Tag Archives: daimler

Mobile Postboxes, the Smart way to get parcels delivered

smart ready to drop+: Pilot test in Hamburg: Now postboxes are becoming fully mobile

Smart is further expanding its innovative logistics service: in future “smart ready to drop+” will enable parcels to be delivered to the boot of a smart wherever the vehicle is located. Further advantages: almost all products from any shop can be ordered. Up until shortly before delivery customers can decide when and where the parcel should be delivered. To this end a new pilot test is taking place together with the cooperation partner Liefery in Hamburg.

Last autumn the “smart ready to drop” test run started in Stuttgart as the biggest in-car delivery test ever performed in Germany. Parcels can now also be delivered to the boots of smarts in Cologne, Bonn and Berlin. The smart cooperation partner DHL has already delivered a four-figure number of packages to these cities.

Now smart is going a further step in a pilot project in Hamburg by enabling the smart to be used as a fully mobile postbox. For the delivery process the vehicle no longer needs to be parked near the home address; parcels can be delivered by Liefery to wherever the vehicle is located in Hamburg.

Furthermore, customers are no longer tied to certain online shops and they can order products and have them delivered to their vehicle by Liefery. Private individuals can also send parcels to a vehicle. During the pilot test over several months the service “smart ready to drop+” is free of charge for customers.

Convenient and reliable ordering and delivery process

“smart ready to drop+” is smartphone-based and works with the help of an app developed by smart lab, the brand’s think tank. The process in detail:

  • When placing an online order the customer gives the delivery address as the “smart HUB address”. This consists of two parts: the address of the Liefery hub in Hamburg, which acts as an interim storage facility, and the customer’s own personal car boot ID.
  • The customer is informed when the parcels physically arrive at the Liefery hub.
  • The customer must then choose a date and one of three time slots allotted over the day for the delivery.
  • In addition, the vehicle location must be specified – for example, the preconfigured addresses “Home” or “Work”, but also any other address such as the car park of a gym. The setting “Dropzone” enables the radius of the smart around this location at the selected time to be defined.
  • In the next step the user generates a TAN to give the Liefery delivery service keyless access to the boot of the parked smart.
  • The app notifies the courier service of the desired delivery address and delivery time and the courier can open the car with the TAN once only within a specific time window. To this end a Connectivity Box is installed inside the car at the bottom of the windscreen.
  • When the Liefery courier has deposited the parcel in the boot the car is locked again digitally and their access authorisation expires immediately. The app automatically notifies the smart car driver of the successful delivery.

Source: Daimler

Volocopter Flying Taxis to Revolutionise Urban Transport

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The objective of making flying possible for everyone has drawn closer:  In July 2017 the aviation start-up Volocopter agreed a finance deal over 25 million Euros with the automobile firm Daimler from Stuttgart, the technology investor Lukasz Gadowski from Berlin and further investors. Using this fresh capital  Volocopter will further expand upon the leading technology in its purely electrically driven VTOLs, (eVTOL), speed up the introduction process of the Volocopter serial model and conquer the market for flying air taxis. The safe, quiet and environmentally friendly aircraft, suitable for transporting two passengers, will revolutionize mobility in metropolises. In order to realize this vision Volocopter also invests in its team and  plans to continuously develop it further.

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Volocopter is up for a soaring start not just because of the successful round of funding: As early as in June the young enterprise already won top place in the international run for the world’s first pilot project involving air taxis in urban spaces. In the fourth quarter of 2017 Volocopter, together with the state transport authority „Roads and Transport Authority“ (RTA) in Dubai, will conduct initial demonstrations of an autonomous air taxi. By 2030 Dubai aims to carry out 25% of its passenger transportation with the help of autonomous means of transport.

“The strong financial commitment of our new investors is a signal as well as proof of the growing confidence in the newly emerging market for electrically driven VTOLs put to use as personal air taxis“  Florian Reuter, managing director of Volocopter, is pleased to point out. “We deliberately sought a mix of investors with strategic and entrepreneurial backgrounds  and were able to implement this perfectly with Daimler und Lukasz Gadowski”.

Automobile companies specifically are intensely interested in the mobility of the future – in autonomous driving or electrical mobility for example. Daimler is therefore a very valuable strategic partner for Volocopter. “We are world leaders in the development of electrical VTOL aircraft” says Reuter, “and for it to stay that way in the future we are very pleased with the participation of the worldwide leader in automobiles”.

