The first ever Shift AUTOMOTIVE Convention explored how cars in the very near future will have an increased levels of technology and connectivity

The driverless car is at least a decade away. In the very near future, vehicles will start to become more connected to the users lifestyle all with the aim saving them time. There are also going to be changes in how we use our cars, or even if we choose to own one at all.

“Time is the new luxury,” says Daniel Deparis, the Head of Smart Lab, Daimler AG. “We truly believe that through connected services we can give time back to people. It maybe just one hour per week of unstructured time, This means you have no “to do” list, nothing, where you decide what to do. This is in our opinion the real luxury.”

Ownership is one area that is already changing, as car sharing becomes more commonplace. In many cities it’s already possible to find some sort of sharing scheme, that allows people to use a car as and when they need. This is only going to grow, and it makes sense when you understand that the average car is only used for 6% of the time. The rest, it’s just sitting around. This an unused asset, so by sharing the vehicle, this could improve congestion on the roads.

There is a problem though, if you ask people if they will share their car, then the answer is often no, and certainly not with just anyone. However Daniel Deparis has been looking into “peer to peer sharing” where the user, through an app, creates a small group of trusted users. This way they know who is going to use the vehicle. Here Daimler have also been looking into how the vehicle is insured, so that the user, not the owner is covered. This could be anything from 15 minutes to a day, or whatever their needs require.

Cars will have “remote access through the peer to peer sharing. That means that that the users don’t need to meet, it means you get a virtual key”. All of this will offer convenience to the users.

Likewise if the car isn’t being left in one place for hours at a time, it could free up parking spaces. In a city, statistics show that the average time drivers spend looking for a parking space is 15 minutes. In future, through an app, the user will be able to see how busy an area is through predictive parking, and reserve a space at their destination.

Then there are other ways of integrating the car into people’s lives. Deparis states “22.5bn is the number of parcels shipped in 2017 and this figure is set to double in the next few years.” Already being trialled by some companies is a direct parcel service that allows deliveries directly to the trunk of your car.

“The future of connectivity is not only about taking data from the car. The future is to integrate partners, the future is that you have a transaction. That means not just looking at an app, and closing it, but giving an interaction. We believe that this is the future and we need to work with partners.” Daimler are already experimenting with Panasonic on connectivity and services within Berlin. Deparis believes that “now is the right time for peer to peer sharing, it’s the right time to talk about in car parcel delivery, it’s the right time to nd solutions for parking, all to give the people more convenience, all to help make people’s lives easier.”

This is technology that is happening now, solving current driving issues with technology. Hopefully creating solutions in the ever-growing interconnected world.

Photo: Daniel Deparis Head of Smart Lab, Daimler AG