MAGAZINE FOR INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY MOBILITY
ISSUE 01 2010
TECHNICITY MAGAZINE FOR INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY MOBILITY
E- CITY BERLIN A network in the German capital is shaping the future of electric mobility
TECHNICITY MAGAZINE ISSN 2190-0523
A publication of Daimler AG ÂŠ Stuttgart 2010
THE DIGITAL WORLD
Why digital development processes are fundamentally changing the way we live and work.
How major cities all over the world are reacting rapidly and efficiently to mobility bottlenecks.
CAR OF THE FUTURE
How networked creative processes are generating high-tech applications in innovation regions.
Why intelligent research vehicles are already having a major impact on the future of the automobile.
INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY MOBILITY
ISSUE 01 2010
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Die Geschichte Der Zukunft Der staDt the history of the city of the future Schauplatz Natur / ON Stage: Nature ifa-Galerie Berlin | Linienstraße 139/140 | 10115 Berlin
Abbildung: © LAVA/atelier illume | Gestaltung: Philippa Walz, Andreas Opiolka, Stuttgart
PoST-oIl cITy dIe STadT nach dem Öl
23. 4. – 18. 7. 2010
Fon +49/(0)30/28 44 91 40 | Eintritt frei / free admission | www.ifa.de mit freundlicher Unterstützung von / with the friendly assistance of in Kooperation mit / in cooperation with
TECHNICITY Aside from the novelty, inventiveness, and commercial applicability associated with an innovation, its technological strengths determine whether it will be patented.
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18.03.2010 10:03:07 Uhr 18.03.10 14:05
TECHNOLOGY The hydrogen filler neck of a Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL with fuel cell drive in action in Berlin.
E-CITYâ€‰â€‰The expansion of electric mobility in Berlin is being driven by a complex network that links politics, business, and science.
HIGH-TECH NETWoRk oF THE FUTURE
TECHNOLOGY The automobile of the future will be based on a multitude of innovations. The new research vehicle from Mercedes-Benz, the F800 Style, offers a technological synthesis of drive, safety, design, and comfort systems. Page 52
TALENT A Daimler research group has been developing future scenarios for more than 30 years. It investigates the trends that will shape the markets of tomorrow. Its focus is context-oriented, forward-looking, interdisciplinary, and international. Page 62
TOLERANCE Urbanization poses tremendous challenges to city planners and operators of local public transport systems. The rapidly growing metropolis of Istanbul (Turkey) has found a fast and efficient mobility concept to cope with this development. Page 80
FOR ALMOST 125 YEARS, we have been driven by “a passion for invention,” as Carl Benz once put it. In line with this tradition, the pioneering achievements of our engineers have set benchmarks that fascinate our customers all over the world. And that same pioneering spirit will enable us to once again win the race for the reinvention of the automobile. In TECHNICITY, the new Daimler magazine for innovation, technology, and mobility, we will therefore be bringing you reports about intelligent high-tech applications, urban mobility solutions, technology and innovation processes, and the latest trends in creativity and innovation. The fascination of our products and our “passion for invention” will be our criteria. You can look forward to reading about our intense involvement in innovative projects all over the world. At the moment we’re looking expectantly toward Berlin, where a unique network that links politics, business, and science is shaping the future of the automobile. Through the mobility project known as E-MOBILITY we are setting the course for the future, because this pilot project in the German capital brings together many innovations that will be crucial to the future success of electric mobility. Many high-tech applications are also combined in our latest research vehicle, the F800 STYLE, which provides us with a glimpse of tomorrow’s premium automobiles. Here too, Berlin has been a pool of creative innovations. For the last 30 years, a Berlin-based Daimler research group has been analyzing social, political, economic, and automotive trends and combining them to form FUTURE SCENARIOS. We’ve been able to incorporate their conclusions into the F800 Style. At present, we are facing a wide range of challenges. According to UN estimates, more than six billion people will be living, working, and moving around in cities by the year 2050. In response to this development, we are actively shaping future mobility by coming up with innovative solutions. For example, the problem of “gridlock” in many rapidly growing major cities can be quickly and efficiently solved with BUS RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEMS (BRT). In this issue you’ll find out more about this and many other intriguing topics. Pleasant reading! Sincerely, Thomas Weber Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development
52 Car of the Future
40 Innovation Processes
24 E-CIty BErlIN Berlin is bringing the future of sustainable mobility into the present: • PartNErshIPs: How infrastructure determines success. Page 24 • BaCKgrouNd: The electric mobility network — putting the pieces together. Page 25 • FuEl: Is hydrogen the fuel of the future? Page 27 • ExPErt oPINIoN: Herbert Kohler talks about the technological challenges involved. Page 34
New technologies are not only the indispensable driver of innovations and progress in the 21st century – they’re also exciting, electrifying, and fascinating.
“Attracting talented employees is the key to business success,” says the U.S. economist Richard Florida. Creative people are defining the future.
In addition to being crucial to the economic growth of large cities, tolerance, openness, and cultural diversity are an expression of the new urban lifestyle.
Knowledge Network Engineers and developers are using a global knowledge network to generate new ideas. At the Competence Center for Emission-free Mobility (KEM) in Mannheim, they adapt their solutions to create even more efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles.
24 E-CIty BErlIN Electric mobility in the network of the future. In the German capital the course is being set for the future of electric mobility.
Innovation Processes A success story about the strategic partnership and exchange of ideas between Apple and Mercedes-Benz in Silicon Valley.
Car of the Future Why smart research vehicles are already having a major impact on the future of the automobile. They are simultaneously the trendsetters and the test platforms for new technologies.
Future-oriented research Futurologists are helping companies to paint scenarios and predict likely trends in tomorrow’s world. One of their tasks is to investigate the developments that will shape future markets. Their focus is contextoriented, forward-looking, interdisciplinary, and international.
Mobility Concepts Urbanization poses tremendous challenges for city planners and operators of local public transport systems. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems can help to solve traffic problems quickly and efficiently.
digital World Realistic images produced by computers are inspiring architects and artists, helping doctors make diagnoses, and reducing the time that engineers spend on test tracks. The virtual world has fundamentally changed the way we live and work.
design Position Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz, talks about methodology, “green thinking,” and urban design.
IMprINT aND coNTacT
TraNsfEr “Two billion vehicles aren’t a catastrophe.” Dan Sperling, a transportation expert and author from California, talks about sustainable mobility.
• Kunde: Mercedes-Benz
A Daimler Brand
• 215 x 280 mm
“Oh Lord …”
• Jung v. Matt
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. www.mercedes-benz.com/sls-amg
Fuel consumption urban/extra-urban/combined: 19.9/9.3/13.2 l/100 km; combined CO emissions: 308 g/km. The figures do not express any description of the emissions or fuel consumption of a car, are not part of any offer, and are intended to compare types of vehicles only.
• Kunde: Mercedes-Benz • Produkt: SLS Front „Oh Lord“ • Titel/Objekt: Hightech Report englisch • 215 x 280 mm • • 4c • Jung v. Matt • 13404/18/10001/16 • DTP Thomas -1144
all over the world, engineers and developers are working on environmentally friendly drive system solutions, such as natural gas and hybrid drives, in order to reach the target of zeroemission mobility in successive stages. (Page 10) in Berlin, political decision-makers and companies are working hand in hand to redefine the future of electric mobility. it’s clear that only through collective action can we solve the technological challenges of electric mobility and achieve our economic goals in the future. (Page 24) Products from apple and mercedes-Benz have a lot in common: They are innovative, have a stylish design, and can be applied in a number of highly individual ways depending on the customer’s specific requirements. The success story of the integration of the iPhone into the mercedes-Benz S-class shows how these qualities are complementing one another in a cooperative innovation process in Silicon Valley. (Page 40)
The drive of the future could soon emerge as an alternative to conventional combustion engines. But what will it look like? A visit to the Competence Ω Center for Emission-free Mobility (KEM) in Mannheim shows that many routes can lead to environmentally friendly drive systems.
PARAMETER NaMe: KEM (Competence Center for Emission-free Mobility) FouNded IN: 1994 eMPloyees: approx. 80 ProducTIoN: approx. 6,000 vehicles in 2009 locaTIoN: Plant Halls 55/56 and 67
Leipzig Rhine Frankfurt
ThINK local The facility in Mannheim benefits from its proximity to other Daimler plants and is at the same time part of the worldwide competence network for alternative drive systems.
Mercedes-BeNZ VehIcles deVeloPed aT The KeM Econic NGT
E 200 NGT
Atego 1217 Hybrid
Atego BlueTec Hybrid
B180 NGT Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid
Plug-in Sprinter Hybrid NEBUS with fuel cell
Vito with electric drive
JuIce Box At the heart of hybrid vehicles is the battery,
which is installed in Mercedes-Benz cars and commercial vehicles at the Competence Center for Emission-free Mobility in Mannheim.
NaTural gas TechNology (NgT) Trucks transport Mercedes-Benz B-Class vehicle bodies in groups of eight from their production location to the competence center in Mannheim, Germany. Employees at the KEM inspect the vehicles to determine if damage has occurred during transport, after which the bodies are forwarded to the production line. The technicians then connect the pressure regulator to the engine circulation system. Finally, they install the compressed gas cylinders underneath the spare tire well and the driver area.
Both of the gas tanks are made at the KEM,
where they are assembled from valves, compressed gas pipes, fuses, and other components. They have a very sophisticated design based on plastic covered with glass fibers and carbon fibers. This makes the tanks as stable as their steel counterparts previously used, even though they weigh much less and thus produce significantly lower emissions.
sTePPINg oN The gas A Mercedes-Benz
B-Class NGT equipped with gas tanks underneath the vehicle floor exits Hall 67 at the Mannheim plant.
hall 67 The Competence Center for Emission-free Mobility
at the Mannheim Mercedes-Benz plant refits Sprinter and B-Class vehicles for natural gas operation. An additional hall is being planned to meet the growing demand.
CHRONICLE eFFIcIeNT drIVes FroM Mercedes-BeNZ 1996 Vario 814 D van with hybrid drive
Vito compact van with electric drive
1997 NEBUS bus with fuel cell drive
T1 410 van with electric drive and zinc-oxide batteries
1998 Atego 1217 with hybrid drive
Sprinter NGT compact van with natural gas drive (market launch)
2000 V ito with electric drive at EXPO 2000 in Hanover 2001 S printer with fuel cell drive (test vehicle) 2003 C itaro FuelCELL bus with fuel cell drive
Econic NGT truck with natural gas drive
Sprinter with liquefied petroleum gas drive
2004 Atego 1217 truck with hybrid drive
Sprinter with hybrid drive and nickel metal
Sprinter hybrid with plug-in technology
hydride batteries (prototype)
E-Class 200 NGT with natural gas drive
(start of series production)
2007 Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid (prototype)
Sprinter Hybrid (prototype)
2008 B-Classww 180 NGT (prototype)
Sprinter 316/516 NGT (prototype)
2009 C itaro FuelCELL Hybrid (participation in prototype creation)
Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid
(participation in prototype creation)
Atego BlueTec Hybrid (prototypes)
2010 Atego BlueTec Hybrid (innovation fleet)
E 200 NGT (start of series production)
suPPly lINes A box full of gas lines
for installation into the natural gas-powered Mercedes-Benz B-Class.
The Competence Center for Emission-free Mobility in Mannheim is an example of how synergies are exploited at Daimler and how technology is transferred smoothly worldwide in the quest to develop more-efficient drives.
susTaINaBle MoBIlITy Commercial vehicles from Daimler are used all over the world. They are produced at numerous plants in many countries, including the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Thailand, and Turkey. Another important location is Mannheim, where the engine plant also houses a small but effective facility that equips Daimler vehicles with sustainable drive systems: The Competence Center for Emission-free Mobility, which is known by its German acronym KEM. The KEM is part of the Local Application Center in Germany. Together with other centers, such as the one in redford, U.S., it forms a network that cooperates closely with the Global Hybrid Center in Kawasaki, Japan. The latter manages all of Daimler Trucks’ hybrid activities worldwide. The centers’ mission is to help achieve sustainable mobility by developing low-emission and zero-emission vehicles — and to introduce these vehicles onto the market. There is no single clear-cut path to success here, which is why Daimler’s road to Emission-free Mobility initiative envisages a threefold strategy: Daimler primarily uses electric drives in city cars such as the smart, because of the limited range involved. Another development focus is hybrid drives, which are particularly effective in city and regional traffic. Here they can be used, for example, for mediumrange distribution. Some 2,700 Orion hybrid buses and 550 Freightliner hybrid trucks are already on the road in the U.S., and around 800 hybrid light trucks and buses from Mitsubishi Fuso are in operation in Japan. All forecasts predict that the internal combustion engine will continue to be the dominant drive system for many years to come. in response, Daimler is continuously optimizing this technology. To date, the company has put more than 290,000 commercial vehicles with Daimler CleanDrive-Technologies and 13,000 commercial vehicles with sustainable drive systems on the road. Many of these vehicles originated in Mannheim. When it was founded in 1994, the Competence Center for Emission-free Commercial Vehicles, which would later become the KEM, still had the air of an inventor’s workshop and focused on the development of commercial vehicles. Specially trained employees at the center picked up new ideas that quickly paid off. in 1996, for example, Deutsche Post DHL ordered an innovative fleet of 50 electric Sprinter vans. Basically, the sustainable drive technology used in commercial vehicles is similar to that used in passenger cars. Given this fact and the knowledge that the Mannheim center brings together experts and technical equipment, Daimler decided to expand the KEM’s activities to include passenger cars such as the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and the E-Class NGT. The KEM’s proximity to the Daimler plants in Wörth, rastatt, and Sindelfingen creates logistical advantages and makes it possible to work on cars, trucks, vans, and buses.
As a result, the KEM is now firmly integrated into Daimler’s global development and production network. The KEM is also an important partner for the Hybrid Development Center in Stuttgart, which adapts international strategies to the needs of the German market and models. The KEM is therefore a living example of the how synergies are exploited within the Group and of the smooth transfer of technology between the divisions. This versatility and high standard of innovation place great demands on the KEM’s employees and equipment. The center’s some 80 skilled workers and engineers need to be familiar not only with internal combustion engines but also with natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, high-voltage engineering, and hydrogen. it’s ultimately thanks to its specialists that the KEM, which is actually part of a commercial vehicle plant, can now produce passenger cars with sustainable drive systems. The KEM manufactured around 6,000 vehicles last year and has the capacity to produce more than 10,000 units annually even though it does not operate robots. The center’s activities will be further expanded in the coming years in line with the growing importance of efficient and environmentally friendly drive systems, says Hermann Doppler, who is Head of Worldwide Truck Engine Production and is also responsible for managing the Mercedes-Benz plant in Mannheim: “The KEM strategy will remain the same,” he says. “We aim to develop the best low-emission drive system for all of our customers’ needs.” Actually, the KEM will begin to produce an innovative fleet of 50 Mercedes-Benz Atego BlueTec Hybrid trucks that customers will introduce into their everyday operations at the end of the year. in addition, series production of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class 200 NGT will commence in the fourth quarter of 2010. •
HYPERLINK You’ll find further information related to this article at:
daimler-technicity.com/technologyandinnovation including the following features: 1. interview with Plant Director Hermann Doppler 2. Daimler commercial vehicles with alternative drives 3. The workflow of the Competence Center for Emission-free Mobility 4. Photo gallery of the KEM at Mannheim
SPECTRUM tokyo, Japan Anyone who tends to get confused when negotiating with Japanese business representatives might want to try out the new interpreter glasses from the Japanese electronics company NEC. The glasses, which simultaneously translate spoken words, have a built-in headset and voice recognition software that first converts speech into text, which is then translated by a translation program. A mini-projector projects the translation onto the retina of the person wearing the glasses, making it appear like a subtitle. NEC says the glasses are particularly useful for confidential discussions when both parties prefer not to have an interpreter present. Plans call for the Babel glasses to be launched in Japan before the year is out. nec.com interpreter New glasses from NEC translate spoken language into readable texts.
asia HIGH-TECH NEWS FROM AN INNOVATIVE REGION “Having equipped hybrid vehicles with storage batteries, Asian engineers are now installing them in ships and trains. Soon it will be hard to imagine our civilization without rechargeable batteries.” Martin Fritz, TECHNICITY correspondent, Tokyo
singapore, singapore Motion detectors for lighting systems, waterless urinals, parking lots with charging stations for electric cars — these are just a few of the highlights at City Square Mall, Singapore’s first ecologybased shopping center. The new mall produces 5,700 tons less carbon dioxide per year than a similar standard building complex. The reduction is due in no small part to a greened roof outfitted with solar cells and a rain collector.
seoul, south korea
Chutung hsinChu, taiwan
taipei, taiwan Recycling CDs and DVDs used to mean nothing more than shredding them. Now, scientists from Da-Yeh University in Taiwan have developed a procedure that uses caustics to remove all coatings on the polycarbonate discs, which can then be recoated. Such recycled discs still cost three times more than those made of new plastic. However, the procedure pays off for the environment, as 60 million CDs and DVDs are thrown away in Taiwan alone each year.
PERSPECTIVES martin fritz Asia correspondent and author who has been working in Tokyo for the German public broadcast
tokyo, Japan Two-wheel Segway vehicles are becoming a more familiar sight in big cities, where even police now use them. The units, which never fall over, are operated through shifts in their drivers’ weight. Honda is now demonstrating how the same effect can be achieved with just one wheel. The U3-X looks like the number 8, whereby the bottom is a wheel and the top a seat cushion. No special skills are needed to operate the unit, which balances itself. The compact U3-X weighs only ten kilograms. Its rechargeable battery can power it for one hour, long enough for a little trip through town, which is exactly what developers had in mind. After all, with a top speed of six kilometers per hour, the machine is about as fast as a pedestrian. The U3-X is not for sale yet, as it will initially serve as a development platform for future power unicycles.
service since 2001.
seoul, south korea The Korea Institute of Science and Technology Evaluation and Planning (KISTEP) has produced a list of the next decade’s ten most important technologies. The list, which was compiled by 54 experts, is headed by portable computers that can be embedded into clothing and 3D displays capable of producing 3D images that can be viewed without special glasses. The top ten technologies also include robot nurses, single vaccines for multiple illnesses, and new-generation nuclear reactors. The experts say that because the speed of innovation is accelerating it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make predictions. However, according to the KISTEP scientists, such predictions are important if Korea is to remain on top of key major trends. koreatimes.co.kr
flexpeaker A loudspeaker as thin and flexible as a piece of paper is attracting industry’s attention.
