Shift Automotive provides roadmap for transport revolution

The automotive industry is rapidly changing as vehicles evolve away from the kind of cars we are used to seeing on our roads. That’s why IFA is holding the rst ever Shift Automotive convention, in conjunction with the Geneva Motor Show. Shift is a series of talks and workshops which provide stakeholders from across the automotive and consumer electronics with opportunities to co- innovate and devise solutions to challenges.

The first ever keynote speaker at this historic event is John Schoenbeck, Director of Strategic Partnering at the BMW Group. We took the opportunity to talk to him here at IFA.

Is this a good time to tie up the Automotive and Technology industries?
I think it’s the perfect time because the Automotive industry needs to think in bigger systems, like inter- motor mobility systems on one side, and on the other side power platforms such as smart home and smart of ce which IFA is all about. So I think it is time to get together, exchange thoughts and ideas and to generate innovation together.

At Shift Automotive, what key themes did you discuss in your keynote?
I talked about blurring industry boundaries, and how that offers space for innovation. I referred to a couple of close ties and scenarios that have brought the automotive and smart home industry together. And I presented four speci c cases of how we work together with different industries and how we’re innovating products and services together with partners from those industries.

How can the two work together, as the tech has evolved in different directions?

In the past years, we were really all about hardware and driving platforms, but as more and more services are placed onto our platforms we need to rethink, because I think then BMW and others are not car manufacturers anymore but mobility providers.



So does that change the way people own and live with cars, or what we think of as cars?

It will change how people look upon cars and how people use cars, because in the past a car was something very emotional that you bought and you owned. In the future the car will be more like a digital device that you might change more frequently and where the emotional attachment of the customer is not as strong as it was in the past. So yes, I think the use of the car will change. We foresee in the future when automated driving and connected driving is basically provided to the masses, to everyone, we will not talk about cars anymore but about people movers that function almost as a moving lifestyle space.

Your job is about partnerships, what does that mean for BMW? Who are you reaching out to?

As Director of Strategic Partnering of Designworks, my job really is to find new dialogue and platforms together with the electrical industry and electrical companies in the vicinity of mobility. So everything that is to do with mobility is interesting for BMW, and on the other side we’re investigating the digital space, digital interaction. So by reaching out, establishing platforms, by driving dialogues we hope that we drive new ideas together, and again remember in the beginning I said we live in systems that basically reach out to all of us, so we need to understand how we solve problems together.

Photo: John Schoenbeck, Director of Strategic Partnering, BMW Group Designworks.