The investor Lukasz Gadowski on the other hand, can support the aviation start-up in very different ways: He has already successfully founded and financed numerous enterprises. Gadowski has enormous experience in the fast and global scaling of tech start-ups. This will be of great value to Volocopter in asserting itself on the global market. “I have been interested in flying cars and following their development for a while. When I saw the Volocopter I got it: The “flying car” has no wheels! What is exciting at Volocopter is not just the magnificent vision but also that which has already been tangibly implemented. Huge ambition with both feet on the ground – a unique combination! In the coming years we can expect a revolution in manned aviation. We at Volocopter will significantly contribute to shaping it!”

Together with its partners, Volocopter will be using the new funding to further expand upon technical innovations and its pioneering role within the emerging industry. The plan is to further the development of the Volocopter up to production maturity and commercial licensing through aviation authorities worldwide. Amongst other things, extensive test flight programs are envisaged for this purpose. In order to speed up progress, the employment of additional engineers specialized in the development of flight systems, software and electric propulsion as well as the development of commercial function is envisaged.

To introduce the Volocopter serial model to the market with full impact the company will also apply the investment to developing brand awareness. The prelude to this will be the new website which is launched today. In addition a professional communications team all around marketing and PR will be installed in order to be optimally equipped for planned events and demonstrations of the Volocopter in the coming months. This will create additional interest and customers for the Volocopter – besides RTA in Dubai.


About Volocopter

Volocopter GmbH is the global leader in the development of vertically launching, fully electrical multicopters for the transport of people and of heavy lifting cargo drones. The technical platform is extremely flexible and permits piloted, remote controlled and fully autonomous flight. In addition, the unique design offers a huge degree of safety based on the high redundancy of all critical components. The company’s stated objective is to make every human’s dream of flying come true and to help modern cities resolve their increasing mobility issues. As early as 2011 the company earned its entry into the history of aviation through the manned flight of the world’s first purely electrical multicopter. Since then the young enterprise has set new milestones: In 2016 Volocopter was granted provisional licensing for a two seater Volocopter by the German aviation authority and in 2017 the aviation start-up entered into an agreement with RTA Dubai over the global premiere of an autonomously flying air taxi. The first licensed Volocopter should be on the market next year. In the meantime, the founders Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel have gathered an excellentteam of experienced managers like CEO Florian Reuter (formerly of Siemens) and CTO Jan-Hendrik Boelens (formerly of Airbus Helicopters). This paved the way for the further expansion of the company.

25 Million Euros for Volocopter
⋅ Lukasz Gadowski and the Daimler AG are amongst investors
⋅ Increased investment flows into the launch of the Volocopter

Souce: Volocopter

ChargePoint Raises $82 Million to Pave the Way for e-Mobility in Europe

Daimler leads funding round, underscores collective commitment to establishing the continent’s most comprehensive electric vehicle charging network ever developed

ChargePoint, the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network, today announced it has secured an initial $82 million in funding, part of a larger multi-million dollar fundraise, led by Daimler. The first close of the company’s latest fundraising round is the largest in the Silicon Valley company’s history. The investment will support the expansion of the company’s charging network into Europe, enabling the region to complete the shift to e-mobility.

Existing investors BMW i Ventures, Linse Capital, Rho Capital Partners, and Braemar Energy Ventures also participated in this latest fundraising round. To date, ChargePoint has raised more than $255 million, a testament to ChargePoint’s proven business model that underscores a collective commitment to electric mobility worldwide. As more types of vehicles become electrified, such as trucks and buses, this new funding will help ensure ChargePoint is ready.

“The automobile industry is at an inflection point, with more vehicles coming onto the market offering highly advanced electric powertrains than any other time in the world’s history,” said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint. “The significant investment by our lead investor Daimler and others not only underscores a collective commitment to e-mobility around the world, but lays the groundwork for Europe’s most comprehensive charging network.”

ChargePoint already makes it easy for drivers in North America to charge an EV everywhere they go, with more than 33,000 charging ports where they can refuel. Thousands of drivers have selected ChargePoint to meet EV charging needs with more than 6,500 companies selecting the brand for their employees, customers, fleets and tenants. Now, ChargePoint is committed to bringing EV drivers in Europe the same level of convenience that makes the charging experience effortless.