Chutung hsinChu, taiwan The Wall Street Journal has granted a first 2009 Technology Innovation Award to the fleXpeaker. The product’s name says it all, as fleXpeaker is a flexible loudspeaker that looks like a perforated sheet of paper and is only one millimeter thick. As a result, it will be possible to produce extremely compact flexible speakers in all shapes and sizes for use in cell phones, automobiles, and even furniture. Other attractive potential applications include talking posters and cereal boxes. fleXpeaker was developed by the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan, which holds 45 patents related to this technology. The institute is now looking for partners to help with commercial production — for example, companies that can print thin metal coatings onto paper. itri.org.tw
reChargeable batteries from asia It appears that a new energy era is dawning in East Asia: the age of rechargeable batteries. Panasonic — the world’s leading manufacturer of such batteries — recently installed a rechargeable electrical energy source in an eco-friendly housing complex. The unit stores enough energy to supply a household with electricity for an entire week. Homeowners generate the energy with solar cells or fuel cells, thereby significantly lowering the emissions of harmful greenhouse gases. The new smart power grids that are appearing also rely on rechargeable battery systems. For example, Japanese high-performance batteries with sodium-sulfur cells will be storing up to 10 megawatts generated by a wind power facility on the Orkney Islands in the UK. With the advent of such technology, it will finally be possible to use eco-friendly electricity even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Rechargeable batteries are also making our world more mobile. Whether it’s cell phones, netbooks, or tablet PCs — low-consumption circuits and powerful batteries are enabling portable electronic devices to operate longer and longer. Investors are also getting excited. After all, battery manufacturers like China’s BYD (Build Your Dreams) and Japan’s K. K. GS Yuasa Corporation (the largest Asian producer of car batteries) expect to post phenomenal rates of growth. Millions of electric mopeds whose nickelmetal hydride batteries allow speeds of up to 25 km/h have all but replaced Mao bicycles in China. A hybrid truck developed by Daimler subsidiary Mitsubishi Fuso is an international sales hit, and hardly a day goes by without rechargeable batteries making the headlines. For example, it was recently reported that use of a silicon electrode has led to a 20 percent increase in lithium-ion battery charging capacity. Japanese scientists have also developed a flexible lithium polymer battery that can be printed. Having equipped hybrid vehicles with storage batteries, Asian engineers are now installing them in ships and trains. Soon it will be hard to imagine our civilization without rechargeable batteries. 19
SPECTRUM north ameriCa HIGH-TECH NEWS FROM AN INNOVATIVE REGION “The boundaries between text, sound, and images are becoming fuzzy, and the distinction between one’s own data and information obtained from afar is vanishing.” SteFFan Heuer, TECHNICITY correspondent, San Francisco
san franCisCo, u.s.
app for the nose Smartphones may soon be equipped with a “scent unit” that amplifies olfactory signals.
los angeles, u.s.
washington, u.s. Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) will receive some $40 million in funding through the 21st Century Truck Technology Partnership program. DTNA will use the money from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to further develop commercial vehicles and engines. Altogether, the DOE is providing $115 million for nine exceptional emissionreduction research projects that are being carried out by U.S. commercial vehicle manufacturers. The largest sum will be allocated to DTNA, which plans to implement a five-year research and development program. The aim is to demonstrate, among other things, how the freight efficiency of a truck with over 15 tons GVW can be increased by 50 percent. Work will focus on the development of state-ofthe-art vehicle systems and engine technologies. eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels
los angeles, u.s. There’s already an app for practically everything — so how about one for an “electronic nose” that could be integrated in iPhones or other cell phones? The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently announced the creation of a new research program whose aim is to develop small and inexpensive chemical sensors that can be installed in conventional cell phones. The sensors will enable electronic civil defense teams to detect dangerous chemicals and automatically sound an alarm in Washington. Three projects from California were selected out of 100 proposals. They have already developed prototypes that include a small 20 x 20-millimeter integrated nanochip whose components can sniff out and analyze chemicals. In another useful development, Aydogan Ozcan, a professor at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), has come up with a software-hardware package that makes it possible to turn a normal cell phone into a microscope for just $10. In Ozcan’s vision, any cell phone can be quickly converted into a medical instrument that can not only analyze a drop of blood at any location, but also automatically alarm a lab if the reading deviates from the norm. Such a device would be ideal in developing countries, where cell phone networks are more advanced than health care systems. public.cq.com, innovate.ee.ucla.edu
PERSPECTIVES steffan heuer U.S. correspondent for brand eins and the German edition of Technology Review. Areas of expertise: high-tech and economics.
the year of the tablet The vision put forth years ago by Microsoft founder Bill Gates will finally become a reality in 2010: Small light tablet computers are now on the march. Even if Apple’s iPad has stolen the show from dozens of competitors, it is by no means the only device that is changing the world of work and entertainment. Together with “cloud computing” (data and computing over the airwaves), tablet computers will elegantly and innovatively close the gap between smartphones, stationary PCs, and consumer electronic devices. Renowned manufacturers are already demonstrating how families will look at vacation photos and watch TV shows in the future, how scientists will carry presentations and speeches around with them, how students will read a new generation of textbooks and write papers with new devices, and how service providers will get their services to the customer. This year four million tablet PCs will be sold along with more than 55 million netbooks and nearly 250 million smartphones — and the numbers are rising fast. Much more important than the technical aspect is the ubiquitous access to the Web that these devices provide. The boundaries between text, sound, and images are becoming fuzzy, and the distinction between one’s own data and information obtained from afar is vanishing. This will have far-reaching consequences. Previously unimagined visualization possibilities in relation to diagnoses and treatment history will revolutionize doctors’ visits and raise telemedicine and care for the elderly to a new level. Diagnoses and maintenance work will be carried out with great precision using multimedia information. Instruction in remote schools and at home will merge with correspondence courses taught by world-famous professors. And books will come to life in a manner reminiscent of a Harry Potter film. The trend does have a drawback: We will have even less time to address increasingly complex issues. However, the answers we come up with will be better than ever before.
autoenergetiC Chip Implanted sensor chips could provide important data on patients’ health in the future.
washington, u.s. Electrical engineers at the University of Washington have developed a sensor chip for implantation in patients that has several very attractive features. Not only does it require no internal energy source; it can also be read wirelessly and recharged at a distance of up to one meter. The chip was first tested with a moth to investigate the insect’s nervous system while it moved its wings. The sensor chip requiring no battery has commercial potential for medical and other applications that involve extensive measurements, because it can be accessed and charged using conventional RFID devices. Up until now, implantable microprocessors for retinas or ears have been operated using an inductive link whose energy source can only be located a few centimeters away. technologyreview.com
reneWaBle PetrOleuM PrODuCtS • Fuels • Chemicals
san franCisCo, u.s. There’s nothing new about biodiesel, which is usually produced at chemical facilities from plants like rapeseed. However, LS9, a company based in San Francisco, has now developed a procedure in which bacteria take over the production of biodiesel. What’s more, the bacteria digest not only rapeseed or sugar but also biomass such as straw and scrap wood. Although processes for transforming different parts of plants into diesel already exist, they do not utilize bacteria. Bioreactors that produce diesel also exist, but they require a pure source material like sugar. The special thing about the LS9 process is that it
involves genetically altered E. coli bacteria, which produce an enzyme that breaks down the cellulose into sugar. The enzyme then digests the sugar and turns it into fatty acids that float to the top of the reactor, where they only need to be skimmed off. The novelty here is that just one type of bacteria can carry out all the steps. Tests have been conducted with a 1,000liter biodiesel reactor that can produce one barrel of diesel per week. A new unit is scheduled to go into operation this year. LS9 reports that a barrel of biodiesel from the designer microbes could cost less than $50, which is even cheaper than crude oil. ls9.com
PERSPECTIVES philipp Jarke Europe correspondent in Hamburg and London for the Zeitenspiegel international journalist agency.
making eleCtriCity smart The British government awarded licenses for new offshore wind parks at the beginning of this year. Thousands of wind turbines will be anchored into the sea floor around the British Isles by 2020. These facilities will have a total capacity of 32 gigawatts. Other countries also have ambitious plans, which is why the number of turbines on European coasts will soon increase a hundredfold in what is a fantastic development. However, there are also problems. That’s because each new offshore wind turbine causes electricity production to fluctuate more strongly. Last December, for example, the usually constant west wind in the UK disappeared, leading to the most severe winter in 30 years — and a standstill for the nation’s offshore wind turbines. Conversely, the power grid already reaches its capacity limits whenever a strong wind blows over the North Sea. So what’s the answer? First, Europe’s high-voltage network must be expanded in order to balance out fluctuating electricity production across the continent. Efforts are already under way. Nine European countries plan to lay a grid through the North Sea that will combine different types of eco-friendly power sources. Surplus wind power could then be diverted to Norway, for example, where it could be stored by pumping water upriver into the reservoirs of hydroelectric plants. This alone won’t be enough, however. Through the use of tools such as smart meters and variable price systems, we will also have to make consumption more flexible. One option here would be to automatically shift some consumption to periods when a lot of energy is produced and electricity is cheaper. Our washing machines would then run at night and compressors in refrigerated warehouses would mainly go into action when the wind blows over the North Sea. Conversely, electric vehicles could return their energy to the grid when electricity is scarce. All of that would cost a lot of money. Still, it would make our electricity not only green but also smart.
severn, united kingdom
living paCkaging Bacterial packaging materials would be able to grow around cargo.
bremen, germany How will freight be securely packed and shipped in a way that conserves resources in the year 2020? Mareike Frensemeier from the University of the Arts in Bremen believes this will be done using organic packing material that produces itself. The idea won Frensemeier third place in the Vision Works Award design competition. With a packaging material known as Bacs, Acetobacter xylinum bacteria are cultivated — like artificial turf — on the surface of the package contents. By digesting sugar molecules, the bacteria create a mesh of hygienic cellulose fibers that wrap around the contents. visionworksaward.com
bergen, norway A genetic code for music: Music, video, and text all have their own special data formats. MusicDNA, an all-round solution developed by Norway’s Dagfinn Bach, is a music data format that incorporates song lyrics, images, videos, and blog entries. What’s more, it also updates everything as soon as it is connected to the Internet. Each file can contain up to 32 gigabytes of additional searchable information. Bach is an expert in this area. In fact, he helped develop the first MP3 player. MP3 inventor Karlheinz Brandenburg, head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology in Ilmenau, Germany, also worked on the MusicDNA project. “MusicDNA brings together several ideas that have been around for a long time,” says Brandenburg. “A lot of people wanted legal music downloads to start including new features other than the music itself.” bachtechnology.com
ottobrunn, germany The idea of harvesting energy in space has been around for the last 30 years. The concept’s proponents want to use satellites to capture sunlight and send it to earth as concentrated laser beams. With EADS Astrium’s decision to look for partners to help build a test system that can be put into orbit, this vision has now moved closer to becoming a reality. Although the required wireless energy transfer has already been achieved in the lab, the low level of the laser’s power still puts limits on the use of such a system. The idea is particularly interesting because solar cells capture energy more efficiently in space, where they can operate around the clock and there are no clouds to block the sun. However, significant technological obstacles must still be overcome when it comes to ensuring that the intense laser beams won’t endanger animal and plant life on earth. astrium.eads.net
solar power plant Assembly of highly efficient solar panels that will be put into orbit. Such solar cells could one day transmit energy to the earth.
europe HIGH-TECH NEWS FROM AN INNOVATIVE REGION “Electrical devices would be turned on mainly when the wind blows over the North Sea, and electric vehicles could return their energy to the grid when electricity is scarce.” PHiliPP Jarke, TECHNICITY correspondent, London
how a tidal power plant funCtions:
Bottom of the river mouth
Rising water flows from the sea into the
The lock gates are closed when high
The locks are opened at low tide. The
basin at the mouth of the river.
tide is reached, thus capturing and
water from the dam flows back into the
damming the water at the mouth of
sea, driving turbines as it does so.
severn, united kingdom The tide is turning in the UK, where the government plans to build the world’s largest tidal power station at the mouth of its longest river, the Severn. With an output of 8.6 gigawatts, the plant would generate as much electricity as eight large power stations and cover five percent of the UK’s electricity requirement without producing CO2 emissions or causing heated debates about the storage of radioactive waste. The Severn is ideal because of the 15-meter tidal difference between high and low tides at its mouth. Propellers similar to wind turbine rotors will harness the power. Voith Hydro Ocean Current Technologies is working on similar projects. The company is currently testing a 110-kilowatt turbine off the coast of South Korea and is planning to build a six-megawatt plant off the Scottish coast. voithhydro.com
london since 2007 (United Kingdom) royal dutch shell plc
VAnCoUVER (canada) ^ daimler aG/Ballard power systems, inc. Production: Fuel cell stacks
e-city Berlin electric moBility in the networK oF the FUtUre Berlin is bringing the future of sustainable mobility into the present. the German capital has become a hub for the networks that will help to make electric mobility an everyday reality. SAn CARloS (u.s.) ^ daimler aG / tesla motors inc. Production: lithium-ion batteries
eXemPlAry electric moBility initiAtiVeS in GermAny
initiative for the establishment of a
national organization for hydrogen
clean energy partnership. associati -
hydrogen infrastructure in Germany.
and Fuel cell technology. organiza-
on of various companies and public
a memorandum of understanding
tional platform set up by the German
transport operators in Germany
(mou to this end was signed in
federal government to coordinate
that are seeking to promote the
september 2009. the agreement
research and development activities,
use of hydrogen as a fuel of the
calls for an analysis of various possi -
such as the “electric mobility model
future. the partnership members
bilities for establishing a nationwide
are BmW, BvG, daimler, Ford, opel,
hydrogen infrastructure in Germany.
hamburger hochbahn, linde, shell,
such an infrastructure would boost
statoil, total, vattenfall europe,
plans for the series production of
and volks wagen.
electric vehicles equipped with fuel cells. the h2 mobility partners are daimler, enBW, linde, omv, shell, total, vattenfall, and noW.
Group headquarters, company location ^ Branches and outlets, subsidiaries noW model regions cep (clean energy partnership) h2 mobility test drivinG: smart electric drive B-class F-cell citaro Fuelcell hybrid
StoCkHolM (Sweden) vattenFall aB
StAVAngER (norway) statoil asa
noW Gmbh BvG — Berliner verkehrsbetriebe German Federal ministries oF: • transport, Building, and urban development (BmvBs) • the environment, nature conservation, and nuclear safety (Bmu) • economics and technology (BmWi) • education and research (BmBF)
hamBurGer hochBahn aG clean enerGy partnership
statoil Germany Gmbh P roduction: compressors for h2 filling stations
bERlin WolFSbURg volksWaGen aG
MülHEiM An dER RUHR v hoFer hochdrucktechnik Gmbh Production: compressors for h2 filling stations
düSSEldoRF ^ daimler aG/mercedes-Benz plant Future production: mercedes-Benz e-sprinter
evonik industries aG rWe aG Provision of 1,000 e-charging stations in Germany
lEUnA ^ linde aG/hydromotive Gmbh Production: h2 with steam reformer
^ daimler aG/li-tec Battery Gmbh ^ daimler aG/deutsche accumotive Gmbh & co kG Production: lithium-ion batteries, flat cells, ceramic separators
RüSSElSHEiM adam opel Gmbh
MAnnHEiM ^ daimler aG/evoBus Gmbh ^ daimler aG, competence center for emission-free mobility (kem) ^ mercedes-Benz Production: HAMbACH citaro Fuelcell hybrid (e.g.)
StUttgARt daimler aG, Group headquarters evoBus Gmbh enBW aG
(France) daimler aG/smart plant Production: smart electric drive
e-drive project house (daimler aG and karlsruhe institute of technology)
SindElFingEn StRASboURg (France) e-test route from stuttgart to strasbourg
^ daimler aG/mercedes-Benz sindelfingen plant Production: mercedes-Benz B-class F-cell, a-class e-cell
kiRCHHEiM/tECk ^ daimler aG /nucellsys Gmbh Production/development: Fuel cells ^ daimler aG / deutsche accumotive Gmbh & co. kG
MUniCH linde aG BmW aG development: reformer for generating gaseous h2 from liquefied petroleum gas
ViEnnA (austria) omv
ZURiCH (switzerland) MilAn (italy) MonACo (principality of monaco)
RoME (italy) enel s.p.a
SmArt Fortwo electric driVe
range: 135 km energy storage unit: lithium-ion battery, 16.5 kwh Power output: 30 kw torque: 120 nm top speed: electronically limited to 100 km/h From 0 to 60 km/h in: 6.5 sec.
CHARging PUMP at the reichstag in Berlin
Joel micah miller
ERlin it’s a cold winter morning in January 2010 at the heart of the network that will propel electric mobility into the future. the smart fortwo electric drive projects a feeling of urban freedom in the blue light of dawn — which isn’t surprising, given that the vehicle has the potential to redefine personal mobility in large metropolitan areas. After all, it produces zero local emissions and operates almost silently. together with the mercedes-Benz B-class F-cell, the smart fortwo electric drive is already leading the way into the future of individual mobility. daimler chairman dieter Zetsche describes the electrification of vehicle traffic in Berlin as “a promising pilot project.” it marks an important stage of the analysis of customer reactions to electric mobility and a milestone in daimler’s “road to emission-free mobility” program. “there’s no question any more as to whether electric drive systems will take their place beside combustion engines; it’s only a question of when this will happen,” says thomas weber, the daimler Board of management member responsible for Group research and mercedes-Benz cars development. daimler is taking a threetrack approach on the path to low-emission, and ultimately zeroemission, vehicles, says weber. the first track involves producing more efficient vehicles equipped with high-tech combustion engines, the second is the implementation of need-based hybridization, and the third is the production of electric cars that run on batteries and fuel cells. the third track on the “road to emission-Free mobility” went into high gear in Berlin in december 2009 with the deployment of batterypowered smart fortwo electric drive models (30 kw output, 135kilometer range on a single full charge) and the B-class F-cell, which obtains its electrical energy from a fuel cell powered by compressed hydrogen under 700 bars of pressure (100 kw output, approximately 400-kilometer range on a full tank). Both models are essential elements of the paradigm shift toward ever-lower emissions, and ultimately locally emission-free drive systems. FRAnkFURt AM MAin every year, the world turns its gaze toward this German city when the automotive industry presents its innovations at the international motor Show (iAA). the focus of interest
in 2009 was daimler’s “concept BlueZero,” a modular study that features three complementary drive system types: battery-electric (e-cell), fuel cell (F-cell), and electric vehicles with combustion engines as range extenders (e-cell PlUS). this approach allows complex and varied customer demands to be met. in this regard, the concept BlueZero also underscores the idea that electric mobility will bring technical diversity to transport networks. the charisma of Germany’s capital fits in well with the scenario developed by the experts. that’s because when it comes to the vision of a sustainable infrastructure in the near future, locally emission-free drive systems for large metropolitan areas will play a key role — and not just in passenger cars. we will therefore be seeing diversity not just in terms of drive systems but also in forms of mobility, says Klaus Bonhoff, managing director of now Gmbh (national organization for hydrogen and Fuel cell technology). the capital is indispensable here both as a laboratory and as a base for pilot projects. “in Berlin you can see how e-mobility can also be incorporated into larger networks that utilize different modes of transport,” he says.
“in Berlin you can see how e-mobility can be incorporated into larger networks.” KLAUS BONHOFF, managing director of now Gmbh national organization for hydrogen and Fuel cell technology (now)
Berlin is also getting excited about electric mobility, which is why Bonhoff is already very confident that the new drive systems will enjoy widespread acceptance among the population. And here in Berlin the concept is being put through its paces in a network consisting of information, communication, and ideas. in order to measure how electric vehicles are assessed by the people in this collective of perception, now is supplementing its technical operations with social-scientific research. initial results show that the mobility solutions, with their technical and urban appeal, have made good use of the opportunities available to them.
RAStAtt / SindElFingEn the “cornerstone” of the mercedesBenz B-class F-cell was laid in the south of Germany — more precisely, at the mercedes-Benz plant in rastatt. the experience gained through development activities is now flowing into production operations, and starting in the spring of 2010 the first 200 B-class F-cell models produced in the mercedes-Benz plants in Sindelfingen and rastatt will be handed over to customers. meanwhile, the smart plant in hambach, France, has built 1,000 smart fortwo electric drive models since the end of 2009. the two vehicles will be joined in the fall of 2010 by the battery-electric A-class e-cell (70 kw, 200-kilometer range) as the third electric model, of which more than 500 units of production are initially planned. this year mercedes-Benz will also deliver more than 100 electric-powered vans based on the Sprinter to fleet operators and public institutions for use in environmentally sensitive zones. A further 2,000 such vans are planned.
