A2A – SMART WORLD SYMPOSIUM: strategies for the digital world

  • Networking
  • Smart experience
  • New business models

Connected World – already a reality in more and more areas of life. Trucks steer autonomously on a motorway. Apps precisely control the battery power of e-bikes. Robot mowers trim lawns on their own. In this exciting environment, it’s all about the networking of devices and equipment. But for AKKA Digital – formerly GIGATRONIK– Connected World also means creating connections between experts from different industries. The A2A – SMART WORLD SYMPOSIUM (held in German language) provides the right platform for this.

A2A stands for “Apps to Automotive”, that is, the integration of IT applications into the vehicle. This was the original focus of the symposium when it was held for the first time in 2010, and it was based on the expertise of AKKA Digital, formerly GIGATRONIK, in the development of E/E and IT solutions for the automotive industry. But the development of concepts and technologies has raced ahead since then. Now, the future of mobility, services, communication channels and business models will be discussed at the symposium. As an independent development-service provider, AKKA Digital works in all areas of the networked world with the innovative leaders of industry and with research institutions. These contacts make it possible to attract first-rate speakers and to achieve a new record attendance with 150 participants in 2016. In the interview, Felix Traier, Team Manager for User Experience and event director of the Symposium, reports on the themes that A2A will be concerned with in the future.

Platform for the digital future

  1. Insights into innovations, trends and current research projects
  2. New ways of thinking through interdisciplinary exchange
  3. Networking with experts in connectivity, autonomous driving, electric mobility and new business models

“Now is the right time for Smart World”

A brief interview with Felix Traier, Team Manager for User Experience and event director of the A2A – SMART WORLD SYMPOSIUM.

Felix Traier 
Team Manager User Experience
AKKA Digital Stuttgart

What is the A2A – Smart World Symposium about?

That can be summed up in one sentence: “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” The idea of autonomous driving already existed in the 1950s, but it is only now that it is both technologically feasible and desired by users. Now, the time is right for this idea. The A2A symposium presents the latest trends with a view to the technology and users. Whether it’s about smart vehicles, smart homes or smart manufacturing – participants will find out what is happening in their own sectors and what solutions have been found in other branches of industry. Take the example of a robotic lawnmower that requires an interface to the Internet. At the symposium, it was reported how the liability and financing issues connected with the SIM card were dealt with. The manufacturers of other smart products will have to deal with such issues. The added value of such lectures is that subjects can be conveyed in an interdisciplinary way, and this gives the audience members new ideas for their own work.

You are bringing together competitors from the industry at A2A. Do they reveal their hands?

Obviously, the speakers don’t disclose their trade secrets. But the content of the presentations goes well beyond what is already common knowledge. In one presentation, for example, BMW introduced the BMW Connected Android Software Development Kit (SDK) for third-party vendors. On the topic of high-precision vehicle localization, Audi showed the indoor scenario from the perspective of a parking vehicle with many technical details. And when a student of Daimler lectured on his master's thesis on the technical potentials and risks in the networking of a vehicle with the smart home, audience members discovered the topics being tackled by the Research & Development department of the Stuttgart-based company. In addition, audience questions are allowed after each presentation, and there is enough time during the breaks for more in-depth discussion of topics in smaller groups.

»Whether it’s about smart vehicles, smart homes or smart manufacturing – participants will find out what is happening in their own sectors and what solutions have been found in other branches of industry.«

Felix Traier

How important are the contributions from scientific research?

Every year, the universities deliver new stimuli, such as the Fraunhofer IAO presentation on networked sustainable mobility systems in 2016, or the presentation on future digital manufacturing by the University of Munich. Whereas industry always assesses innovative ideas from the perspective of marketability, universities are somewhat freer in their thinking in this respect. This often makes them more visionary when it comes to new technologies or concepts. We also see Connected World here in terms of networking between academia and industry. As such, at A2A 2016, the Hochschule der Medien (Stuttgart’s University of the Media) and Daimler presented a joint student project that came about through a contact at A2A 2015.

What topics will A2A address in the future?

Future topics have always inspired us in the design of our programs, which is why A2A has been successfully established in the market for so long. The eighth A2A symposium will be taking place in 2017. We see the drivers of the coming years to be in the fields of autonomous driving, electrification and, of course, connectivity. Above all, we are concerned with the interesting question: Which services will have a role for customers in the future, and what are the business models for these to pay for themselves? These are the issues that we will address with A2A.