Dialogue

The Future – Made in Germany

As long ago as the 1970s, computer scientist Alan Kay said “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” There is no better way to sum up our mission.

German automobile manufacturers and suppliers are developing alternative and environmentally sustainable drives for the majority of customers, not only for a niche market. Furthermore, these vehicles also have automated driving features that we are continuously developing. Research departments at these companies are working on cars which are linked to their surroundings and to other vehicles, but which also guarantee the data security of their drivers and are protected against hackers. The manufacturers are pursuing advanced and flexible solutions for urban mobility, such as car sharing in major cities. We are working on the future of the automobile and the mobility of tomorrow.

We are witnessing a development which one might call “The Future – Made in Germany”. In other words, the sustainable reinvention of individual mobility through engineering. This is evolution instead of revolution. Because safety and quality are our priority, even if it sometimes seems to be going too slowly for some. The boundaries of what is economically and technically feasible set the pace we work at.

Of course, the German automotive industry has not enjoyed the best image recently. The discussions about manipulating software have raised questions in the general public about credibility and corporate culture; we have to face these questions. What is especially disconcerting for us is that these discussions have created the impression that we have not concerned ourselves with the pressing issues concerning mobility of the future: scarce resources, the world’s growing population, expanding cities.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The German automotive industry is working with all its engineering skills to make internal combustion engines more efficient, because these will dominate global mobility for many years. There is still a long way to go until the charging infrastructure for electric cars is widely available, until fuel cells are suitable for everyday use, and until such innovations have reached the megacities in developing countries. This path can only be taken with fuel-efficient and clean gasoline and diesel engines that guarantee that we treat our planet responsibly and, at the same time, serve the mobility needs of a growing and more demanding world population.

With the “Mobility of Tomorrow” initiative, we want to show what is possible today, what will soon be possible, and the innovations we are working on. The following member companies of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) are behind the initiative: Audi, BMW, Bosch, Continental, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Porsche, Volkswagen and ZF Friedrichshafen.

How will people get from A to B in the future? And with which technologies? These are questions that can be hotly debated; in any case, they lead to fundamental innovations. Instead of only talking about them, we want to present specific German manufacturer and supplier projects on a common platform for the first time, give their experts a chance to speak about relevant issues, and take a look behind the scenes by touring the development departments, think tanks, and testing laboratories.

Will you join us on this exciting journey?