“lithium-ion batteries have double the power density of nickel-metal hydride batteries.” CHriStiAN MOHrdieCK, director of Fuel cell and Battery drive technology
daimler’s competence and production network overlaps with the innovative networks in the model regions, which is why daimler is not only present in the e-city of Berlin with its electric mobility solutions but also in other cities like hamburg, where citaro G Bluetec hyBrid diesel-hybrid buses are already in operation. this year will also see the introduction of new citaro Fuelcell hybrid buses and the B-class F-cell in hamburg. the smart fortwo electric drive currently recharges at charging stations. in the future, it will also be possible for vehicles to “fill up” with energy from the public grid, especially in large cities and metropolitan areas. not since the advent of the combustion engine has such a fundamental transformation taken place regarding drive systems for personal and public transport. “lithium-ion technology in the smart electric drive has increased battery charging and discharging efficiency by 30 percent as compared to the nickel-metal hydride cells formerly used,” says christian mohrdieck, director of Fuel cell and Battery drive technology at daimler. “it has also doubled power density and further improved cold-start capability. Still, there’s a lot left to do — for example, in terms of fast-charging capability and the extension of charging and discharging intervals.” Automakers are working hard on the further development of battery technologies in order to address these issues. in fact, daimler engineers have registered more than 600 patents for battery-powered vehicles over the last 30 years. more than 230 of them involved lithium-ion technology. when the smart fortwo electric drive compact (top speed electronically limited to 100 km/h) recharges its battery, it hooks up to the power grid via a spiral cable with a bright blue connector — the “umbilical cord” that connects the energy supply network with the vehicle. however, as a technical concept, the smart electric drive is also linked to the networks of research, technology, and government funding that are moving electric mobility forward in Germany. the strands of these combined systems come from places like Stuttgart, Sindelfingen, rastatt, essen, munich, nabern, and Kamenz, as well as from France and california — and they all 28
context PionEER in tHE USE oF HydRogEn daimler presented the first fuel cell vehicle in 1994. today, a fleet of more than 100 fuel cell vehicles, ranging from the mercedes-Benz A-class to the mercedes-Benz citaro bus, is now being operated by customers around the world. with more than 4.5 million pollution-free kilometers driven and a total fleet operating time of over 200,000 hours, daimler can certainly claim extensive experience and comprehensive expertise when it comes to fuel cells. FUEl CEll tECHnology the mercedes-Benz B-class F-cell is the worldâ€™s first fuel cell-powered electric series-production vehicle suitable for everyday use. the car emits only water â€” and absolutely no pollutants. the fuel cell stack is the energy converter unit that forms the centerpiece of the drive system. the stack, which is housed under a secure covering in the trunk of the car, utilizes atmospheric oxygen and hydrogen from an onboard tank to generate the electricity that powers the electric motor.
REAR ConVERtER the fuel cell stack (in blue) is the centerpiece of the h2 drive system.
MERCEdES-bEnZ b-ClASS F-CEll
at Potsdamer Platz, Berlin
trAFFic in the cAPitAl Hydrogen infrastructure inHAbitAntS
HydRogEn h2 is the most common chemical element in the universe. hydrogen doesn’t exist in its pure form in
nature, however. instead, it needs to be removed from compounds through a process that requires energy. the use of hydrogen can make a significant contribution to reducing the co2 emissions generated by vehicle traffic, and can
REgiStRAtionS oF nEW VEHiClES PER yEAR (rounded)
therefore also play a major role in the establishment of a
system of sustainable mobility.
94,000 are motorcycles 1.2 million are passenger cars
inFRAStRUCtURE if fuel cell vehicles are to become
80,000 are trucks
attractive for consumers, it will be necessary to set up an extensive hydrogen filling station network. various pilot projects in Germany will lead to the establishment of public
lEngtH oF tHE PUbliC RoAd nEtWoRk (rounded)
hydrogen filling stations that will gradually be expanded
into a comprehensive network.
260 km are state roads 80 km are city freeways 200 km are federal highways 5,100 km are city streets
Berlin iS GoinG Green bERlin the German capital is marked by a relatively low rate of motorization per resident as compared with other large cities.
electricity infrastructure ElECtRiCity in order to provide vehicles with the electricity they need, it will be necessary to link power plants and electric filling stations. to this end, power grids will be employed that operate with standardized voltage and utilize alternating
on foot/ by bicycle
current with set frequencies. in Germany, this energy will be transmitted over long distances with three-phase alternating current systems that operate at a power frequency of 50 hz
PERSonAl tRAnSPoRt Berlin’s residents walk or ride their bicycles to their
and grid voltages of up to 400 kv. only when it gets close
destinations 43 percent of the time, drive their cars 31 percent of the time, and
to the consumer will this electricity be stepped down to an
use public transport 26 percent of the time. Some 30 percent of all journeys with
effective value of 230 v (single-phase alternating current)
a vehicle are commuter trips. the number of commuters is increasing, leading to
or 400 v (three-phase alternating current) for distribution at
higher traffic volumes.
electric filling stations.
tRAnSPoRt Mix Personal transport with motor vehicles, bicycles, or by foot
inFRAStRUCtURE one of the trademarks of electric mo -
is supplemented by an extensive network of buses, streetcars, subways, and
bility is the generation of electrical energy from renewable
suburban trains, as well as ferries and small transport ships. the Berliner Ver-
sources. unlike conventional centralized power generation
kehrsgesellschaft (BVG) transport company and the S-Bahn commuter rail
at large power plants, this renewable energy approach in-
system alone transport a combined 1.3 billion passengers each year. Berlin is
volves a large number of distributed power generation facili-
also served by the long-distance rail network and various airlines. the latter
ties such as hydroelectric, wind, solar, and biogas power
transported 21.4 million people in and out of the capital in 2008.
plants. energy companies like rWe and vattenfall now guarantee a stable and sustainable supply of electricity through a mix that includes wind power facilities and coal-fired power
SoUrceS: State Statistical institute Berlin-Brandenburg; Federal motor transport Authority, Flensburg; Berlin Senate department of Urban development
plants with co2 separation.
e-city Berlin: electricity Grid on the SPree tegel Airport, Berlin
Alexanderplatz Victory column Brandenburg Gate
8 Potsdamer Platz
Kaiser wilhelm memorial church
German ministry of economics and technology (BmWi) German ministry of transport, Building, and urban development (BmvBs)
total deutschland Gmbh
German ministry of the environment, nature conservation, and nuclear safety (Bmu)
vattenfall europe Berlin aG & co. kG
German ministry of education and research (BmBF)
Berliner energieagentur Gmbh
BvG – Berliner verkehrsbetriebe
Berlin senate department of urban development
national organization for hydrogen and Fuel cell technology (noW)
mercedes-Benz World smart center Berlin
electric filling station
mercedes-Benz sales Germany (mBvd)
cep h2 filling station
daimler aG research & development society and technology research Group
cHronicle bAttERy-PoWEREd ElECtRiC Mobility in bERlin: tHE bEginningS 1899 the first battery-powered bus: the “Kaiser hotel” shuttle bus. 1901 the first hybrid taxi: the “mercedes mixte.” 1906 Ferdinand Porsche wins the exelberg race with a mercedes-lohner-Porsche, a specially designed vehicle based on the mercedesSimplex. 1908 the first electric city cars begin operating in Berlin-marienfelde: the mercedes electrique, landaulet, coupe, and mylord.
MAintEnAnCE And SERViCing
is carried out at the mercedes-Benz and smart outlet at Salzufer.
come together in the German capital. Berlin is a live wire 24 hours a day. the political, societal, and cultural center of the Federal republic is one of the largest hubs in the european network of urban mobility, and it displays all the potential and problems such a position brings with it. that’s why this lively city is ideal as an international stage for new mobility concepts with environmentally friendly electric drives. it’s also the reason why the capital is a model region in the German government’s national development Plan for electric mobility and a focus of interest for the clean energy Partner-ship (ceP). For example, mercedes-Benz fuel cell passenger cars have been on the road there since the ceP was launched in november 2004. later, as part of the e-mobility project, they were joined by the smart fortwo electric drive, which was launched in 2009. Get in, start the car, and hit the road: the smart fortwo electric drive can be recharged either at home via a normal power socket or on the road at three-phase alternating current charging stations. its connector was produced by a network consisting of electricity supply companies, automakers, and automotive suppliers. After all, future electric-powered vehicles from daimler and other manufacturers will also require access to this infrastructure. Against this backdrop, manufacturers and energy suppliers laid an important foundation for future battery-electric vehicles by creating a uniform Vde standard for the connector in the fall of 2009. the smart’s electricity is stored in a 16.5 kwh lithium-ion battery that can also be recharged during the braking process. here, the synchronous electric motor on the rear axle switches to generator mode, thereby conserving energy, saving money, and benefiting the environment.
“the key to more efficiency and environmental compatibility lies in the electrification of the drive system.” HerBert KOHLer,
electricAl rechArGinG: how doeS it FUnction And whAt Kind oF connector needS to Be USed? technology for the future must be reliable. that’s why a standardized connector was developed for recharging the batteries in electric vehicles. this connector: • has seven poles • transfers three-phase alternating current or single-phase current the connector is designed for: • a maximum of 500 volts • a current of up to 63 amperes • a power input of 40 kw Such standards are a must if a new technology is to be introduced on a broad basis, as was the case with natural gas fuel pumps at conventional filling stations. the standard connector is used at public and private charging stations that provide an output of max. 44 kw and 22 kw, respectively. By comparison, household sockets deliver 3.7 kw of power or less. ContRACt customers sign a vehicle electricity contract with a power company.
CHARging the standardized connector fits every electric vehicle.
MEASUREMEnt electronic systems monitor the charging process and end it when the battery is fully charged.
head of e-drive & Future mobility, chief environmental officer, daimler AG
however, there’s nothing conservative about the dynamic performance of the smart fortwo ed when the traffic flows. in fact, it delivers the typical torque of an electric motor as it speeds through the capital, accelerating from 0 to 60 km/h in just 6.5 seconds. the result is an enjoyable and dynamic driving experience achieved through battery power packed into the vehicle’s sandwich floor. drive system technology network: daimler is relying on a broad range of drive systems as it helps shape a clean driving future. the Group’s fleet consists of efficient vehicles equipped with economical combustion engines, which are supplemented by hybrids and electric vehicles powered by batteries or fuel cells. the combination of optimized combustion engines and electric motors is an important component of a low-emission fleet, according to herbert Kohler, head of e-drive & Future mobility and chief environmental officer at daimler: “the key to more efficiency and environmental compatibility lies in the electrification of the drive system. the potential here is huge and ranges from the start-stop function and the electrification of secondary components to purely electric driving. A hybrid can only ever be as environmentally friendly as its combustion engine.” dAimler-technicity.com
dAtA PRoCESSing CEntER the charging process data is transmitted to a computer center.
billing the vehicle electricity bill lists all recharging operations and the total cost.
HERbERt koHlER mercedes-Benz museum, Stuttgart
herBert Kohler the head of e-drive & Future mobility and chief environmental officer at daimler AG talks about electric mobility, mass production, and how different drive strategies augment one another. ExPERiEnCE Mr. kohler, when was the first time you drove a car with an electric drive system? that must have been around the middle or the end of the 1990s — when i drove one of our very first fuel cell prototypes. driving a cold-combustion vehicle was a very interesting experience. there was also something emotional about the electric drive system. it was direct and dynamic, and you immediately noticed that it was a different kind of driving. PARAdigM SHiFt Can the current paradigm shift regarding vehicle motorization be compared to the changeover from the steam engine to the internal combustion engine? i’m not a big fan of bombastic images and comparisons, which is why i don’t see us experiencing a “clash of systems” in the coming years. instead, the focus will be on the electrification of the existing powertrain, whether that occurs through a combination of an electric motor and a combustion engine or through the use of all-electric drive systems. As to how developments will proceed in detail: well, we won’t know that until we’ve traveled a few years down the road. let’s not forget that the development of energy technologies is always an evolutionary process — in other words, one drive system isn’t going to replace another one overnight. SynERgiES you’re Head of e-drive & Future Mobility at daimler. Since last year, your internal competence network has consolidated all key activities associated with future mobility. What processes have you developed to achieve this objective? the organizational restructuring that took place one year ago brought together all activities related to research and advanced engineering. it also led to the establishment of close cooperation with other business
units. today, activities within our project structures are so tightly networked that we can exploit all the available synergies. And here i’m talking not just about research and development but also the preparations for series production operations. Because all crucial activities are carried out within one organizational unit, we are able to introduce new production vehicles very quickly. tECHnology What effect does this process have on the technical details of the vehicles ready for series production? in this internal network for the future, it’s important to use a modular strategy to achieve the variety we’re seeking when it comes to new production models. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. we’re following this approach for hybrid drives and electric vehicles equipped with battery-electric or fuel cell drive systems. the important thing is to not only align systems but also have identical components. nEtWoRk oF tHE FUtURE berlin and the “e-mobility” project represent one of the largest and most dynamic future networks in existence. What role is daimler playing here? we initiated the e-mobility Berlin project, and the hydrogen initiative in Berlin wouldn’t exist in its current form if we hadn’t been on board. together with other automakers and energy supply companies, we were also involved from the very beginning in the development of a standard plug for battery-electric vehicles. Such major projects can only be implemented if many partners work together in a dedicated manner. this is true of Berlin — but it also applies to hamburg, where we’ve been cooperating with hamburger hochbahn for quite some time. this type of cooperation also shows us who we can depend on over the long haul. in this context, i would like to mention linde, a dAimler-technicity.com
company with which we enjoy a long history of collaboration in the field of hydrogen applications. StRAtEgy Where does daimler stand in terms of its goal of zero- emission mobility, now that the smart fortwo electric drive and the b-Class F-CEll are set to commence smallbatch production? we’ve come a long way over the last three to five years. As i always say, when you run a marathon, the race doesn’t really begin until you’ve run the first two kilometers. daimler has long since passed that point in terms of electric mobility and the vehicle technologies that are needed to make it a reality. nevertheless, we’re still far from having achieved our goal, especially when it comes to the key issue of infrastructure. •
curriculuM Vitae +++ At daimler since 1976 +++ Founder of the “environment, technology, and traffic” center in 1992, head of Strategic Product Planning at development until the end of 1999 +++ honorary Professor at the University of Stuttgart since 1998 +++ head of Body and Powertrain research 2000–2006; subsequently director of Group research & Advanced engineering Vehicle and Powertrain +++ chief environmental officer at daimler since march 2002 +++ recipient of the B.A.U.m. environmental Award in 2005 +++ head of e-drive and Future mobility at research and Advanced engineering with responsibility for the development of batteries and fuel cells since 2009.
modUlAr electric driVeS onboard charger energy distribution Power electronics
engine (range extender)
electric motor Fuel tank high-voltage battery
e-cell the BlueZero e-cell is a pure battery-electric vehicle that can
travel 200 km on one full charge. the only external indication of its electric drive system is a vehicle body that has no tailpipe or
the vehicle is powered by an electric drive that gets its energy from a Fuel cell system
battery, while a combustion engine serves as a generator. this range
extender, a three-cylinder gasoline engine with a displacement of 1,000 cm3, is also equipped with a turbocharger. thanks to this setup, the vehicle has a range of up to 600 km.
electric motor Power electrics onboard charger transmission electric motor
drivetrain cooling system
Brake vacuum pump
the fuel cell-powered BlueZero F-cell runs on hydrogen and has a locally emission-free range of around 400 km. the additional components for the new drive system are installed in the sandwich
SmArt Fortwo electric driVe
floor of the B-class.
the smart fortwo electric drive is the second-generation model of the electric city car. its 30 kW synchronous electric motor, which drives the rear wheels, has a maximum torque of 120 nm and gets its energy from a lithium-ion battery that can store 16.5 kWh of electricity.
daimler engineers have adopted a need-based approach to hybridization that combines combustion engines and electronic components in varying configurations. the concepts range from mild hybrids to the Plug-in hyBrid. mercedes-Benz confidently took the first step here with its S-class flagship model when it presented the mercedesBenz S 400 hyBrid in october 2008. this S-class, which is equipped with a combined drive system consisting of a gasoline engine and an electric motor, was the first hybrid vehicle in the world to be equipped with a lithium-ion battery. it was also the first series-produced German hybrid passenger car. most importantly, it remains the cleanest luxury sedan in the world. the various departments that work on alternative drive systems don’t shy away from sharing their expertise, as this is one of the principles behind the “road to emission-free mobility.” this was demonstrated by the successful introduction of the Bluetec exhaust gas treatment system for diesel drives, which made its debut in mercedesBenz commercial vehicles in 2005 and celebrated its passenger car premiere in the e-class in 2006.
energy Partnership program are even more significant than previous undertakings, such as the fleet test conducted with 100 first-generation smart electric drive models in london. that’s because the project in Berlin is laying the groundwork for energy supply, service, and infrastructure networks that will make it possible to produce electric vehicles in series within two years and, of course, beyond that time. rwe, for example, plans to install 500 charging stations for electric cars in Berlin this year and 1,000 stations throughout Germany. in February, totAl began operating its second hydrogen filling station in Berlin, which features innovative technology from linde and Statoilhydro. the new energy supply networks will change the way we “fill up” our cars, and this will be especially true of battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. For one thing, battery charging – even at highperformance charging stations – will involve longer breaks from driving, although in the future these breaks will be measured in minutes rather than hours. this is why rwe is building a tightly knit charging station network in Berlin.
“hydrogen and electricity can complement diesel and gasoline as the key mobility currencies in the long term. the race to see what will come out on top is well under way.”
MUniCH the technology for hydrogen tanks and storage units is also at an advanced stage, according to markus Bachmeier, head of hydrogen Solutions at linde in munich. Users won’t notice any differences between the hydrogen filling process and the one utilized for natural gas-powered vehicles – except for the fact that hydrogen is stored at a much higher pressure of 700 bars. the typical filling process takes just three minutes. the initial central location for vehicles equipped with fuel cells was a total filling station at heerstraße 324 that was developed and built by linde; a second station recently opened on holzmarktstraße. linde also now operates a mobile filling station known as trailh2-gas for supplying the ceP fleet. Bachmeier believes that the current network of traditional filling stations will serve in the future as important locations for h2 pumps as well: “Filling stations will have to offer the maximum number of available energy sources in the future, because consumers will want to obtain their fuel from trusted vendors.” Bachmeier also believes great potential is offered by more extensive utilization of “green h2” obtained from sewage gases or biodiesel production waste. According to Bachmeier, electrolysis presents another sustainable production method — when the energy comes from wind power and solar energy — whereby hydrogen serves as a storage medium for the electrical energy produced from renewable sources. in general, Bachmeier is optimistic: “there will be a multitude of production techniques for generating green h2 in an intelligent and sustainable manner,” he says. the energy for the charging stations operated by rwe as part of the e-mobility project in Berlin is already produced exclusively from renewable sources, says carolin reichert: “our charging stations only provide electricity certified as being generated from renewable sources. we can demonstrate that rwe feeds the same amount of eco-friendly electricity into the grid in the area around the charging stations as the electric vehicles take out of the grid.” the associated infrastructure – all the way down to the connectors – is already designed in such a way that a large fleet of electric vehicles will be able to help compensate for fluctuating grid feed-in, as is often the case with wind power. the broad-scale introduction of electric mobility will require a nationwide network of new filling stations. daimler is taking the first steps with its partners in this direction, says Kohler. Specifically, a ring system of stations for hydrogen and electricity is now being
HerBert KOHLer, head of e-drive & Future mobility, chief environmental officer, daimler AG
without a doubt, the optimization of existing and established drive systems is one good way of achieving significant short-term reductions in consumption and co2 emissions throughout the vehicle fleet. other solutions such as electric vehicles offer great potential for the medium term, which is why they need to be extensively funded. however, such solutions will not have any significant impact on the pollution balance of road traffic until they are on the road in larger numbers. despite this fact, Kohler is convinced that electric mobility will firmly establish itself over the long term: “hydrogen and electricity can complement diesel and gasoline as the key mobility currencies in the long term. the race to see what will come out on top in this process of change is already well under way.” A network of targeted funding: the German government’s national development Plan for electric mobility (nePe) aims to speed up this process. Part of the program therefore consists of putting one million electric vehicles of various kinds on the road by 2020. the first phase of the development plan involves projects that will be funded to the tune of 500 million. the money will come from Germany’s Stimulus Package ii; the program will be implemented by a network consisting of the ministries of education and research (BmBF); environment, nature conservation, and nuclear Safety (BmU); economics and technology (Bmwi); and transport, Building, and Urban development (BmVBS). daimler’s involvement in Berlin is just one of several elements of the Group’s strategy for achieving zero-emission mobility. the “e-mobility Berlin” project and daimler’s cooperation with many partners from the automotive and energy supply industries in the clean
established between Berlin and hamburg. “Vehicle manufacturers need to be aware of just how important this infrastructure network of new filling stations is,” Kohler explains. An intelligent network has also been linking the sales organizations of mercedes-Benz and smart since 2009. the goal here is the distribution of knowledge rather than energy. experts from various daimler locations began training service teams at the mercedes-Benz outlet at Salzufer 1 in Berlin and at the neighboring smart center even before the alternative drive vehicles hit the road. the German capital will now be used as a base for developing the future nationwide service network that will handle the electric vehicles built by the two brands.