ChargePoint also announced the appointment of Daimler AG executive Axel Harries to the company’s Board of Directors. Harries has a deep history with Daimler, serving in a number of management roles including Vice President of Quality and Director of Mercedes-Benz G GmbH, as well as on teams including Commercial Vehicles and e-Business. In his current role, Harries is responsible for shaping the newly established CASE-unit within Daimler (Connected, Autonomous, Sharing & Services, and Electric Drive), charged with developing technologies and innovations for next generation Mercedes-Benz vehicles, particularly the new electric product brand, EQ.

“While pursuing the systematic expansion of our CASE ecosystem based on our new product brand EQ, we also remain open and ready for partnerships and cooperation at the highest level. ChargePoint is a company of experts in the field of electric mobility charging solutions with a great deal of know-how in both hardware and software. Together we will be able to significantly expand the product portfolio in the area of intelligent charging solutions and provide the customer with an all-embracing premium offer for electric mobility,” he said.

ChargePoint is the only company that offers a charging solution for every part of an EV driver’s life—at home, at work, around town and on the road. This comprehensive product portfolio positions ChargePoint to offer the right innovation for each market in Europe and meet a variety of driver needs. Painstakingly engineered by EV charging experts, ChargePoint hardware and software solutions make it easy for drivers to charge and simple for station owners to manage with custom access controls, pricing and reporting tools, among other smart features. In addition to advancing e-mobility in the region with innovative technology, ChargePoint will build on its long history in North America of promoting EV-friendly policies through partnerships with policymakers, utilities and automakers in Europe.

More than 20 European countries already provide attractive incentives for purchasing EVs, which has helped make Europe the world’s second-largest EV market. As more EVs hit more European roads, the need for a comprehensive charging network is more important than ever. Currently, there are dozens of providers of EV charging hardware, software and driver networks in a fragmented market. They all work differently and often require drivers to sign up for separate accounts, which creates a confusing and cumbersome charging experience for EV drivers.

ChargePoint is committed to being the first company to introduce a complete charging solution that serves EV drivers in Europe everywhere they go. By collaborating with innovative companies like Daimler, one of the largest producers of premium vehicles and a world leader and pioneer in automotive electrification, ChargePoint will be able to lay the foundation for Europe’s most comprehensive and intelligent charging network.

Deutcsche Telekom keeps Daimler connected with the latest Technology

  • Deal with a value into the hundreds of millions
  • Modernization and operation of data center and IT applications
  • Partner for connected-car technology

T-Systems has once again persuaded Daimler of its IT expertise, with Deutsche Telekom’s business customers arm set to continue operating the automaker’s mainframes and key IT applications. T-Systems will ensure that mobile real-time connectivity is integrated into vehicles, as it has done in recent years. The deal has a value into the hundreds of millions. “Together with Daimler, we are the driving force behind the digitization of the automotive industry, modernizing the associated platforms and making them more flexible. We scored points with the high quality of service we have provided over many years,” says Reinhard Clemens, CEO of T-Systems and a member of the Deutsche Telekom Management Board.

Modernizing the heart of the IT system
The contract to operate Daimler’s mainframes includes modernization of the hardware, which will entail deployment of the very latest mainframe technology. The two partners also want to focus more on standard software in order to make the operation of IT applications in the production and distribution environments even more efficient. An added advantage for Daimler is the greater flexibility it will enjoy to access the IT services it needs on demand.

Over two million vehicles connected worldwide
T-Systems connects over two million Daimler vehicles across the globe via Daimler’s proprietary connected car platform, and it will continue to operate the existing “Mercedes me connect” services for the next generation of vehicles as well. These services include live traffic information, safety functions such as emergency call, convenience services such as remote control, and infotainment apps like Internet radio and hotel/parking search functions.

In addition to all that, T-Systems and Daimler have joined forces to develop an upgrade solution for existing Mercedes-Benz vehicles, which will enable customers to connect to the digital world by retrofitting a Bluetooth adapter and downloading the corresponding app. The “Mercedes me” adapter has been on the market since spring this year.

