"The new technologies give all of us the opportunity to connect the world. The future success of the market depends on generating new ideas for business models and consolidating interfaces. For this, A2A is offering an interdisciplinary platform in which experts gain an insight into current projects from various sectors, share experiences with the connected world and network with one another", said Felix Traier, explaining the design content of the symposium. The range of subjects in the lecture programme thus ranged from connected vehicles and smart-home platforms to industrial Internet of Things and the digitisation of machines.
In 2010, the symposium was launched under the name A2A, standing for "Apps to Automotive", in order words the integration of IT applications into vehicles. Since then, it has been continuously expanded to include subjects covering the connected world, one in which the mobility of the future still plays an important role. This was also demonstrated by the exhibits, such as the autonomous electric car Link & Go by the AKKA Group. At just 3.6 m in length, the space-saving and environmentally-friendly car is aimed at city driving. Its innovative drive and chassis concept makes it so mobile that it can turn on the spot and park in the tightest of spaces, according to Guillaume Tréhard from AKKA Technologies Group.
The public transport of the future will also be connected and autonomous, like the Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with its sophisticated sensor system. Describing one of the advantages of the bus, Arno Prüllage explains that the bus communicates directly with the traffic infrastructure and receives information on the status of traffic lights within a radius of more than 200 m. Based on this data, the vehicle could be driven such that waiting times ahead of red lights could be minimised or even completely avoided. Controlled by sensors, the bus optimally approaches bus stops. Close-up cameras record all variables for the longitudinal and horizontal guidance so that there is a maximum gap of 10 cm between the vehicle and the kerb.
Francesco Prato from Sigfox presented inspiration for the smart world with an overview of the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT). The telecommunications company wirelessly links objects with minimal power requirements to the Internet. This radio technology allows mobile items to be followed. Added value is created by, for example, simply being able to monitor the temperature or humidity of a delivery and by pinpointing its location at all times. Application fields for the cost-effective technology are, amongst others, in the Industry 4.0, Smart Building Management and Smart Agriculture sectors.
The experience of users in the digital world was the focus of a lecture by Krzysztof Petelenz. Using the Pons dictionary for Amazon Alexa, he explained what a "Skill" is, what the technical limitations are and what future potential there is. The Skill dictionary enables the voice-activated audio device Alexa to translate any words and phrases from German into English and to read them out with mother-tongue precision.
Michael Raschke introduced an efficient analysis tool for the fully automated analysis of the gaze behaviour of, for example, drivers. The eye tracking for drive assistance systems combines the human ability to recognise visual patterns with a computer's skill of searching through vast quantities of data.
Andreas Reich from Audi Electronics Venture focussed on connected, automated driving as being the key technology for smart cities. To ensure the success of integrated mobility, the digitisation of city infrastructure would, however, have to advance. Taking the example of traffic light information linked to the automated start/stop of a car, Andreas Reich highlighted benefits: CO2 emissions would reduce by up to 15 percent in real-life operation, by feeding back to the backend to choose a more favourable route and vice versa, and by feeding back the stationary periods of the vehicles to the traffic management system which actively influences the control of traffic lights.