FUndinG For electric moBility the market for electric vehicles and the associated drive system technologies is growing around the world. Accordingly, a huge amount of funding is already being provided today for pilot projects and technical developments. only those companies that can strategically position themselves in this market of the future will be able to participate in its growth.
kAMEnZ daimler is simultaneously developing a new production network to accompany its network of electric mobility expertise. For example, deutsche Accumotive Gmbh is now building europe’s biggest factory for lithium-ion batteries in Kamenz. this will make daimler, which owns 90 percent of deutsche Accumotive, the first automobile manufacturer in europe to also produce lithium-ion batteries in high volumes for use in electric cars. daimler is also in a strong position as far as fuel cells are concerned. its nucellSys Gmbh subsidiary in nabern became wholly owned by the Group in the summer of 2009. the company has been manufacturing fuel cells since 2003 and is now working on the next generation of these units. Additional know-how in the field of electric drives is being gathered in california, where daimler holds a ten percent interest in the tesla electric mobility company in San carlos. expert knowledge provided by tesla was used to produce components of the first 1,000 smart fortwo ed models. “no other automaker has targeted its strategic focus so broadly and deeply in the direction of electric mobility as daimler has,” says mohrdieck. daimler’s future electric mobility network spans the globe. it’s a network that will lead to tomorrow’s automobile – to “Auto 2.0.” the smart fortwo electric drive is currently at the heart of this development. As it cruises along the streets of Berlin, the groundbreaking vehicle seems to radiate the dynamic potential and the trust that’s been placed in it. the reliable electric motor brings the driver home, where the vehicle can once again be recharged from the grid using a charging box specially made for private garages. this is where the smart fortwo electric drive gets the energy it needs to help usher in the future of mobility. •
CHinA innovations for more efficient drive systems:
1,000 million Euro
development of ten pilot regions:
2,000 million Euro
2,000 million Euro
U.S. development of battery technologies:
JAPAn development of battery technologies:
145 million Euro
gERMAny innovations for more efficient drive systems:
700 million Euro
gERMAn tARgEt: onE Million ElECtRiC VEHiClES by 2020 2009 PHASES
tARgEt FoR 2020: one million vehicles
SoUrce: excerpt from a report by the German budgetary committee for Stimulus Package ii, item 9 (Focus) “electric mobility” (Bmwi, BmVBS, BmU, BmBF, BmelV).
HyPerlinK You’ll find further information related to this article at:
daimler-technicity.com/technologyandinnovation including the following features: 1. how today’s electric vehicles from daimler operate 2. national and international funding for electric mobility 3. the history of electric vehicle development at daimler
MERCEdES-bEnZ b-ClASS F-CEll Federal ministry of transport, Building, and Urban development, Berlin
mercedeS-BenZ B-clASS F-cell
range: Approx. 400 km energy storage unit: lithium-ion battery (1.4 kw) Fuel cell power output: 100 kw torque: 290 nm top speed: electronically limited to 170 km/h dAimler-technicity.com
Putting the iPhone into the S-ClaSS The Mercedes-Benz research lab in Silicon Valley ensures that innovations quickly find their way into the brand’s vehicles. A perfect example of how this works is provided by the iPhone’s integration into the new S-Class.
CreaTive showdown David and Goliath are sometimes made for one another – at least when comes to hardware. rather than resulting in a battle, the showdown between the two can lead to a creative partnership. in one corner is the iPhone: 1.23 centimeters thin, 11.6 centimeters high, and weighing in at 135 grams, the iPhone and its even lighter brother, the iPod Touch, are among the most popular pocket computers in the world. More than 50 million units of these two Apple products, which can run well over 100,000 applications, had been sold by the end of 2009. in this regard, the two lightweights have turned the world of mobile communication and entertainment on its head. in the opposite corner stands the champion from Mercedes-Benz: the new S-Class, which is 5.21 meters long, 1.87 meters wide, and weighs in at two tons. The model is available in different drive system versions that include everything from a hybrid unit to a 12-cylinder engine. The output ranges from 279 hp to a maximum 610 hp, making the S-Class a vehicle that sets new standards, much as the iPhone does in its sector. The S-Class combines state-of-the-art technology, comfort, and safety into a high-performance package that quickly leaves most of its rivals in the dust. A closer look at the two seemingly unequal sparring partners reveals several common features. For example, both the iPhone and the S-Class embody innovation and a design philosophy that conceals complexity beneath an apparently simple yet elegant exterior. Thanks to a host of engineers and programmers, both also succeed in keeping users focused on the product and the enjoyment it offers, despite potential disturbances from third-party hawkers outside the ring, so to speak.
“Mercedes-Benz and Apple are premium brands for which user-friendliness and modern design are an integral part of corporate culture.” Johann Jungwirth, Ceo Mercedes-Benz research & Development north America, inc.
Those who utilize their iPhone in a new Mercedes-Benz can access their music directly via the vehicle’s instrument interface. This smooth operation was made possible by six years of joint development, an open exchange of ideas, and extensive experimentation. The source of the constant cycle of new ideas and products can be found on Hansen Way in Palo Alto, California – the home of the research and development lab operated by Mercedes-Benz north America. it’s a great place to be for anyone wanting to keep pace with the developments in Silicon Valley. iT giants like Hewlett-Packard, intel, Google, and yahoo! are no more than a 45-minute drive away, as is Apple. if necessary, you can even walk to world-renowned Stanford University to talk to brilliant professors and students. The lab’s two-story complex and adjacent workshop is occupied by engineers, programmers, and other specialists who work with hightech pioneers from California on the hardware and software systems of tomorrow. Mercedes-Benz enjoys a special relationship with Apple, whose chairman was just recently named “Ceo of the Decade” by Fortune magazine. Johann Jungwirth from Mercedes-Benz research & Development north America, inc. is convinced that the close cooperation between the two brands is best illustrated by the integration of the iPod and the iPhone into the new S-Class. This partnership was 42
unveiled at Macworld 2005 when Apple Ceo Steve Jobs presented the first iPod kit fully integrated into a Mercedes-Benz in a demonstration that attracted a great deal of attention around the world. The two companies have cooperated closely on a regular basis since that time, says Jungwirth: “Perfection doesn’t occur overnight, and therefore it’s extremely important that we’re located close together. That makes it easy to get on the phone and arrange a meeting at short notice to discuss ideas, proposals, and the objectives and vision behind what we’re doing.”
“People expect to have to replace their electronic devices every two or three years — but we design a Mercedes-Benz to last 30 years.” Bharat BalasuBramanian, Head of Product innovations & Process Technologies at Group research and Advanced engineering
Bharat Balasubramanian, Head of Product innovations & Process Technologies at Group research and Advanced engineering, knows how strategically imperative it is to search for fresh ideas — including those that come from competent partners outside one’s own company. “our people and the people at Apple share a respect for in-depth expert knowledge,” he says. “They’re very impressed by the quality of our integration operations – from the smart to the S-Class. our good networking not only has to do with physical proximity but also with our development teams, which come up with new ideas through close cooperation.” (see interview on page 46) indeed, Mercedes-Benz experts meet with Apple engineers around once a week in Cupertino. Such meetings are supplemented by executive-level conferences whenever key development milestones are reached. Developers often sit for hours in a vehicle to test flashes of brilliance. And that could mean everything from new interfaces for head units – for example, an interface that depicts the cover art for a specific album – to more detailed parameters such as scroll speed, which needs to be different on a vehicle display than in a handheld device. “This relaxed personal contact allows us to develop innovations more rapidly and also improves our ability to implement new ideas,” says Khaled Mosalem, the engineering director in Palo Alto. “Apple is also interested in our feedback because our common goal is to ensure that the customer enjoys a holistic experience — in other words, a perfect Apple product in a perfect Mercedes-Benz.” CulTural exChange The Silicon Valley lab has also proved to be extremely useful when it comes to transferring ideas across the Atlantic so that Mercedes-Benz engineers in europe can more effectively incorporate the innovations into the product development process. For example, the team from Palo Alto has three vehicles in Sindelfingen that they use to demonstrate new concepts. “Up until a couple of years ago, we were flying head units to Germany in special cases,” says Mosalem. “now it’s much easier and faster to present innovations to important experts and decision-makers.” There’s also a lively exchange between staff members in Sindelfingen, Germany, and California, with each side able to spend half a year or more at the other’s location to gain an insight into the respective culture. The early identification of new ideas from the creative hub of Silicon Valley and the incorporation of such ideas into Mercedes-Benz
CHRONIClE 2001 Apple Ceo Steve Jobs presents the com-
“war room”: engineers design applications for
the sketch shows how data flows between
the iPhone at the development center.
the vehicle and the iPhone.
pany’s first iPod in october. 2003 Close cooperation between Daimler research & Development and Apple begins. 2005 Apple Ceo Steve Jobs presents the first fully integrated Apple product solution developed by an automaker at Macworld in San Francisco. 2007 Apple unveils the iPhone in January; the device goes on sale at the end of June. 2008 Mercedes-Benz launches Apple product integration ex works. Mercedes drivers can now operate their iPods and iPhones via head units like the CoMAnD system.
Dummy paper displays help with the menu design for iPhone programs.
everyThing obeys myCoMand Whether it’s radio, music databases, traffic information or internet browsers — the myCoMAnD infotainment system from Mercedes-Benz does it all. All of its functions can be called up at lighting speed via an interface display above the center console: • Trip Assist accesses up-to-date information from the internet on traffic conditions and facilities like filling stations, parking areas, and hotels along the route. • The integrated browser allows drivers to surf the Web as they would on their PC. • The music player accesses songs from the driver’s personal library stored on the internet. • World radio can access any internet radio station in the world.
Flexible route selection with traffic information from the internet.
route is calculated with a detour to the next filling station.
Quick guidance to the nearest parking lot or hotel.
processes pays off. That’s why the team in Palo Alto experiments with new smartphone applications like those for the iPhone (apps) that can be downloaded quickly and strengthen the link between the driver and the vehicle. This was how the Universal Consumer interface (UCi) cable that allows drivers to access even more iPod functions was created at the lab on Hansen Way. The clever inventors in Palo Alto also provided a preview of the future of infotainment by developing a new head unit known as myCoMAnD. The myCoMAnD prototype in the S-Class obtains data for navigation, music, and video via a wireless 4G network that can transfer up to 25 megabits of data per second. Drivers can thus listen to any radio station in the world or even book a hotel room while on the move. “We’re always thinking about how we can integrate intelligent, open, and flexible infotainment and telematics interfaces and solutions into vehicles,” says Jungwirth. Such contemplation also includes determining how apps can best be called up and controlled via an onboard mobile communication device. The closely knit feedback cycle with the visionaries in Cupertino is meant to ensure that Mercedes-Benz and Apple will continue to emerge victorious from the ring in the future when it comes to performance, comfort, and user-friendliness. •
HYPERlINK You’ll find further information on this article at:
daimler-technicity.com/managementandprocesses including the following features: 1. The most popular Mercedes-Benz iPhone apps 2. Photos from the Palo Alto development lab 3. innovation: Account management via a smartphone in the car 4. Apple meets Mercedes-Benz: A success story
auToMoTive aPPs Where’s my car? The iPhone will be able to answer this question in the future — but the mobile application mbrace from Mercedes-Benz USA can do even more than that: • Mercedes drivers can use it to lock or unlock their vehicle via their cell phone touchscreen. • mbrace can locate the vehicle via GPS even in large parking lots. • in the event of a breakdown, mbrace automatically calls customer service or roadside assistance. • The iPhone can also locate the closest authorized Mercedes dealer. • mbrace can display the account balance with Mercedes-Benz Financial.
iPhone App for account management
Mercedes-Benz card game
new e-Class coupe game
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internet portal employees:2 5,500
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Semiconductors and solar cells employees:2 800
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“INNOvaTIONS Are Made b Bharat BalasuBramanian on inspiration from Silicon Valley
CURRICUlUM vITaE Prof. dr.-ing. bharat balasubramanian +++ Born in 1951 in Chennai, india +++ Bachelor of Technology, with “First Class Honors” from the indian institute of Technology in Mumbai (Bombay) +++ Master and PhD (engineering) “with distinction,” Universität Karlsruhe +++ Known internally as “Prof. Bharat” +++ involved with innovations at Daimler for more than 30 years +++ Worked on computer analyses and computer-aided design (CAD) at the Total Quality Management department and eventually became Vice President at Daimler Group research & Advanced engineering +++ Head of Product innovations & Process Technologies at Group research & Advanced engineering since April 2009 +++ Honorary Professor at Technische Universität Berlin +++
eMoTion Professor Balasubramanian, you’re responsible for product innovations. Besides green technologies and emission reductions, what key issues will need to be addressed in the future? The current discussions focus strongly on Co2 emissions, and these values certainly play a major role in the general acceptance enjoyed by our vehicles. nevertheless, i’m convinced that comfort and driving pleasure will greatly influence individual attitudes toward mobility in the future. That’s why developers should not underestimate customers’ perceptions here. Consider the ways in which you experience your vehicle every day. on the one hand, there are obvious vehicle characteristics such as the steering response, handling, and driving dynamics. But you also come into contact with systems that relax you — for instance, the radio, music players, and now the iPod and iPhone integration. innoVation innovations that drivers can see and feel … exactly. The issue of innovation is thus of key importance for our brand, especially in areas where we’re already very strong, like safety and comfort. Here i’m not just referring to traditional parameters like ride and handling or driving comfort but also to things like easy operation, relaxation, and the convenience of telematics applications. in these areas, our lab in Palo Alto is perfectly placed to point the way toward the future. mElting Pot what makes the development lab in northern California so important for Daimler? Silicon Valley, and especially Palo Alto, is a melting pot for innovation and innovative thinking. People here have no problem adopting completely new approaches, and this is what generates fresh ideas and
interesting concepts. Take MP3 music data and the Apple iPod: The MP3 format was developed by the Fraunhofer Society in Germany, but it was here in Silicon Valley that its commercial potential was identified and exploited. The trademark of this region is its capacity to generate ideas and bring together different technologies to create something new. That’s why we were the first German automaker to arrive on the scene here 15 years ago. CommunitY how does the innovation process at mercedes work? Do you get a significant boost from silicon Valley? yes, and that’s exactly why i took the top managers from my research centers on a tour two years ago to visit companies like Adobe, Apple, Google, and intel to see how these firms manage their innovation processes. We identified a basic pattern which showed us that innovations are not generated solely by research and development engineers but also by customers and employees — in other words, a community. each company we visited has a slightly different definition of what constitutes such a community. At some firms, any employee can suggest an idea that will then be further developed. in extreme cases, a company will post a question on the internet and pay a reward for the best solution. i particularly like iBM’s “innovation Jam” for companywide brainstorming campaigns, which was launched a couple of years ago. PlatForm how do you transfer these approaches to a german company? Good question. The first thing is to determine what fits in best with the German mentality. We decided to start with an innovation Jam like iBM’s because Germans are used to structured processes. We divided our first jam into three issue areas, each headed by a moderator who led the discus-
e by Communities.” sion. Since then we’ve further developed the idea and established a community platform that was launched at our research and development organization last october. CustomEr in the age of the internet, customers are also now proposing solutions or even new products. Do you believe this offers a possibility for a brand like mercedes-Benz to obtain new ideas, especially when it comes to comfort and user interfaces? i’d like to start a discussion on this topic, but even if it offers potential it won’t release us from our obligation to develop clever solutions ourselves. i don’t think customers alone can answer the key questions related to comfort and user-friendliness. There’s also the danger that user-generated solutions will focus too much on specific regions. Take the touchscreen, which is very popular in the U.S. but is having problems gaining acceptance in europe. This is one area where we need to offer a balanced solution that will work for europeans, Americans, and Asians alike.
QualitY Can you give us an example? Sure, let’s look at the speedometer. i can imagine being able to customize a digital display for this device much in the way this is already possible in the S-Class. But who is going to ensure the quality of the new display? And who will be liable if the display gives a slightly incorrect reading and tells me i’m only going at 70 kilometers an hour when i’m really going at 80? Quality assurance and liability have their own unique significance when you’re dealing with automobiles. A vehicle is much more than just code. Software leads the way to a function. And that function is associated with an optical, acoustic, or tactile experience — regardless of whether we’re talking about the sound system or the brakes. •
staBilitY some visionaries dream of making vehicles as easy to configure as an iPhone through the ability to download new software for modernizing a car or expanding its functions. There’s a basic difference between a laptop or iPhone and an automobile: if the computer crashes you have a system reset button to restart it, but that won’t work in a vehicle. you can’t reset a car while it’s in motion. This fact is largely ignored by the people who make those kinds of predictions. All of the systems in a vehicle must be stable. What’s more, you need to exclude any negative interaction with equipment or systems that are critical to safety and whose inclusion has been stipulated by law.
Energy-saving tips in instrument cluster
On-demand activation of air conditioning system compressor Automatic start/stop function
More aerodynamic exterior mirrors
On-demand activation of power-steering pump
Lightweight materials in the vehicle body
Extended rear axle ratio
Lowered vehicle body
Low rolling-resistance tires
Completely clad underbody
Engine downsizing Braking energy recovery
Sealed headlight joins
BlueeFFICIeNCY Under the designation BlueEFFICIENCY, Mercedes-Benz has assembled a package of measures that reduces a vehicleâ€™s energy consumption and thus its emissions. The holistic approach is the key â€” the sum of many detailed solutions adds up to the desired energy saving.
heat recovery from waste air
Sealed building envelope
Water-saving taps in the house
Insulated hot water pipes in the house
Triple-glazed windows with argon gas filling
Solar energy (or heat pump) for hot water
heat radiated by the occupants
Automatically controlled living area ventilation
Waste heat from electrical appliances
Optimally insulated walls
No cooling water flow when the engine is cold Preheating of fresh air by ground-coupled heat exchanger Completely clad engine compartment
On-demand activation of fan louver Insulated foundations
PassIvhaus BuIldINgs houses built to the Passivhaus standard obtain most of their energy for heating from passive sources such as incident solar radiation and waste heat. They normally utilize a heat recovery ventilation system. here too, the combination of numerous measures adds up to substantial energy savings.
New York‘s newest attractions are built by us. It‘s not just the tourists who are pleased about the new sights in the Big Apple. So are the passengers. That‘s because the urban buses from our Orion brand are equipped with low-consumption hybrid drive, meaning that they make an important contribution towards climate protection. There are more than 3,000 of these innovative buses on the road in major US cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles. Another milestone on our Road to Emission-free Mobility. www.daimler.com
a clear Vision is the basis of innovation. research vehicles like the mercedes-Benz F800 Style combine numerous high-tech applications â€” and offer a breathtaking glimpse of the premium automobile of the future. (Page 52) Descriptions of the world of tomorrow are far more than fiction, as futurologists are very much aware. The latter investigate the trends that will shape the markets of tomorrow. Their focus is context-oriented, forward-looking, interdisciplinary, and international. (Page 62) From station to station, our author accompanied the traffic expert Dan Sperling, an advisor of california Governor arnold Schwarzenegger. During the drive, Sperling explained why the presence of two billion vehicles on the planet would be a challenge, but not necessarily a problem. (Page 74)
lED hEADlIGhTS | LED-ScHEINWERfER Expressive “face”
headlights • Advanced light-emitting diodes (LEDs) • Fiber optics with high light efficiancy and low energy consumption • Strikingly attractive touches • Dynamic look
SIDEwAll | SEITENfLANKE Emotion-inspiring tension
Design features • Organically stretched body surfaces • Convex transition zones and precisely curved lines • Visible structuring of the vehicle body • Highly dynamic character • Roofline underscores the coupe’s aerodynamic design
TYPE | TYP
TOPIC | THEMA
DESIGN I DESIGN
COMMENT | KOMMENTAR
The f800 Style research car combines the functionality of a five-seater premium-class sedan with the highly emotional design idiom of the new Mercedes-Benz design. YEAR | JAHR
RATING | BEWERTUNG
Tomorrow’s design and technology – today.
sTyle EMOTIONAl FORMAl IDIOM | EMOTIONALE fORMENSPRAcHE The f800 Style provides a glimpse of the highly emotive Mercedes-Benz design of the future. The car’s exterior appearance is marked by a long wheelbase, short body overhangs, and an elegantly flowing, coupe-like roofline. Dynamic lines and balanced proportions ensure a look that conveys style and authority. At the front of the car, the radiator grille is contrasted in an eye-catching manner by the smoothly framed, centrally placed star. At night, the vehicle’s stylish rear section is accentuated by LED taillights.
