.

EDITING AND DESIGN Editorial board, Daimler AG: Sandra Wagner, Dora Constantinita (Online) Creative director: Wolfram Schäffer Project management: Susanne Wacker Editor-in-chief: Matthias Straub Online editor: Kai-Holger Eisele Editor: Annika Zuske Authors: Martin Fritz, Steffan Heuer, Johann Jungwirth, Martin Kölling, Andreas Kunkel, Peter Thomas, Jochen Wittmann Proofreader: Andrew Leslie Art director: Helmut Kirsten Layout: Marc Arthofer, Sanna Dietzold, Patrick Klingebiel Photography: Gert Albrecht (illustration), Brett Beadle, Robert Gilhooly, Stefan Hohloch, Sebastian Jud (illustration), Rafael Krötz, Iassen Markov (illustration), Michael Meyer (illustration), Joel Micah Miller, Bernd Schifferdecker (illustration) Translation: TransForm GmbH, Cologne, Germany ADVERTISING Advertising manager: Marzena Schneider, design hoch drei GmbH & Co. KG, Glockenstraße 36, 70376 Stuttgart, Germany Tel.: +49 711 55037730 Fax: +49 711 55037755 e-mail: Online: SALES Daimler AG: Uwe Haspel Sales: Zenit Pressevertrieb GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany PRODUCTION Reprographics: Dr. Cantz‘sche Druckerei Medien GmbH, Ostfildern/Kemnat, Germany Printing: Bechtle, Graphische Betriebe und Verlagsgesellschaft GmbH & Co. KG, Esslingen, Germany CONTACT AND READER SERVICE Zenit Pressevertrieb GmbH, Postfach 81 05 80, 70522 Stuttgart, Germany Tel.: +49 711 7252-268 Fax: +49 711 7252-399 e-mail: Online: Daimler AG, Communications, HPC E402, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany Fax: +49 711 17-790-95251 e-mail: Online: PICTURE CREDITS P. 1 (Cover) spiraldelight/Getty Images, P. 22 WOHA Architects, P. 23 Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP Getty Images, P. 24 Radhika Nagpal, P. 25 Nest Labs, P. 26 Massimo Brega/The Lighthouse, P. 27 Alex Howe, P. 60 Ryan Lane/Getty Images, P. 61 Dawin Meckel, Ashwin Kumar, P. 62 Martin Harvey/Getty Images, P. 63 Jorg Greuel/Getty Images, P. 58 Edyta Pawlowska/, P. 73 Jaime Lerner, P. 79 rizio/, Fraunhofer, P. 89 Vancouver Park Board, P. 95 Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation COPyRIGHT Reproduction and use, including excerpts, only with the express written authorization of Daimler AG. No liability will be accepted for unsolicited submissions of texts and/or images. Reports with bylines do not necessarily represent the opinion of the publisher or the editorial team. No liability is assumed in respect of information regarding appointments and equipment. Binding information and prices are contained in the respectively valid official sales information from Daimler AG. All other information in this publication is also provided to the best of our knowledge and belief, but without any liability. TECHNICITY appears twice a year in German and English editions. Number 1, Year 3, 2012 ISSN: 2190-0523 © Daimler AG 2012 DAImLER-TECHNICITy.COm A publication of Daimler


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HYBRID CULTURE MADE IN JAPAN GOOD GROWTH CONDITIONS FOR GREEN IDEAS Japan is a pioneer when it comes to innovative and environmentally friendly mobility solutions. That’s because attention to detail and patient, devoted care are traditional aspects of Japanese culture. This can be seen in hybrid technologies as well as small works of art — like this bonsai tree.


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TecHniciTy <Eng.> n; -ies (abbr. T) 1. Noun composed of the words  tech•nol•o•gy (1) and  ci•ty (2) 2. The name of a magazine that describes the use of (1) and particularly of mobility in urban environments and metropolitan areas worldwide 3. <Eng.> for the German  Tech•ni•zi•tät (3) 4. The technical nature of an  in•no•va•ti•on (4)

Freak Diavolo Flying Carrousel-Tourbillon with second flying tourbillon. 8-Day power reserve. Manual winding. Escapement in silicium. 18 ct white gold case.


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W W W . U LY S S E - N A R D I N . C O M

U l y s s e N a r d i n S A - S w i t z e r l a n d - T. + 4 1 3 2 9 3 0 7 4 0 0 i n f o @ u l y s s e - n a r d i n . c h - w w w. u l y s s e - n a r d i n . c o m

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ISSUE 01 2012




SERIES PART 2 VANCOUVER The world’s innovation regions are places where high tech, economic power, and CANADA

regions has its own characteristic pattern of urban


mobility. TECHNICITY visits the most innovative metropolitan areas and accompanies the movers and shakers who have shaped their region’s economic



creative potential come together. Each of these


success as they go through their daily routine of work,

Japan is striving to develop innovative hybrid solutions. A technology report from one of the world’s most progressive countries.

leisure, and mobility.

ISSN 2190-0523



A Daimler publication © Stuttgart 2012

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How networked automation processes are drastically simplifying technical processes for mobility, the workplace, and daily life.

How it is possible to integrate stateof-the-art applications from consumer electronics into vehicles almost in real time.

Why researchers from a variety of disciplines are working closely together in order to design spaces and materials.

ISSUE 01 2012 6.50 EUR 9.00 USD 60.50 CNY


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DAIMLER TECHNICITY 01-2012 English  

The Daimler magazine for innovation, technology and mobility