F800 STYlE | f800 STYLE length (mm): 4,738 width (mm): 1,938 height (mm): 1,445 wheelbase (mm): 2,924 Inertia class (kg): 1,700 Tires: 215/45 R 20
TYPE | TYP
TOPIC | THEMA
SAFETY | SIcHERHEIT
COMMENT | KOMMENTAR
The research car embodies the rigorous continuation of Mercedes-Benzâ€™ assistance and safety philosophy. The goal is accident-free driving. YEAR | JAHR
RATING | BEWERTUNG
The vision of accident-free driving is becoming a reality.
TRAFFIC JAM VEhIClE FOllOw ASSIST STAUfOLGEfAHRASSISTENT Reducing driver stress ElECTRONIC EYES | ELEKTRONIScHE AUGEN Stereo camera to detect spatial depth at a range of up to 50 meters. Short-range radar with a range of 30 meters. long-range radar with a range of 200 meters.
The tried and tested DISTRONIc PLUS system in the f800 Style has been enhanced to include the Traffic Jam Assistant function. By means of targeted steering corrections, the car follows the vehicle ahead even in curves – a world first. The Traffic Jam Assistant works with short-range and long-range radar sensors. The stereo camera makes it possible to detect and interpret the spatial depth and speed of movement of other road users. It works at speeds of up to 40 km/h.
INTEllIGENT TEChNOlOGY | INTELLIGENTE TEcHNIK ACCIDENT-FREE DRIVING | UNfALLfREIES fAHREN
The f800 Style is also equipped with the innovative occupant protection system
It is Daimler’s stated goal to turn the vision of accident-free driving into
PRE-SAFE 360°, which delivers even greater passive safety. It also monitors the
reality. All of its assistance systems are designed to do this by reducing driver
area behind the vehicle and helps to prevent secondary accidents. The brakes
stress and thus ensuring a safer journey.
are applied about 600 milliseconds before the vehicle is struck from the rear.
One example is the DISTRONIc PLUS Traffic Jam Assistant: At very low
The primary benefit of this is that the vehicle, which is already stationary, isn’t
speeds in heavy traffic it regulates the distance from the vehicle ahead, all
propelled into an intersection or a pedestrian crosswalk, for instance. The driver
the way down to a standstill, while also automatically following the driver
remains in control. The brake is immediately released if, for example, the driver
ahead through curves – for improved convenience and active traffic safety.
hits the gas pedal because there is sufficient space in front of his or her own vehicle to avoid a rear impact.
COzY INTERIOR | WOHLfüHLINNENRAUM Partly transparent roof: Light-flooded interior Cockpit design: Ample legroom for the occupants Range on Map: The electric drive’s range at a glance Mirror display: Longer viewing distances are easier on the eyes Cam touchpad: Easier operation with less distraction Natural wood veneer with aluminum core: Design and superior safety
lIGhTwEIGhT SEAT | LEIcHTBAUSITz Function and design
The lightweight seats in the f800 Style consist of a woodveneered magnesium shell and a carbon fiber laminate backrest structure, across which a fine yet wear-resistant netting is stretched. Wood veneer lends a special touch. Thanks to an aluminum core, all wood elements meet the typical Mercedes-Benz crash protection requirements.
TYPE | TYP
TOPIC | THEMA
COMFORT | KOMfORT
COMMENT | KOMMENTAR
The interior is characterized by a light contemporary ambience – functional elements seem to float in space like sculptures. YEAR | JAHR
RATING | BEWERTUNG
Wood elements and an attractive color scheme ensure a pleasant interior.
hMI CAM-TOuCh-PAD | HMI cAM-TOUcH-PAD Simple and safe interaction
The innovative HMI cam-touch-pad detects the movements of the user’s hand over the touchpad and shows them on the central display superimposed on the active menu functions, which can then be selected at the touch of a finger. The cam touchpad recognizes finger movements such as wiping, pushing, rotating, and zooming, allowing intuitive use of a variety of vehicle systems, including the Internet.
DOOR CONCEPT | TüRKONzEPT
One new function is Range on Map. At a glance, the central display depicts the remaining possible travel radius with electric vehicle operation as a 360° view on a map.
The swivel arm for the rear door is mounted on the c-pillar, so the entire space is available for getting into and out of the car when the door is opened.
PIVOT-AND-SlIDE DOORS | ScHWENKScHIEBETüREN The door concept of the f800 Style is a particularly customer-friendly innovation. The front doors are attached to the A-pillar in the conventional manner and open toward the front, but the rear doors slide backward when opened, revealing – because the design dispenses with a B-pillar – a large opening that makes it easy to get in and out of the car. To make this possible, the Mercedes-Benz engineers created an entirely new opening mechanism: Each of the rear doors is suspended from an interior swivel arm with sophisticated kinematics, which is mounted on the c-pillar. The front doors of the f800 Style open toward the front as usual; the rear doors slide backward.
Displacement (l): 3.5 Rated output of gasoline engine (kw): approx. 220 Rated output of electric motor (kw): approx. 80 Total output (kw): approx. 300 Acceleration 0 -100 km/h (s): 4.8 Top speed, electronically limited (km/h): 250 Top speed on electric power, electronically limited (km/h): 120 Fuel consumption (l/100 km): 2.9* Electric range (km): 30 Total range (km): approx. 700 CO2 emissions (g/km): 68 Emissions rating: EU 6 Energy content of lithium-ion battery (kwh): > 10 * NEDc overall consumption, preliminary value
PluG-IN hYbRID | PLUG-IN HYBRID Optimized for fuel economy and emissions As a Plug-in HYBRID, the f800 Style offers Operating and control electronics
7G-TRONIC automatic transmission
up to 30 kilometers of electric mobility with zero local emissions. Over longer distances, a gasoline engine equipped with the latest
direct-injection technology is supported by the hybrid module. The result is a highperformance, efficient driving experience. The certified fuel consumption is only 2.9 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers, with correspondingly low cO2 emissions of only 68 grams per kilometer.
V6 gasoline engine
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DRIVES I ANTRIEBE
COMMENT | KOMMENTAR
The f800 Style harmonizes the requirements of mobility and environmental protection. The planned drive concepts are pioneering. YEAR | JAHR
RATING | BEWERTUNG
The car of the future offers the same degree of flexible mobility that we enjoy today.
Rated output (kw/hp): approx. 100/136 Rated torque (Nm): approx. 290 Acceleration 0 -100 km/h (s): 11 Top speed, electronically limited (km/h): 180 hydrogen consumption (kg/100 km): 0.9* CO2 emissions (g/km): 0 (km): :Range 215/45 R 20approx. 600 Energy content of lithium-ion battery (kwh): 1.4 * NEDc overall consumption, corresponds to 3.0 liters of diesel equivalent
F-CEll | f-cELL The only emission: water vapor The f-cELL variant of the f800 Style is Fuel cell
equipped with an onboard fuel cell unit that runs on hydrogen. As a consequence, the vehicle produces zero pollutant emissions. The only thing emitted from fuel cell-powered electric cars is water vapor. The f800 Style is the world’s first fuel-cell vehicle with rear-wheel drive; the car’s electric motor is installed directly between the rear wheels.
Electric motor with reduction gear
VARIAblE VEhIClE | VARIABLE fAHRzEUGARcHITEKTURARChITECTuRE The engineers equipped the f800 Style with a variable vehicle architecture,
This modular system offers various options when it comes to output and inten-
making it suitable for use with a variety of alternative drive systems. Examples
ded use. What’s more, all of the hybrid drive variants can be realized. The f800
include the Plug-in HYBRID and f-cELL variants presented here, which can be
Style with f-cELL also benefits from this modular system, which has provided
easily realized in the f800 Style. To help with the design of hybrid vehicles,
its electric motor and the powerful lithium-ion battery, for example. Another
Daimler has developed a scalable modular system with all the necessary
indication of the everyday practicality of the f800 Style concepts is the car
trunk’s generous capacity of 440 liters in all variants.
et’s embark on a short journey into the future. Welcome to the year 2020. The world’s population has increased from 6.8 billion in early 2010 to 7.6 billion. Most people are living and working in cities, and the trend toward city dwelling is intensifying further. Family, friends, work, leisure, and the home – these aspects continue to dominate daily life. Priorities have shifted somewhat, however. When it comes to making decisions, many people are now concentrating on how their choices will improve their personal quality of life.
In 2010 the Mercedes-Benz f800 Style has good reason to claim that it will be the automobile of the future. Each of the car’s individual characteristics is a symbol of people’s desire for a better quality of life. “We are dedicated to harmonizing our responsibility for the environment with practical customer utility in a fascinating automobile,” says Thomas Weber, the Daimler Board of Management member responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz cars Development. The research vehicle combines this commitment to leadership when it comes to innovative drive concepts with the traditional strengths of Mercedes-Benz in the areas of styling, safety, comfort, and outstanding performance.
In 2020 energy – a commodity that was once used almost wastefully – has become, quite literally, of very great value. Energy plays a valuable role in helping us shape our daily lives, whether we are at home, at work, or on the move. Environmental awareness has increased as a result — as has the determination to preserve the Earth’s ecological balance. People are taking account of a far wider range of factors in planning their everyday lives, particularly with regard to energy issues. In this context, well-thought-out solutions are the better solutions. For example, houses with self-climatizing walls and circulating air produce a comfortable basic indoor climate in hot and cold regions alike – without the need for air conditioning systems or any additional energy input.
“Green” design was a key factor in the creation of the f800 Style. The objective was to realize an environmentally friendly vehicle that also looked the part. One look at the research vehicle’s body design, for example, makes it clear that the aim was to achieve a low coefficient of drag and thus create an energy-efficient automobile. Howev-
er, the design also lends the car a very elegant appearance. And in the interior, the innovative seats of the f800 Style are designed for maximum comfort on long trips. The basic structure of magnesium and a carbon fiber laminate backrest, over which a fine yet resistant netting is stretched, makes the seats lightweight but very stable. In terms of the sum of the parts, this is both a functional solution and an aesthetic delight.
The well-thought-out solution is the better solution: This guiding principle applies to nearly every issue shaping everyday life in the year 2020, and always with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of life. For jobs where teleworking is a viable option, the numbers of teleworking positions are continuing to rise. This not only eliminates a source of stress but also gives people more time. After all, the beneficiaries no longer have to fight their way through traffic jams or suffer in overcrowded commuter trains every morning at 8:00 a.m. and every afternoon at 4:00 p.m. Another example of well-thought-out solutions is provided by decentralized supply parks, which make shopping quick and convenient thanks to a variety of mobility platforms – including the automobile with its environmentally friendly drive system.
The Mercedes-Benz f800 Style has been designed for use with different drive systems. The aim here is not only to accommodate the engineers’ desire to test the drives but also to show that it is possible to offer a vehicle model with a wide variety of drive systems, as has previously been the case. The drive systems involved range from the very low-emission Plug-in HYBRID, which combines an electric motor with a combustion engine, to the zero-emission f-cELL, an electric vehicle in which the energy is supplied by a fuel cell. customers choose which variant they would like, in line with their preferences and needs. Thomas Weber points out that “hybrid and fuel cell electric drives are two key components of a broad range of drive systems with which we plan to fulfill customer’s mobility requirements both today and in the future.” Daimler’s road to sustainable mobility is a “three-lane highway” encompassing the optimization of vehicles with advanced combustion engines, further gains in efficiency through tailored hybridization, and locally emission-free driving in electric vehicles powered by fuel cells or batteries. The f800 Style’s drive concepts document how this thinking will be fulfilled in the near future. In fact, series production of the Plug-in HYBRID is in sight, with the market launch of the Mercedes-Benz S-cLASS scheduled for
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FuTuRE I zUKUNfT
COMMENT | KOMMENTAR
The future gets a fresh start every day. And while the car of tomorrow will be different from the vehicles we know today, it will still be an important feature in our everyday lives. TEXT | TEXT
Looking ahead: Thirty years of futurology at Daimler PersPectives for tomorrow Futurology is a well-respected profession, but it has one major occupational hazard: the constant danger of being mistaken for fortune-telling. There’s something about this line of work that makes people expect to see smoke and mirrors and more than a hint of drama. The historical benchmark was established by the notoriously vague oracle at Delphi in ancient Greece. Later, the high priests of ancient Rome were no slouches either, as they pored over the entrails of animals and furrowed their brows. In more modern times, the soothsayers had high hopes that supercomputers might be able to spit out the secrets of the future. The futurologists at Daimler, however, make no such claims. Here in Berlin, Germany, in the large, open-plan office on Potsdamer Platz, the atmosphere is more one of restrained seriousness. There’s not a crystal ball in sight as the 40 or so researchers go about their business of plotting out conceivable long-term automotive market developments. Instead of tinkering with rocket engines or cars with wings, a group of young and casually dressed researchers gathers before a flipchart bearing the words “Future Urban Mobility.” Frank Ruff and Thomas Waschke, who jointly head Daimler’s Society and Technology Research Group in Berlin, are both pretty sober, level-headed characters. The word “forecast,” for example, doesn’t crop up as often as one might expect.
1. Respect for the future
future focus The Society and Technology Research Group is part of the Daimler Center for Society, Vehicle Concepts, and Human-Machine Interaction, which is headed by Claus Ehlers. For the past 30 years, it has been investigating the trends that shape the markets of tomorrow, primarily in relation to the automotive sector. Its focus is interdisciplinary, international, and future-oriented. In cooperation with customers from Daimler, the research group draws up possible future scenarios. These lead to the creation of platforms on which products, strategies, organizational forms, and working processes can be designed and developed. The team’s publications include the annual publication delta report, which provides decision-makers at Daimler with an overview of strategically important developments.
research toPics • Regional perspectives • Social change, lifestyles, consumption • Mobility, transportation, traffic • Energy, resources, environment • Innovation, value creation, organization
name: Society and Technology Research Group (STRG) founded: 1979
test lab berlin For the futurologist, the chief tools of the trade are scenarios. Now, the attractive thing about a scenario is that it is a modest, unassuming version of prediction. The aim is not to arrive at a cast-iron forecast, but instead to sketch out a variety of possible futures. The next step is to distinguish between the more or less probable and the more or less desirable ones. “Unfortunately, the desirable scenarios are not always the most probable,” says Waschke. “But we can’t paint the world to suit our preferences.” Steeped in history, the home of the Daimler research team teaches us more than a little respect for the vagaries of the future. After all, Potsdamer Platz was once Germany’s busiest traffic junction and, in 1925, the site of the country’s first traffic lights. Only a few years 62
unit: Society, Vehicle Concepts, and Human-Machine Interaction director: Claus Ehlers based: Berlin, Böblingen, and Palo Alto emPloyees: Approximately 40 Projects: > 300
HYPERLINK Further information on this article is available online at: daimler-technicity.com/managementandprocesses
HoRSE oR CAR? Kaiser Wilhelm II was wrong to predict the disappearance of the automobile.
SL oR SMART? Future vehicle concepts must satisfy requirements regarding quality of life, sustainability, aesthetics, design, and modern technology.
previously, Kaiser Wilhelm II had confidently predicted: “My money’s on the horse — the automobile’s just a passing fad.” Twenty-five years later, Potsdamer Platz was little more than a wasteland, ravaged by World War II and then abandoned as a no man’s land between the East and the West. Then of course everything changed with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 — an event that hadn’t been predicted by contemporary analysts. Daimler’s futurology activities have been based in Berlin for the last 30 years. In 1994, in response to globalization, an offshoot was opened in Palo Alto, California. Back in 1979, however, there were a number of good reasons for deciding to locate the research group “Transport, Environment, Future” in Germany’s divided city. Not only did Berlin have a rich and diverse scientific community and an international atmosphere — the city itself was also essentially a huge social experiment. At the same time, the decision had a clear political dimension. In opting for Berlin, Daimler-Benz (as the company was then called) was making a clear commitment to the city itself and its status as an outpost of freedom. Obviously, the future can be actively shaped — by each of us, every day — rather than just passively endured. Perhaps this is why one of the research department’s maxims reads as follows: “Although we can’t know the future, we can prepare ourselves for it. But to do so, we need to understand that it is we ourselves who shape our future.”
2. Broadening horizons strategic foresight In retrospect, the decision to set up a satellite group to analyze “nontechnical future developments related to the automotive sector” was an inspired one, taken by the engineers who have traditionally formed the company’s backbone. “Other automakers weren’t anything like as advanced as we were, back then,” says Ruff, a psychologist and sociologist. He describes the team’s area of activity as “strategic foresight at the company’s system boundaries.” 64
An interdisciplinary team of psychologists, economists, communications experts, business experts, physicists, and philosophers helps with this task. “Looking at the future requires input from a whole range of academic horizons and cultural backgrounds,” says Ruff. “By adopting such an approach, it’s possible to gain insight into how technical, economic, and social developments combine to bring about change. That’s why it’s important to not only maintain contact with various outside experts and researchers in other fields, but also to consider different views and mindsets in other spheres of social life.” To take a very simple example, more and more people now live on their own. And obviously, those people want something different from the traditional family car. While an understanding of the different lifestyles that people might lead now and in the future is not necessarily within the classic “system boundaries” of an automobile manufacturer, “strategic foresight” can provide valuable information when it comes to decision-making. A recent and highly concrete example of strategic foresight and successful cooperation between the Daimler futurologists and vehicle developers is provided by the latest range of vans and their equipment lines. The day when a couple of young entrepreneurs had the idea of setting up an online auction house for secondhand goods was a momentous day for commercial vehicle manufacturers. “The growing success of Internet companies such as eBay and Amazon made us think about how this new business sector might influence the design of our vans,” Waschke recalls. The result was a comprehensive questionnaire for the development unit to mull over: How large would the parcels be? How could the shelving in the vehicle be best designed to accommodate individual deliveries? What could be done to make getting in and out of the vehicle easier? How should the cockpit be designed so that drivers can plan and navigate their rounds from the comfort of the driving seat?
3. Keeping options open timescales Since 1979, Daimler futurologists have worked on more than 300 projects in order to draw up a series of strategies for dealing with what remains, by nature, an uncertain future. The classic challenge facing automakers is a decision-making one. They are only too well aware that the decisions taken today will have consequences for the next 20 years. After all, we shouldn’t forget that the vehicles currently emerging from design studios will still be in use two decades from now. In this context, making the “right” decision means keeping as many options open as possible. Moreover, such decisions involve questions that are not only technical but also social. One of the chief tasks of the Daimler futurologists is to provide engineers and marketing experts with complementary information that makes it easier to predict whether a chosen product strategy will be in harmony with future developments. Automobile manufacturers have to operate according to various timescales, and this continually leads to conflicting objectives. What seems to make sense for the next five years could prove to be a major catastrophe in 20 to 30 years’ time, and vice versa. The following are just a few of the key questions currently being addressed by the futurologists: How will new and growing markets, such as China and India, develop in the future? Will the automobile turn out to be a less suitable form of transport in an increasingly urban environment? What do current mobility patterns and mobility types look like, and how will they change in the future? What role will commercial vehicles play in a changed economic context? Will the automobile cease to be a form of self-expression? And by association, how will we define luxury in the future? Similarly, what will give life meaning? According to Ruff, in order to answer these questions the crucial thing is to keep an open mind. One of the most important things is not to believe what everyone one else automatically accepts at face value. We must learn to question the conventional wisdom that produces DAIMLER-TECHNICITy.COM
MAn oR woMAn? Growing individualization, pluralization, and emancipation lead to new lifestyles with different mobility requirements.
GASoLInE oR ELECTRICITy? Making the right decisions means keeping as many options open as possible â€” a maxim that also applies to new drive technologies.
FISH oR VEHICLE? Nature has had around four billion years to perfect its designs â€” which is precisely what makes it of such interest to vehicle developers.
truisms of the kind: “Everyone knows that nobody in China cares about the environment.” Is that statement really true? The answer is no. In fact, China has now introduced forceful environmental legislation, although the pressure to do so didn’t come from the grass roots — in other words, it wasn’t the Chinese people and environmental organizations that forced the change of heart. “Instead, in China it’s the government that has been addressing this issue. In other words, the pressure came from above.” As far as automobile manufacturers are concerned, this may have interesting consequences. Perhaps China will end up promoting the cause of electric vehicles sooner than other countries.
4. Hotline to the zeitgeist a question of luxury Anyone who is prepared to look at the world as closely as Ruff, Waschke, and their colleagues do can expect to make some surprising discoveries. Take Saudi Arabia, for example. As we all know, or at least think we do, women there have a low social status. “Careful!” says Ruff. “The ratio of male to female graduates in Saudi Arabia is already two to three!” In other words, a manufacturer of premium automobiles shouldn’t assume that in this region it’s always the men who decide what products to buy. Or let’s consider the situation in Africa. We all believe that Africa will never sort out its problems, right? “A few years ago, the situation in Angola was particularly critical; today it’s the fastest-growing market in Africa,” Ruff explains. “In our opinion, it’s important to keep an eye on a country like that!” Of particular interest to Waschke and his team is what he calls the “young elite” — these are the urban dwellers who “set and reinforce the trends that will later trickle down to society as a whole.” Every now and again, Waschke invites a member of this group to spend some time as an intern at Potsdamer Platz in order to help enrich the diversity of ideas there. “What we think today will determine how people live tomorrow,” wrote the celebrated Spanish philosopher and essayist Ortega y Gasset. One of the budding young employees is busy investigating the topic of sustainable urban planning, another is working on the future directions of globalization. Above and beyond the input that comes from such concrete projects, this form of collaboration also estab-
lishes what Waschke calls a “hotline to the zeitgeist.” And this is crucial when it comes to answering the big question that is currently taxing the brains of the futurologists in Berlin, namely: How will our attitude to the automobile change? And, by association, a question with particular relevance to Daimler: What will we regard as luxury in the future?
5. Finger on the pulse building blocks for tomorrow The observations of this young elite in the major cities of the world can help provide a toolkit for the future. Ruff reels off a list of headings that might help define luxury in the coming decades: “Quality of life, sustainability, aesthetics, design, modern technology.” These are the kinds of concepts that awaken the interest of Claus Ehlers, Director of the new Center for Society, Vehicle Concepts, and Human-Machine Interaction. “They have their finger on the pulse,” says Ehlers, referring to the Berlin futurologists, who also belong to his organization. “Their input flows into our pool of knowledge and is then broken down alongside analyses from customer and market research in order to create future vehicle concepts.” It is Ehlers’ job to come up with research and concept vehicles that point the way toward the vehicle and mobility requirements of the future. And here the issues are not only especially efficient drive technologies and safety systems but efficiency as an inherent feature — for example, in vehicle interiors and new materials. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the latter should also be able, for example, to eliminate temperature differences, thus reducing the requirement for heating and air conditioning. Ehler’s Berlin team of futurologists often provides the designer engineers with tips from completely different fields. Inspiring ideas might come from an exhibition of zero energy buildings, for example, or a competition for young fashion designers. “We’re constantly on the lookout for unusual connections,” Ruff explains. “As a futurologist, you’re on duty all the time.” On occasion, even a religious text can bring inspiration. St. Augustine, for example, is credited with a sentence that expresses the very essence of futurology: “The quest itself reveals more than its object.” •
2011. In addition, production of a small batch of fuel cell electric cars based on the current Mercedes-Benz B-class for selected customers has already begun.
In 2020 people are acting with a new sense of maturity, because they understand the impact of their decisions on their immediate environment and therefore on their own lives. This new awareness is demonstrated in people’s attitudes toward energy, mobility, and food. What’s more, they understand that they ultimately bear responsibility for their own actions. And they don’t consider this responsibility to be a burden. Instead, it is the key to even greater freedom and a better quality of life. This new sense of maturity was already evident in 2010, as could be seen from the widespread use of the Internet, a tool that enables users to gather the best information in order to make their own decisions. Acting independently and responsibly remains an important element of everyday life in 2020.
Engineers and designers have been addressing the issues related to onboard Internet access for several years now. from a technical point of view, it would be easy to connect a vehicle to the World Wide Web. Accessing the Internet in a car is much different from using it elsewhere, however. The cam touchpad in the f800 Style is a good example of how Internet operation can be made intuitive. This feature is obviously suited to other uses as well, including operation of the air conditioning, the audio system, and other vehicle functions. What’s more, it enhances safety by ensuring an even lower level of driver distraction than is the case with currently used systems. The f800 Style also features other innovations aimed at improving active and passive safety, including the DISTRONIc PLUS Traffic Jam Assistant, which further reduces driver stress in congested traffic. The system carries out targeted steering movements in order to ensure that the driver’s car follows the vehicle in front even when driving along curves. However, the system recognizes the difference between driving along a curved road and turning, which means it doesn’t “blindly” follow the vehicle in front – for example, when it changes lanes in order to exit the highway. Drivers can, of course, override the system at any time.
Improved protection against rear-end collisions is provided by PRESAfE 360°, which also monitors the area behind the vehicle. If a rearend collision appears imminent, the system activates the brakes of the vehicle. This prevents the impact from propelling the stationary car into an intersection or pedestrian crossing. Secondary accidents are avoided as a result. It goes without saying that the driver always retains control over the car. The brake is immediately released, for instance, when a driver who sees that there is sufficient space in front of his or her own car hits the gas pedal to avoid the vehicle approaching from the rear.
In 2020 the search for well-thought-out solutions is particularly influencing how technology is used. People don’t always use the simplest or most complex solution, nor do they automatically opt for the least costly or most expensive one. Instead, they use the solution that best meets their requirements and, for example, represents the best compromise between resource conservation and convenience. Such a device might be a cell phone that doesn’t have the full range of technically feasible features, but instead provides the required features in a totally reliable manner. Or it could be a car whose characteristics are exactly tailored to meet the driver’s mobility needs. But this approach to the use of technology doesn’t mean that people only act rationally or that emotional factors no longer play a role in their decisions. Instead, it means that people are more conscious of how they use technology.
The conscious use of technology is already exemplified by the Mercedes-Benz f800 Style. The car is a sophisticated high-tech product with which the brand is taking its “fascination and responsibility” pledge to an entirely new level. And when it comes to mobility, that’s exactly what every new vehicle has done during the company’s almost 125-year history. The f800 Style is thus a perfect expression of Gottlieb Daimler’s maxim “the best or nothing” – something he always demanded for himself and his customers. What’s more, it is also a particularly dynamic interpretation of the “fascination and responsibility” theme – one that inspires us to look forward to the future. Is it possible to pay a greater tribute to a research vehicle? •
MObIlITY OF ThE FuTuRE | MOBILITÄT DER zUKUNfT
hYPERlINK | HYPERLINK
In the future it will be more important than ever before to harmonize the needs
Further information related to this article is available at:
of mobility and environmental protection. The world’s population will continue to
grow, particularly in metropolitan areas, which will become increasingly crowded
including the following features:
with advancing urbanization. This will result in a greater demand for mobility – and
1. How the features of the f800 Style work
consequently higher traffic densities. According to the latest studies, the total
2. Photo gallery: The f800 Style in pictures
number of automobiles in the world will double to roughly 1.8 billion vehicles by
3. Videos and animations of the f800 Style
2030. As the inventor of the automobile, Mercedes-Benz is taking responsibility for its ongoing development – in order to provide efficient and clean drive solutions without the need to sacrifice comfort, safety, functionality, or driving pleasure.
Gorden Wagener Design of the future: Mercedes-Benz chief designer Gorden Wagener talks about methodology, “green thinking,” and urban design.
CurriCuluM ViTAE +++ Born in Essen, Germany in 1968 +++ Married, one son +++ Received honorary professorship at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest in 2009 +++ Studied industrial design in Essen +++ From 1995 on, worked for Opel, Mazda, and Volkswagen +++ In 1997 his mentor, Peter Pfeiffer, recruited him for Mercedes-Benz in Sindelfingen, Germany +++ Made his debut as Head of Design in 2008 at the Paris Auto Show with the “Concept Fascination” car +++ Heads 500 employees in five design studios worldwide +++ His masterpiece, from 2009, is the new version of the SLS AMG gullwing car +++
Mr. Wagener, when was the last time you looked at a well-designed object that was not a car and thought to yourself, “Wow, that’s a great design”? My favorite gadget is the iPhone. It’s got a simple design and it feels high-quality. But the really revolutionary thing about it is the graphics. And graphics are becoming increasingly important for product design, in cars as well. Apple has developed a corporate and product design that is much clearer and easier to grasp than those of its competitors. Nowadays, clear and simple design also implies luxury. Mercedes-Benz also has this kind of strong corporate identity. And how is this expressed in your design strategy? In our design strategy we clearly aim to create a synthesis that you could describe as “stylish sportiness.” Like the design of the 300 SL gullwing vehicle from the 1950s? That is the veritable incarnation of stylish sportiness. The 300 SL has appealing surfaces that are beautiful and stylish. They correspond to our ideal of beauty. We would like to define ourselves this way in the future as well. What kind of influence do designers have today? For a creative individual, there are no limits. The beautiful thing about design is its universality. Design has a crucial influence on the success of products and thus on the success of a company. Some people talk about an intangible “design value” that
can be calculated and identifies design as a “value driver” within a company … Do you feel a bit like an architect? After all, architects’ design ideas also shape the image of streets and cities over decades. Architecture and design have a lot in common. Most of all, the two disciplines are similar because of their creativity. You can see that in Bauhaus architecture, for example. Stylish and very efficient ideas have flowed into it, and they are still having an impact today because of their uninterrupted modernity and timelessness. That’s the greatest compliment that can be paid to an architect or designer, even though very different parameters are influencing design and architecture today. Can you give us an example? Today, architects and designers are using completely different tools and methods. Take Frank Gehry, for example. His Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles was designed with software that had previously only been used for freeform surfaces in the automotive sector. What is taking place in both disciplines at the moment is not only a technological transformation but also an interdisciplinary creative process. This, in turn, is inspiring us and enabling us to overcome various limits in the area of design as well. How is increasing urbanization influencing design, and which city is generating the most interesting ideas? In my opinion, the Number One city of the future is currently Tokyo. This city is generating a wealth of ideas in the field of urban design that are also influencing us
at Mercedes-Benz. For example, the average age of the Japanese population is increasing, and Japanese designers recently reacted to this demographic change by creating an “armchair on wheels.” In large cities the issue of “urban green design” is playing an ever greater role. That’s true. The whole aspect of green issues is also an integral part of our design strategy. Green issues in all their facets are simply a part of our new definition of luxury — which doesn’t mean that “green” has to be defined in terms of sacrifice! New technologies and drive systems such as hybrid, electric, and fuel cell drives have to be presented through their design as technologically sophisticated, innovative and environmentally friendly — but also stylish and elegant. How have you managed to do that in your current product portfolio? Through a particularly aerodynamic design vocabulary! One example of that is the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class family. The E-Class is our response to the challenge of combining style, elegance, and efficiency, which I have just sketched out. The E-Class coupe has a Cd figure of 0.24, which makes it a world champion in terms of efficient aerodynamics. And yet the coupe also has the stylish and classic sportiness that we wanted to create. Let’s conclude by taking a short backward look and giving a preview of the future. The backward look won’t be very easy, because in the past 18 months — that is, since I became Head of Design at MercedesBenz — we’ve successfully launched more than 13 models. We’ve received very positive feedback on them, and we’ve also modified our organizational structures in the design area to meet the challenges of the future. For example, we’ve established centers of expertise and opened a design studio in Japan. At the moment we’re working on our design philosophy of the future. We’ve already given the public an initial glimpse of it through our design sculpture in Detroit and the F800 Style research vehicle. As you can see, this work will continue to be exciting for me and my team! •
SINgApore The “tiger state” plays a key role in the electronics and biotechnology sectors, and aims to become a pioneer in terms of innovative transport concepts and green technology.
PARAMETERS SIngAPORE * StatuS: Island and city-state Founded in: 1965 area: 687 km2 population (city): 4,657,452 population denSity (city): 6,779 inhabitants/km2
ArchItecture In Singapore utilitarian structures such as subway stations and dams go far beyond their actual functions. They serve as hallmarks of sophisticated architecture and a new urban lifestyle: • The recently completed Bras Basah MrT station in front of the art museum is 35 meters underground, making it the deepest subway station in Singapore. Nevertheless, it is illuminated with natural light that shines down into the station through skylights. The glass roof panels have a special effect: When viewed from above they look like reflecting pools. • The “Marina Barrage” dam holds back a freshwater reservoir in the middle of the city. In addition to providing flood protection, it has become a new leisure-time attraction for Singapore residents.
MobIlIty When it comes to innovative transport concepts, Singapore has been a pioneer for years. In 2008 Singapore Mass rapid Transit (SMrT) became the first company in Southeast Asia to use Mercedes-Benz city buses with BlueTec 5 for its public transportation service. The buses satisfy the euro V standard and significantly reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The Mercedes-Benz A-class with fuel cell drive first hit the streets of the city-state back in 2004. The aim of the test was to determine how reliable the fuel cell would be in a tropical climate. daimler-technicity.com/citiesandnetworks
* Source: cIA World Factbook
A pooL oF IDeAS For cITY DWeLLerS: INNoVATIoNS FroM Four MAJor cITIeS.
AuSTIN Austin has earned a reputation as a high-tech center. The Texas city is testing new ideas in areas including energy supply and mobility concepts.
PARAMETERS AUSTIn * StatuS: capital and fourth-largest city in the State of texas Founded in: 1835 area: 767.28 km2 population (city): 750,525 population (region): 1,557,829 population denSity (city): 1,152 inhabitants/km2
coMMunIcAtIon one of the biggest growth markets for mobile communication is locationbased services — software that knows “who’s doing what, when, and where.” Among the most successful products in this field is “gowalla,” a mobile phone program from Alamofire, an Austin-based development company. The software sends the precise gpS location of its user to selected social networks and friends. energy At what used to be Austin’s airport, a showcase example of smart grid technology is being created for distributing clean power with new network technologies. The effort is one of only 32 pilot projects in the entire u.S. to receive $10.4 million in funding from the u.S. Department of energy.
uSa auStin Mexico Cuba
MobIlIty The “car2go” mobility concept developed by Daimler has been in use since the fall of 2009. With its fleet of 200 smart fortwo cars equipped with the automatic start-stop feature, Austin is the first car2go city outside of germany. The project is starting out with a defined group of users, for example city employees. Then, in a second stage, car2go will be opened to the general public in Austin. daimler-technicity.com/citiesandnetworks
* Source: uS census Bureau
BANgKoK Thailand’s capital is the new “in” metropolis for green architecture — and thanks to Bus rapid Transit the city will soon be a model for public transportation.
PARAMETERS BAngKOK * StatuS: thailand’s capital and biggest city Founded in: 1772 area: 1,565.2 km2 population (city): 7,025,000 population (region): 12,177,000 population denSity (city): 4,488 inhabitants/km2
ArchItecture “The Met” is a new highrise with luxury apartments that has won an architecture prize for being the best apartment complex. The idea was to combine a style of building that is typical of the tropics (a mix of indoor and outdoor living) with a highrise concept. The building features open spaces, verandas, and gardens, and lets in lots of light and fresh air for cross-ventilation. MobIlIty Anyone who wants to know what a true traffic jam is should visit Bangkok, where cars are often stuck in traffic for days. That’s why some drivers equip their vehicles with TVs, refrigerators, and even toilets. one strategy for coping with the everyday traffic gridlock in Bangkok is BrT (Bus rapid Transit), a transport concept created to provide relief for big cities plagued by traffic congestion. It consists of the following elements: • Big buses run at very frequent intervals on a number of trunk lines that connect with feeder lines coming from all areas of the city. • Separate traffic lanes and platform bus stops ensure that passengers can board and disembark safely and quickly. • Ticket sales and boarding controls take place outside the vehicle so that the bus can start off sooner. • A computerized traffic management system ensures flexible control. Mercedes-Benz is taking part in the implementation of a BrT system in Bangkok. daimler-technicity.com/citiesandnetworks
* Source: Department of provincial Administration Thailand
LoNDoN The British capital is often called the only bona fide “global city” in all of europe. Appropriately, it is also a showcase for the transport concepts of the future.
PARAMETERS LOnDOn * StatuS: capital of england and the united Kingdom Founded in: 47 area: 1,572 km2 population (city): 7,172,091 population (region): 13,945,000 population denSity (city): 4,562 inhabitants/km2
* Source: office for National Statistics uK
MobIlIty The London congestion charge is likely the world’s best-known toll. It has reduced the traffic volume in the British capital by 15 percent. The congestion charge, the equivalent of about 10 per day, must be paid for all vehicles driven into the center of London — except for electric vehicles, such as the small fleet of electric-powered smart fortwo cars that has been on the city’s streets since 2008. With their 30 kW electric motors, these smart cars are so environmentally friendly that they aren’t subject to the toll. But their drivers wouldn’t have to pay the toll in any event — because the smart vehicles are being used by the London Metropolitan police. What’s more, ten 7.5-ton trucks with hybrid drive have been in use in London for two years. The Fuso canter eco Hybrids are made by the Daimler subsidiary Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus corporation, which produces the truck in small batches and has been offering it in Japan since 2006. Hybrid components have been added to the series production version. The operators, including the logistics companies DHL, royal Mail, and TNT, are enjoying fuel savings of up to 15 percent with the hybrid vehicles, compared to conventional diesel trucks. coMMunIty What began as a protest movement by individual nature conservationists and critics of capitalist economics has become a peaceful, if somewhat subversive, mass movement. under the cover of darkness, faceless gardeners scatter seeds and plant flowers and shrubs, transforming dismal plots into green oases. The best-known “guerrilla gardener” is a London man, richard reynolds. He has written a book about guerrilla gardening and is the organizer of the online community guerrillagardening.org, which has 4,000 members. daimler-technicity.com/citiesandnetworks
“Two Billion Vehicles Aren’t a Catastrophe” Dan Sperling, a transportation expert in California and advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, talks about sustainable mobility systems and the future role of private vehicles.
9:00 a.m. Creston Road
Professor Dan Sperling from the University of California (right) with author Steffan Heuer.
Professor Sperling, how do you usually get to the UC Davis campus? Up until a couple of months ago I lived in Berkeley. Back then, I simply drove down the hill and got on a shuttle bus to Davis. During the hour-long drive on the highway, I read and answered the e-mails I had downloaded in the morning. Sometimes I just read or thought about things. Do you miss having that bus ride for your brainstorming? Yes and no. I now live in Sacramento, about 15 minutes from the office, so I can either take the train or drive, depending on my mood. I’m also a member of the California Air Resources Board, whose office is located in downtown Sacramento within walking distance from where I live. The 20 minutes it takes to get there are extremely productive for me. One of my colleagues once figured out how long the ideal commute should be. The answer she came up with was 15 minutes. But how can a quarter of an hour on the way to work be so productive? It gives you time to get ready for work and think about the things you have to, or want to, do that day. In the evening the
opposite occurs. You slowly decelerate your mind and get ready for your evening at home with your family. What was the last great idea you had while driving? When I was working on my book “Two Billion Cars” I had a lot of good ideas on the road. Most of them were related to the book’s structure. I also had a couple of flashes of inspiration while driving. When that happens, I call my assistant on my hands-free cell phone and dictate the idea to her. Then, when I get to the office, the idea is waiting for me in a file on my computer. 9:15 a.m. Tilden Regional Park Why did you write “Two Billion Cars”? Didn’t you have more than enough to do with your work at the university and the Air Resources Board? Just about every widely-read book on transportation and energy has been written by journalists who interview experts like me. Without a doubt, they deserve praise for their efforts. However, I thought it was time for at least one book that addresses these subjects in an appropriate in-depth manner. I also wanted to look not only at the problems but also at possible solutions.
That’s why I systematically focused in individual chapters on technology, consumer behavior, and the role played by legislation and regulations. Let’s talk about the solutions you mentioned. How is the world supposed to deal with two billion cars in the year 2020? Picture the problem as a stool with three legs. One of them represents the vehicles, another the fuel needed to power them, and the third the consumers, or let’s call it the mobility needs of human beings. The vehicle problem is the easiest to solve — both technologically and politically. Around the globe, we’re already moving toward cleaner and more efficient vehicles and a better legislative framework. The fuel issue is somewhat more problematic. Progress with mobility is slower and we’re still in the starting blocks.
reading e-mails or just thinking about things: As far as Dan Sperling is concerned, the best time for brainstorming is during his drive to the office. However, today he has made a slight detour for an interview.
Is that mainly due to the pace of innovation when it comes to developing better engines and fuels? Several elements are involved here. First of all, there’s the innovation aspect. Secondly, there’s the issue of investment, as well as the willingness of energy companies and consumers to embrace alternative fuels. Alternative fuels have no natural allies, and they aren’t backed up by an industry with enough clout to make itself heard — DAIMleR-TeCHnICITY.COM
TRANSFER perhaps with the exception of electric vehicles, which are supported by power companies. However, the situation is more difficult when it comes to biofuels and hydrogen. Aren’t we dealing here with wild swings in public opinion and politicians’ attitudes? Ethanol was the first cure-all, then it was hydrogen, and now everyone’s raving about electric drives. I refer to this as the “fuel du jour” phenomenon. The media and the politicians are always looking for the miracle cure that will solve all our problems in one fell swoop. However, the technologies involved often aren’t sufficiently advanced or harbor disadvantages that only become apparent later on. It’s quite possible, for example, that plug-in hybrid vehicles will turn out to be a passing fad, as ethanol was. The toughest nuts to crack are the consumers — the third leg of our stool. It’s not just that we’ve made the least progress here; we’re actually moving in the wrong direction.
author Dan Sperling talks about his book “Two Billion Cars“.
TilDen regional Park
9:45 a.m. el Cerrito BART Station
Tilden Regional Park
el Cerrito BART Station
What do you mean, exactly? You just said that you prefer to focus on solutions. Unfortunately, most people want to have ever bigger and more powerful cars. But it’s precisely these kinds of vehicles that largely cancel out the progress we’ve made with modern engines. The good news is that here in California we now have a law known as SB375 that for the first time ever aims to reduce sprawl and restrict the use of vehicles. each local government can draw up its own strategy for achieving the law’s objectives. SB375 is part of a larger piece of legislation known as AB32, which I helped to write. AB32 is the first law in the world that regulates emissions of greenhouse gases in every sector of the economy.
kenSingTon Creston Road
Cheese Board Coop
UniverSiTy of California
Berkeley Claremont Hotel
Berkeley South Berkeley
Isn’t it a little late for that? You yourself have calculated that we’ll have two billion vehicles on the planet in ten years. The fact that we’re going to have two billion vehicles isn’t a catastrophe in itself. even though the curve is rising sharply, we can reduce our vehicles’ carbon footprint to nearly zero with the technology already available today. Basically we need to continually improve drive systems, materials, and fuels.
even this Mercedes-Benz e-Class that we’re sitting in can be made even more efficient. How exactly do you plan to change the driving habits of hundreds of millions of people for the better? Cars are going to evolve into hybrid vehicles. The proportion of vehicles that run on electricity will slowly increase. Combustion engines will become less important as a result, and oil consumption will decrease. We will probably never see large cars powered solely by electricity, because they would require excessively large and expensive batteries. We can get close to a carbon-free mobility system by exploiting renewable energy sources to generate power for electric cars and by increasing the use of alternative fuels like bio-methane. The latter can be obtained from garbage landfills, for example. Fuel cells offer yet another option; the hydrogen they require can be obtained from renewable sources. However, this costs time and money. That’s why we also have to alter our driving behavior — particularly in terms of the number of miles driven per person. Put simply, a higher-quality transport system that is less dependent on cars is a realistic possibility. 10:00 a.m. Cheese Board Coop How must we change modern society in order to bring this about? What’s lacking now is a network linking different transport options that perfectly complement one another. In the future we’ll be seeing things like on-demand shuttles that pick people up from their homes in response to a phone call, a text message or an e-mail. A system for coordinating neighborhood cars will make it easy for people to reach public transport connections. We’ll also have car sharing services for those people who really need to have their own vehicle at certain times. Finally, we’ll develop dynamic ride sharing systems that will allow you to go online and see if anybody else is heading toward your destination. If so, you’ll be able to grab a ride with them. Daimler has actually tested some interesting carpooling concepts here and in Germany. Information technology is the key when it comes to ensuring that all of these transport system components function smoothly.
10:15 a.m. Claremont Hotel Why should we give up the comfort and freedom of being able to hop into our cars when we want? Who wants to have to order a ride? I would say that most people would prefer to be chauffeured around. The best transport system is the one that offers the most options while ensuring that people don’t have to drive if they don’t want to. Keep in mind that owning a car is very expensive — and all for a vehicle that isn’t even used 90 percent of the time. The average U.S. citizen spends more than $8,000 a year to operate and maintain a vehicle. If we invested the same amount of money in an integrated system that, for example, replaced second cars with an intelligent network, we’d be looking at a new world of possibilities. With car sharing I could afford to drive a different car every day! A modern transportation system like that sounds very convincing. However, the automobile boom in the next few years will take place primarily in countries like China and India. In many cases these countries lack IT infrastructure and other things. The ideas I’ve touched upon have relevance worldwide, even if they’re imple- mented differently in different countries — including China and India. The real question is how we’re going to establish attractive and sustainable transport systems that encourage people in those countries to forgo their own private cars. The popul ation density in India and China is so high that public transport services are widely needed. The key question is how to offer better-quality mobility. The same applies to large metropolitan areas in the U.S. like new York, which has plenty of buses and trains. However, a lot of people don’t use them because the quality is poor. Here we should consider offering different classes of tickets for local public transport, as we do for long-distance trains. For example, those willing to pay more could take a luxury bus offering WlAn, espresso, and other conveniences. We need a comprehensive network of transport systems that serve different target groups. DAIMleR-TeCHnICITY.COM
CURRICULUM vITAE Daniel Sperling 59 years old +++ Professor of Civil engineering and environmental Science and Policy at the University of California at Davis +++ Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies +++ Member of the California Air Resources Board +++ Climate protection pioneer in the U.S. +++ Co-author of AB32 (greenhouse gas caps) +++ One of the main authors of the Climate Change Report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) +++ IPCC won the nobel Peace Prize in 2007 together with Al Gore +++ Author of more than 200 technical papers and 11 books +++ Frequent speaker on the topics of environment and transport +++ latest book: Two Billion Cars. Driving Toward Sustainability +++
Walking is better: Dan Sperling strolling through Tilden Regional Park.
HYPERLINK You’ll find further information about this article online at: daimler-technicity.com/mobilityconcepts With the following features: 1. Dan Sperling’s CV 2. Dan Sperling’s bibliography 3. Information on climate legislation in California
2,000,000,000 2,130,000 80,000 1908 135 39 1
… vehicles may be on the planet in 2020 — but that wouldn’t be a catastrophe, says U.S. traffic expert Dan Sperling. Page 74
… megabytes is the size of the dataset required for the virtual crash test of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Page 88
… passengers are transported in Istanbul every day by the city’s Bus Rapid Transport System (BRT). Page 80
… was the year the first electric city car,
the “Mercedes Electrique,” drove through
… grams is the weight of an iPhone,
whereas the Mercedes-Benz S-Class
weighs almost two tons. Nonetheless, they fit together perfectly. Page 40
… was the age of Gordon Wagener
when he became Head Designer at
Mercedes-Benz. A discussion about the future of design. Page 68
… single Mercedes-Benz F800 Style exists — but it incorporates numerous innovations and a fascinating design. Page 52
Increasing urbanization is posing tremendous challenges to city planners and operators of local public transport systems. The Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) mobility concept can help to ensure that urban populations remain mobilE. (Page 80) Before large sums of money are spent on tests, many processes and products are initially developed in virtual environments. Today we are working with calculated simulations that are visualized by means of computer-generated imagery (CGI). In industry, medicine, and art, CGI has become indispensable. (Page 88) TECHNICITy is a print magazine, but thatâ€™s not all. It also offers supplementary features, interviews, and news in its digital version, thus demonstrating that each medium has its own particular strengths. For example, the digital version offers videos and animations. (Page 96)
how major cities throughout the world are coming to terms with traffic problems thanks to mobility concepts based on buses.
8:00 a.m., IsTanbul The traffic banks up at the First Bosphorus Bridge. The air vibrates with the honking of horns, and pungent exhaust fumes are omnipresent. a heavy smog swirls under the bridge. oil tankers pass along the Bosphorus far below, on their way from the ports of the Black Sea to the mediterranean. To cross the bridge, the morning traffic heading for the european side has to narrow after the toll booths, which gives rise to long tailbacks. This spectacle is repeated at evening peak hour – only in the other direction. istanbul is the only city in the world that extends over two continents. its location on the Bosphorus is both a blessing and a curse, since its two sides are only linked by two bridges. With 13 million inhabitants – some sources list as many as 15 million – istanbul’s population is larger than those of 105 countries. more and more people are moving to istanbul. according to some predictions 25 million people will be living in istanbul by 2023, commuting between asia and europe, between home and the workplace. and all this with only two bridges? impossible, say city planners and transport researchers, who are feverishly developing schemes to prevent the traffic from coming to a complete standstill. everyone wants to extend the rail network, but the construction of new lines would take years and would not be possible in some areas in view of istanbul’s hilly topography. nevertheless, a speedy solution to the traffic problem must be found. “We need planning that suitably links all transport modes and makes more efficient use of existing roads,” says 36-year-old Selim Dallı, one of the commuters on the Bosphorus Bridge. he is sitting in a minibus that collects him and his colleagues from their homes in the 80
asian part of the city and conveys them to their workplace an hour’s drive to the west of the center, where the headquarters of mercedesBenz Türk are located. Selim Dallı is mercedes-Benz Türk’s expert on so-called Bus rapid Transit (BrT) systems, which provide dedicated traffic lanes for buses. With short departure intervals, barrier-free entrances at bus stops, pre-ticketing and traffic prioritization, BrT systems make for brief stopping times and smooth operation. Buses can therefore rush past the lines of cars and trucks uninterruptedly, thus significantly increasing the effective volume of the public transport system and reducing travel times and emissions. BrT systems, a versatile transport solution for congested cities with a tight budget, are currently the focus of intensive discussions among market experts the world over. BrT is already in urban operation in practically every latin american country. in particular, rapidly growing economies such as india are now considering introduction. Selim Dallı’s role is to act as a local contact for all inquiries relating to BrT. Within the space of just two years, the “metrobüs” has been installed on one of five lanes of the e5 highway leading from europe through istanbul to ankara – with low investment costs compared to other systems worldwide and with a daily capacity of 715,000 passengers. Since it was not possible for a rail system to be built on the bridge, crossing it with the metrobüs was the only alternative.
Ferry oPeraTIon on The bosPhorus
brT rouTe In IsTanbul
unIForm PaymenT sysTem
WhaT iS BrT?
bus rapid transit systems (brT) are flexible bus transport systems that offer solutions
sTaTus: Turkey’s largest city
to transport-related challenges including congested roads all the way up to total grid-
Founded: May 11, 330 as Constantinople
lock, overburdened public transport systems, and environmental pollution.
area: 5,500 km2 PoPulaTIon (city): 12,569,000 (2008) PoPulaTIon densITy (city): 2,400 inhabitants per km2
a BrT system consists of one or more trunk lines that have buses traveling at very frequent intervals, and which are fed by several feeder lines coming from all areas of a city.
They use dedicated lanes and have at-grade bus stop platforms that make entering and
Depending on transport requirements, BrT systems can use vehicles with more or less
capacity at the intervals required. The avoidance of unnecessary trips without passengers is another important contribution to reducing environmental pollution.
Topkapı Beylikdüzü avcılar
exiting the vehicles fast, safe, and easy, thus speeding up the transport process.
brT rouTes In IsTanbul The BrT route in istanbul was
They employ pre-boarding ticketing, which means passengers buy their tickets before
intelligent, computer-controlled traffic management enables the flexible control of the
boarding the bus and admission is controlled, so less time is spent on each pickup.
planned in 4 construction phases. Phase 1: avcılar – Topkapı (completed 09/07) Phase 2: Topkapı – Zincirlikuyu (completed 09/08) Phase 3: Zincirlikuyu – Sögütlüçesme (completed 03/09) Phase 4: avcılar – Beylikdüzü (in planning) Daimler-TechniciTy.com
TraFFIc Jam ToWard euroPe
bacKed uP ToWard asIa
8:15 a.m., IsTanbul avcIlar The metrobüs starts here, in the west of the city. The station looks more like a subway platform. The passengers pass through a turnstile and pay with an electronic ticket that can be loaded at a machine. at 40-second intervals, two to three articulated mercedes-Benz buses can dock at the stations. These so-called “capacity” buses from mercedesBenz are manufactured in mannheim, and have four instead of three axles. The highway’s BrT lanes are separated from the other lanes of traffic by steel cables.in other cities, yellow lines on the road or a row of curbstones mark the BrT lanes. at an average speed of forty kilometers per hour, the buses roar past the lines of cars on either side, right across istanbul and even over the Bosphorus Bridge to the asian part of town. “it used to take me two hours to get to my lectures,” says a student passenger, “but now just one.” he is not alone: over a third of istanbul’s citizens spend more than two hours in city traffic. 8:55 a.m., cITy cenTer The BrT route continues on through the mirror-façade canyons of mecidiyeköy and Zincirlikuyu. more and more men in suit and tie come aboard here, along with sprucely dressed businesswomen. The spacious air-conditioned buses reflect a different kind of bus transportation. “istanbul is a city of the future,” says mayor and architect Kadir Topbas in his foreword to the new bus schedule. “80,000 people who used to drive to work every day now commute on the metrobüs.” Since being put into operation, vehicles powered by en82
gines complying with the euro V emission standards – well in advance of mandatory installation – are used in line service, which shows the importance given to the environment. although the system greatly enhances traffic flow, 500 new vehicle registrations daily create new challenges. extensions of the BrT system are under consideration, and the rail network is also to be greatly expanded. What transport modes are best suited to the various parts of the city? hayri Baracli, istanbul elektrik Tramvay ve Tünel isletmeleri (ieTT) General manager: “We have installed metrobüs on a route that is too hilly for a rail link.” on the other hand, Baracli concedes that the streets in many parts of the city would be too narrow for a dedicated bus lane. here, the standard bus routes must serve as a feeder. Selim Dallı works in close cooperation with his BrT colleagues from Daimler Buses headquarters, where a special BrT team has been established. This team coordinates the bus sector’s worldwide BrT activities and has competence in transport planning. Five transport planners and strategists in Stuttgart group together the experience of their colleagues, prepare this information for presentations and consultations, and develop specific BrT strategies for individual regions on this basis. The question arises, for example, as to whether BrT makes the air cleaner. The local BrT system brings about a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 623 tons per day in istanbul.
When DoeS a BrT SySTem maKe SenSe? InvesTmenT cosTs In comParIson
The investment costs of a BrT system can be as
capital costs in mill. uS$/km
little as 3% of the investment costs of a subway. 80
The costs are also usually well below those of urban
60 50 40 30
There is another advantage to BrT: From planning to the start of operations takes roughly 42 months,
whereas more than ten years must be allocated for
a subway. Bus rapid Transport
Passengers per hour per direction
Source: lloyd Wright, Bus rapid Transit — Planning Guide 2007, new york (iTDP)
comParIson oF PlannIng and ImPlemenTaTIon TImes BrT
2 - 3 years
approx. 1 year
2 - 3 years
approx. 3 years
approx. 4 - 8 years
3 - 4 years
10 11 12
sTuTTgarT, 2,000 KIlomeTers aWay “BrT is about much more than just buses. it is about better transportation, and ultimately better quality of life,” says holger Suffel, head of marketing, Sales and aftersales Daimler Buses, who is responsible for the BrT team. “experience from other countries will enable us to develop tailor-made BrT systems to suit individual local requirements. The activities are still at a very early stage, but i see the rapidly rising demand as an encouraging sign.” Stefan Sahlmann, manager of BrT concepts and Strategy, confirms the growing worldwide significance of BrT: The number of inquiries from Daimler Buses’ global sales structure has risen sharply. Several systems are currently under development in mexico, and South africa is also setting store by BrT in order to cope with the throngs of visitors to the World cup; many South african cities have commissioned feasibility studies. Plans are also being drawn up for madrid. Daimler’s BrT representatives are seeking to position Daimler Buses in the growing market of mobility concepts for major cities. richard mejía, manager of BrT Transport Planning at headquarters, is sitting at his computer preparing a speech for a conference in new Delhi. The international association of Public Transport (uiTP) has invited scientists, officials from various transport agencies, and employees of transport companies to an exchange of ideas on BrT, at which richard mejía has been asked to give a presentation. This topic is the subject of much discussion in india. The indian government has provided funding for pilot projects in 15 cities, and a 14-kilometer test track has already been set up in Pune. richard mejía and his colleagues have found that the bus lane is wider than
necessary. They have devised a computer model for an alternative, with a few centimeters from each lane reassigned to a grass strip or pedestrian path. “our model provides pedestrians with greater safety, and they breathe cleaner air,” explains richard mejía. one of his favorite topics is transit-oriented development. The beststudied example is curitiba in Brazil, where the world’s first BrT system is in operation. The city authorities realized at a very early stage of urbanization that the entire traffic must not be routed to the center,” says richard mejía. “on the introduction of the BrT line in 1972, they designated five wide streets as principal traffic arteries, in order to avoid the concentration of commercial areas and thus reduce traffic.” Sandro Baumann, an intern in the field of BrT at Daimler Buses Stuttgart, is from curitiba and grew up with that city’s BrT line. “Skyscrapers have emerged along the bus route, with shops on the ground floor and offices above. The townscape has grown together with the BrT system.” But why is interest only now starting to be shown in BrT systems, although experience from curitiba has long since been available? This is because rail transport was long regarded as the more modern and more sustainable solution. Stefan Sahlmann recently organized a delegation from abu Dhabi to visit Selim Dallı in istanbul. There is already a metro line in the neighboring emirate of Dubai, and a further line is under consideration. The delegation to istanbul will clarify whether a metro or BrT is the preferred solution for abu Dhabi. after all, BrT systems can be implemented much more cost-effectively (see chart above).
BRT SYSTEMS WorlDWiDe an InTernaTIonal comParIson oF selecTed bus-based mobIlITy soluTIons los angeles, u.s.
mexIco cITy, mexIco
450,000 22.5 km
The Orange Line is so fast that the transportation authority treats this BrT line as part of its rail system.
Home to 18 million residents and 6 million vehicles, with 600 new vehicles added every day. BrT provides relief.
guadalaJara, mexIco 1.6 million
Introduction of the BrT reduced travel time along the BrT corridor by 30 percent.
The architecture of the BrT stations ties into the history of the city.
sÃo Paulo, braZIl 10.9 million
7.9 million 1.4 million
more than 2.5 million
142 km more than 235
Is currently the longest BrT system in the world, with 142 kilometers of dedicated lanes.
Nearly half of the vehicles on the trunk and feeder lines of the TransMilenio BrT system are from Mercedes-Benz.
curITIba, braZIl 1.8 million 3.1 million 2.3 million Not available 380
Is one of the world’s oldest BrT systems. Was introduced in the 1970s and carries 2 million passengers each day.
sources: allafrica.com , busway.co.nz , embarq, en.tehran.ir , gzbrt.org, itdp.org, lamata-ng.com, nctr.usf.edu, Planning Guide, voithturbo.com, vtpi.org
The Metrob端s system was honored in 2009 with the Sustainable Transport Award, which is presented in recognition of projects that improve the quality of life in large cities.
Today only 28,000 cars drive along the BrT route, down from 55,000 cars in 2006. The reason: BrT reduces the travel time from 40 to 20 minutes.
350,000 22.5 km
124 km 161
Poster child and trailblazer for additional BrT systems planned in China.
The city could be the fifth-largest on earth by 2015. BrT has been used since 2004 in an attempt to get a handle on the associated traffic problems.
Johannesburg, souTh aFrIca
10 million 12,000
20.000 22 km
The BrT system in the Nigerian capital has a betterthan-average cost-to-benefit ratio.
In order to cope with increased demand at the soccer Word Cup, the city broke ground for a BrT system in 2005.
aucKland, neW Zealand
1.3 million Not available
25,000 12 km
1986 The BrT system is one of the few guided busway systems in the world.
Each full BrT bus means 40 fewer cars on the streets of Auckland.
Passengers (per day)
inhabitants (urban area)
length of lines
in operation since
additional information on BrT
reDuceD emiSSionS ThrouGh BrT The euroPean emIssIon sTandards
reduced exhausT emIssIon values
CO2 (fuel consumption)
The cradle of emissions legislation is California,
NOx (nitrogen oxides)
where the first emission limits were established in
the 1960s. In the European Community, the first
Additional savings through flowing traffic without stop-and-go
standardized emissions regulations were ratified in 1970. The first European emission standard for commercial vehicles was defined in Directive 88/77/EEC and implemented in 1990. The next stages followed in 1996, 2000, 2005, and 2008 with the current Euro V standard. Further tightening
of the standard is planned. In July 2009, the EU published parts of the Euro VI regulations scheduled to enter into force in 2013. The European emission standard establishes upper limits for the pollutant
emissions. These limits are different for passenger cars and commercial vehicles, for gasoline and diesel engines. The Euro V emissions standard is 0%
currently in force.
09:18 a.m., sögüTlücesme The high-capacity bus reaches the terminus of the BrT line on the asian side of istanbul. a loop behind the bus stop is provided for the buses to turn. Just beyond it is a large car park enabling commuters to change from individual traffic to public transport. minibuses take passengers on feeder routes into the surrounding area. Facing the road are residential and office buildings, including a large hall for wedding receptions. The soccer stadium is also close at hand. Sögütlücesme is a colorful neighborhood – a piece of modern istanbul; this reminds Selim Dallı of a sentence he read in a newspaper interview with a passenger who has been commuting daily on the BrT line ever since the introduction of metrobüs: “i too am now a first-class citizen.” •
HYPERLINK Further information on this article is available at:
daimler-technicity.com/mobilityconcepts including the following features: 1. istanbul city profile: inhabitants, history, transportation data 2. Photo gallery: lively traffic in istanbul 3. info: What is behind the european emission standards?
harTmuT SchicK “The development of even more efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle technologies will play a key role in shaping the BrT sector.” TechniciTy: Mr. Schick, when and where did you last ride the bus? harTmuT SchicK: i got my bus driver’s license right after it was decided that i should head Daimler Buses. The first thing i did was to go for a test drive with my family in a Setra Topclass. on the weekends i go into downtown Stuttgart and often take the bus or the subway. Will we all be riding the bus more often in the future? yes, without a doubt. i am convinced that the importance of public transport — and in particular the relevance of bus systems — will increase. We are seeing an increased demand for bus-based mobility concepts, particularly from fast-growing major cities in which the existing infrastructure systems are bumping up against their limits. i have become a member of the executive committee of the international association of Public Transport (uiTP). according to our estimates, public transport will probably double by 2025. What are you doing to prepare for this massive increase? Daimler Buses is contributing, for instance, by offering the services of a team of BrT experts. These experts provide assistance to municipalities worldwide that are striving to introduce and enhance customized urban bus concepts. The service is currently also being provided to the cities that will be hosting the 2010 World cup soccer games in South africa. and despite our core business, the experts focus not only on buses, but seek to create a networked and smoothly functioning transportation system in which existing and new modes of transport augment one another. What this boils down to in the end is efficiently combining sustainability, mobility, safety, and comfort. That is our aspiration. and here we have a lot to offer when it comes to BrT. We are also currently discussing how we can provide BrT solutions more efficiently, quickly and conveniently. our ideas extend all the way to being a “sustainable transport service provider” that offers far more than a classic bus manufacturer.
What are the biggest systemic hurdles you face? First, we have to carefully consider the objectives and requirements associated with the implementation of BrT systems. every BrT system is unique. it is important that the needs of the users — in other words, the passengers, the local operators, and the cities — flow into the planning and implementation process at an early stage. And the technical challenges involved … There’s an entirely different set of arguments on the technical side. The prioritized use of buses enables BrT systems to reduce fuel consumption and thus co2 emissions by as much as 20 percent. That won’t be enough to take you very far in the bus and BrT business in the future, however. The development of even more efficient and environment-friendly vehicle technologies will play a key role here. We observed this in north america with our orion hybrid buses, which are deployed in large numbers in new york, among other places. This is also the reason why we are pushing strongly ahead with the further development of the mercedesBenz G BlueTec hybrid and the mercedes-Benz citaro Fuelcell-hybrid. •
CURRICULUM VITAE harTmuT schIcK Born in 1961 in oberiflingen, Germany mechanical engineer head of Daimler Buses at Daimler, General manager of evoBus Gmbh
the multi-Billion Crash Virtual crash tests have a long tradition at Daimler. As long as 20 years ago, the company began augmenting its tests of real-life vehicles by slamming simulation data “against the wall.” Using an array of 26,000 measuring points, the computer simulation examined the behavior of the car body and the drive system during collisions. The results obtained were very valuable, even though the simulations still had a long way to go before they could realistically depict real-life accident scenarios. Today, virtual crashes are almost as reliable as real ones, because the simulated vehicle is divided into about two million different elements. As a result, a single virtual test requires up to 320 billion calculations. The developers of the new C-Class put the vehicle through its paces in virtual crash tests more than 5,500 times. The digital prototype that was used in these tests had a “gross vehicle weight” of 2,130 gigabytes.
Data net The interior of the Mercedes-Benz
SLS was developed on basis of a digital net of billions of bytes – long time before it has been constructed.
text Stephan Wengenroth
realistic images produced by computers are inspiring architects and artists, helping doctors make diagnoses, and reducing the time that engineers spend on test tracks. The digital world has already created multiple realities.
Digital Dinosaurs Fear. That’s basically what millions of movie theater visitors felt when they saw their first dinosaur “live.” The year was 1993 and dinosaurs had just stepped out of the jungle to become stars in the film studio. For many viewers, the producers of Jurassic Park had created such a realistic depiction of the fossilized animals that fact and fiction seemed to merge. Thanks to its computer-generated imagery (CGi), which was still revolutionary at the time, this milestone in film history was awarded an oscar. The six minutes of film that showed the dinosaurs in all their glory accounted for almost one-third of the movie’s production costs of $63 million. The animation programs gobbled up five megabytes of “dinosaur data” for each of the 24 images required per second of film. ever since Jurassic Park, virtual reality has become an increasingly popular tool in the movie industry. When the doomsday epic 2012 showed the destruction of our entire civilization, the main roles were no longer played by the actors in front of the camera. in fact, not a single scene in the film would have been possible without the work performed by the movie’s main star, the computer. Around 1,000 visualization experts worked on the computer-generated special effects, using a cluster of up to 250 computers to create about one petabyte (one million gigabytes) of film data. As a result, moviegoers can enjoy a photorealistic depiction of the unimaginable, in-
cluding the flight of a jumbo jet between the collapsing skyscrapers of Los Angeles. Computer-generated images allow us to see and analyze things such as breezes and temperature differences that would be invisible in real life. At Daimler, this potential is used to develop vehicles. Among other things, the engineers and technicians at Daimler created a virtual model of the new C-Class’ interior that encompasses almost eight million different volume elements. A simulation software program was subsequently used to compute so-called comfort parameters, such as airflow and temperature fluctuations, for each of these points. on the basis of everything from the size, shape, and location of the air nozzles to the possible settings of the car air-conditioning system, the experts were able to “measure” the airflow and climate throughout the vehicle interior. The experts also took into account parameters that affect the vehicle from outside. These included the airstream, ambient temperature, solar radiation, and humidity. The computing results were then made visible in a virtual 3D model of the vehicle, which was projected onto a six-meter-wide and 2.5-meter-high surface known as the “Powerwall” at the Development Center in Sindelfingen, Germany. The depiction showed the results as airflows that were colored according to their temperature levels. The striking thing here was that all of this was done during the development pro-
MAnFreD DAnGeLMAier: “From the design stage to sales, computer-generated images and realistic simulations are now essential in all areas of industry.” Is there a particular sector that is leading the way with CGI, and should other sectors follow its lead? The use of advanced visualization technologies increases in line with the level of a product’s quality and the amount of development work it requires. one of the leaders in this area is certainly the automotive industry. And regardless of which sector they work in, engineers who already design their products using 3D CAD systems are also increasingly turning to CGi. The essential precondition here is that the threedimensional design data they use must already be present within the system. if that is the case, threedimensional objects can be visualized or animated without too much effort. Where do you think CGI has the biggest potential? As a means of communication. That’s the case, for example, when you have to present a new product idea to decision-makers or when you want to compare various design concepts. Besides the automotive industry, the construction sector is another good example of the use of CGi, as is shown by recent developments. Because digital models are increasingly augmenting or even replacing real-life architectural models, it is now possible to integrate the planned buildings into virtual cityscapes or to take the builder on an initial virtual tour. Does the increased reliance on computer visualization techniques also lead to problems? That’s certainly the case. Generating the data can be difficult, for one thing. it’s also important to consider which display systems should be used for presentations. in many cases, 3D objects are presented as flat images on normal computer screens or projection surfaces in conference rooms. A truly immersive 90
experience can only be created by using stereoscopic, and therefore spatial, depictions on a huge projection surface. Systems such as the Powerwall and the Cave, which give the impression of actual virtual reality, play a pioneering role in this regard. however, they are correspondingly expensive as well, which is why only major companies have them. So the increased use of visualization technologies requires more effort and consequently generates additional costs. in the same way that the design of three-dimensional CAD objects is increasingly becoming a part of everyday life, 3D visualization and virtual reality will gradually spread. in fact, they will eventually be used for everything from concept presentations and the development of designs to providing customers with advice at the point of sale. it’s important to remember that we can use the data generated for the virtual product again and again for various purposes. •
CuRRiCuluM viTAE Dr. manfred Dangelmaier Born in heidenheim, Germany, on May 31, 1960
+++ institute director at the Fraunhofer institute for industrial engineering (iAo), Stuttgart, since 2009 +++ Studied mechanical engineering at the University of Stuttgart +++ employed at the iAo since 1986 +++ earned a Ph.D. in 2001 under the direction of Prof. Bullinger. Topic of the dissertation: The ergonomics of Driver Areas in Cars +++ Appointed head of the iAo Competence Center Virtual environments in 2001 +++
MACROSCOPE life-saving Cgi Computers are increasingly providing life-saving results in the form of on-screen visualizations. Using cross-sectional images provided by CAT scanners or magnetic resonance tomographs, computers generate virtual 3D models that allow doctors to exactly plan operations or better coordinate treatment. Brain surgery is a particularly difficult operation â€” for example, when a tumor (shown in green in this image) has to be removed without damaging an artery (red). The image comes from the MAGi (microscope-assisted guided interventions) system, which was developed by the University of London. When conducting operations, surgeons generally only see the image provided by a microscope. in MAGi, however, a computer-generated view of the surrounding tissue is superimposed on the image.
insight A digital image of the human skull
enables doctors to diagnose tumors without impairing the patientâ€™s health.
Digital arChiteCture The Dutch architectural office UnStudio (van Brekel and Bos) required terabytes of CGi data in order to create the designs for the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.
COnTExT form follows material The form comes first, followed by the material — that’s the normal procedure in the architectural design process. however, Achim Menges, a professor at the institute for Computational Design at the University of Stuttgart, claims that this approach is wrong. Menges instead pursues a so-called morphogenetic approach, which does not distinguish between the form and the materialization process and which includes the environment. The result is “breathing” buildings that are based on nature. Menges’ simulations use evolutionary principles to create practically infinite forms and also check them for their environmental compatibility. Most of the computer’s creations are beyond our imagination, as shown, for example, by Morphogenetic Design experiment 01.
fantastiC Using complex calculations,
it is possible to create the basic models of architectural designs.
cess long before the vehicle existed as a prototype. Although the engineers were not yet able to sit down in the car and feel the degree of comfort it provided, the virtual model made it possible for them to experience and optimize the various components of the air-conditioning system and its controls. What’s more, they were able to do so in a wide variety of driving situations and in great detail. Since the “computer eye” can detect far more than a human could ever manage, it is also used, for example, to search for new materials. Beneficiaries include the materials specialists at the Fraunhofer institute for industrial Mathematics (iTWM) in Kaiserslautern. To study a material’s microstructure, the researchers use simulations to zoom down to the level of nanoparticles, which are just a few millionths of a millimeter in diameter. The scientists’ aim is to create new, highly effective insulating materials or to structure the ceramic surfaces of catalytic converters in such a way that they can reliably capture even the smallest particulates. however, the special computer-based visualization methods can do more than just make the microstructures of the catalytic converter visible.
“Thanks to simulations, conflicts that could disrupt the production process can be detected as early as the design stage.” Frank PFluGer, Team Leader for Process Simulation at Daimler
ClaY moDel in the ComPuter The methods can also be used to visualize key physical processes such as the passage of heat through the fiber meshwork of an insulating material. in this way, the scientists can precisely calculate the effects of apparently tiny changes before starting to develop the new material’s production process. The start of a product creation process is marked by more than just conceptual considerations. At this stage, decisions also have to be made regarding two aspects that will substantially influence owners’ or users’ attitudes toward the product at the very beginning and after their initial impressions have faded: shape and appearance. For this purpose, the teams of creative experts at premium automakers such as Daimler generally use 1:4 scale clay models as a starting point. The advantage of this approach is that the future design can be viewed in detail from all sides and angles and even touched. As a result, it’s also possible to feel swung surfaces, edges, and transitions between individual parts of the vehicle body. The disadvantage is that it’s only possible to guess what the finished vehicle will look like with different paintjobs and under varying lighting conditions in a natural environment. That is why the Daimler development teams also exploit the opportunities offered by computer-generated imagery in this area. here, they use a 3D scanner that scans every millimeter of the clay model to create a grid consisting of millions of points. The digital copy that is created in the computer matches the original down to the last detail. in analogy to the bag of tricks that the movie industry uses to calculate computer-generated scenes, the developers create a digital prototype of the vehicle. This digital model can be inserted into realistic scenarios and examined on the Powerwall as a photorealistic image in true-to-life settings. The design model in the computer is superior to its clay counterpart in a number of ways. Changes can be made directly to the vehi93
cle’s skin or interior in the computer model, and the resulting variants can be saved and deleted again at any time. The data for the virtual model can also be used to test the design at a very early stage of development, making it possible to determine whether conflicts might later arise — for example, regarding the vehicle’s interior. And because the design model is passed on to the technology specialists at an early stage, the latter can check to see if the wheel housings are large enough to accommodate the chassis, for example, or if the interior arrangement is compatible with the airbag requirements. At the conclusion of each digital optimization stage, the computer data is used to cut a new clay model. in this way it is possible to literally grasp the impact of the latest design version. in general, the computer-animated visualization technique impressively demonstrates its strengths in situations where the process of measuring the real-life object would involve a great deal of effort.
technology. not only can such problems be detected early on; using the virtual model they can also be clearly demonstrated to colleagues from other disciplines. Thanks to the digital prototypes, it is possible to create an automobile that is equipped with all of the components and functions before a real-life prototype is actually built. in addition, the interplay between the functions can also be tested at this early stage. To evaluate the driving performance of the new C-Class before construction began, the car’s digital prototype was “driven” about 1,500 kilometers on virtual highways, country roads, and the streets of virtual cities. in this way, it was possible to extensively test important parameters such as crash safety, occupant protection, aerodynamics, body engineering strength, driving comfort, handling, engine characteristics, noise, and vibration before the actual vehicle was built.
“With the digital prototypes, we create the charateristic Mercedes-Benz driving behavior during the simulations. The fine-tuning is done in real-life tests.” luDGer DraGon, head of Driving Performance, Simulation, and Analysis at Daimler
And that’s not only true for prototypes construction. Vehicle bodies, for example, have to go through a dipping tank in order to coat the body with paint. For this process, it is important that the body be turned and twisted in such a way that not only the interior and exterior areas but also all of the cavities are coated with a uniform layer of paint. To determine all the individual steps of this process for the subsequent series-production stage, the production engineers at Daimler first use the virtual model to precisely time the movements in the dipping tank. During the virtual dipping and drying process, the simulation software “measures” key parameters such as paint adhesion, flow movements, and the degree of hardening. These values can subsequently be used to compute images in which different colors illustrate various coat depths, even in cavity areas that would not be accessible in real-life vehicle bodies. To ensure that these values correspond with those of the actual production process, the engineers have programmed empirical results into the visualization software. To achieve this feat, the engineers made many measurements of real-life vehicle bodies during the dip-painting process. The results were subsequently used to calibrate those of the computer system. As a consequence, the computed values have now achieved a degree of reliability that is within the normal range of error for the measurement systems used to check real-life painting processes. The key task of CGi technologies is to support the designers who are working to develop new ideas and products by providing them with images that are as detailed as possible. Just as vehicle air-conditioning systems or painting processes can be visualized on computer screens, it’s also now possible to check all of the other vehicle functions on virtual models using simulation and computing programs. To ensure that such programs run as smoothly as possible, the development engineers at Daimler have combined the individual digital design and testing systems into a single platform, which they call the “digital prototype”. By networking the development work, it is possible, for example, to detect difficulties regarding the interplay of different technical components or conflicts between the design and the 94
Despite all of the successes, Daimler will continue to construct reallife prototypes. After all, people’s perceptions and emotions are best stimulated by actual objects. experts, test drivers, and customers will therefore continue to fine-tune and evaluate vehicles outside of the development labs as part of a holistic experience. •
HYPERlinK additional information relatingd to this article can be found online at:
daimler-technicity.com/managementandprocesses including the following features: 1. A brief history of digital simulation 2. Driving simulators — how fender benders are avoided on the computer 3. Virtual plane crashes: Mega-calculations for greater flight safety
a CalCulateD view Artists are using computers to create not only completely new shapes and realities but also familiar ones such as faces. however, that’s an area where human perceptions are especially sharp. even tiny inconsistencies in facial expressions can reveal a “person” to be a digital fabrication. The graphic designers’ tools are now so sophisticated that every pore in a person’s skin looks real, as in this image of a girl by the South Korean artist Viki yeo.
lifelike This girl’s facial features look
almost real, even though they were all created digitally on a computer.
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Think Tank INVENTING THINGS IS FUN Or, as Carl Benz once said in his 80th year, “The passion for invention never ends.” That’s why at the heart of every invention is a playful impulse which in many cases has sprung from a visionary idea. People’s ability to project their ideas into the future is yet another creative talent. Those who can do so will use their visions to shape the world of tomorrow.
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TECHNICITY Aside from the novelty, inventiveness, and commercial applicability associated with an innovation, its technological strengths determine whether it will be patented.
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MAGAZINE FOR INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY MOBILITY
ISSUE 01 2010
TECHNICITY MAGAZINE FOR INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY MOBILITY
E- CITY BERLIN A network in the German capital is shaping the future of electric mobility
TECHNICITY MAGAZINE ISSN 2190-0523
A publication of Daimler AG ÂŠ Stuttgart 2010
THE DIGITAL WORLD
Why digital development processes are fundamentally changing the way we live and work.
How major cities all over the world are reacting rapidly and efficiently to mobility bottlenecks.
CAR OF THE FUTURE
How networked creative processes are generating high-tech applications in innovation regions.
Why intelligent research vehicles are already having a major impact on the future of the automobile.
INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY MOBILITY
ISSUE 01 2010
6.50 9.00 10.00 6.00 60.50
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