Source: Deutsche Telekom

Moovel Helps Hamburg’s Transport System To Become Fully Integrated

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One-stop-shop for urban mobility in Hamburg: book and pay for journeys with car2go, Flinkster, mytaxi, Deutsche Bahn and from now on also public transport (HVV) directly in the moovel app
Hamburg
  • In Hamburg, moovel now makes it possible to book and pay for online tickets for Hamburg Transport Association (Hamburger Verkehrsverbund – HVV) directly in the app, in addition to car2go, Flinkster, mytaxi and Deutsche Bahn journeys
  • Hamburg is the first German city of over a million inhabitants with a one-stop-shop for urban mobility
  • HVV CEO and moovel Group CEO present the latest version of the mobility app in the Hanseatic city  
Hamburg – With the full integration of online tickets for local public transport in Hamburg, moovel is offering a one-stop-shop for urban mobility: from now on, it is possible to book and pay for journeys by the transport modes within Hamburg Transport Associationdirectly and conveniently via the moovel app.
At the presentation of the latest generation of the moovel app, the CEO of Hamburg Transport Association, Lutz Aigner, said: “We believe that further sales channels in the form of external mobility platforms are a useful addition to our wide variety of services. The sale of HVV tickets via the new moovel app is therefore an interesting option, not least for passengers from out of town.”
Jörg Lamparter, moovel Group GmbH CEO: “Hamburg Transport Association is a key partner and the backbone of mobility in Hamburg, along with the buses, subway, suburban railway, ferries and regional trains. We are delighted that, in partnership with HVV, we can demonstrate just how much easier smartphones can make our mobility in cities. Our one-stop-shop for urban mobility is the only one of its kind in the world.”
Search for, book and pay for mobility with a single app
The mobility app from the wholly owned Daimler subsidiary shows users the best route to their destination: the free iOS and Android mobility app combines local public transport, the car-sharing providers car2go and Flinkster, mytaxi, Taxi-Ruf, rental bicycles and Deutsche Bahn. Using the moovel app, car2go, Flinkster, mytaxi and Deutsche Bahn can be booked and paid for simply and directly throughout Germany. In Hamburg, single, day and group HVV tickets are now also available – the booking and payment of the HVV tickets in the moovel app is so easy: if a connection search is carried out in the moovel search function, the app proposes the purchase of the appropriate HVV single ticket for the desired journey and shows day and group tickets as further options. Consequently, the user is already mobile after just two clicks. The tickets are then provided in the app and can be called up as necessary. The billing between moovel and HVV takes place in the background without any further login procedure for the customer.
Based in Hamburg: moovel development team and lead agency JvM/Elbe
On October 1, 2015, the business operations of the moovel mobility platform were transferred to a new, independent company – moovel Group GmbH. The company’s headquarters are in Stuttgart. The company opened a development center in Hamburg in 2015: the team of fifteen in the Hanseatic city is responsible within the moovel development network for all user account and payment functions – from the database to the app. Hamburg is also home to moovel’s new lead agency: Jung von Matt/Elbe. The creative agency has developed an integrated communication concept for the moovel app. The new campaign is set to launch at the end of April. Altogether, 110 people work for moovel Group GmbH in Germany. The same number of people work for moovel North America, which arose on April 14, 2016, from the merger of the two US subsidiaries RideScout (Austin) and GlobeSherpa (Portland).
Source: Daimler

Qualcomm & Daimler collaborate on connected car initiative

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Today, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Daimler AG announced a strategic collaboration focused on pioneering innovation in the connected car.

In the first phase of the collaboration, the companies will focus on transforming future vehicles with mobile technologies that enhance in-car experiences and vehicle performance such as 3G/4G connectivity, wireless charging technology for in-vehicle use and implementation of the Qualcomm Halo™ Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology. In addition, the companies are jointly assessing the application of Qualcomm Technology’s newly developed Automotive Solutions.

Qualcomm Technologies is collaborating with Daimler on its Wireless Power Transfer 2.0 high performance program for electric vehicles. The Qualcomm Halo™ WEVC technology provides high performance and high power in a small vehicle package that could allow Daimler customers to charge their electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid EVs without ever having to plug them in. In addition, Qualcomm® WiPower™ technology enables consumer electronics to charge wirelessly in-vehicle.

“It’s important that we remain on the cutting edge of technology and continue to deliver unparalleled experiences to our customers,” says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “With this in mind, we are eager to jointly explore possible fields of future cooperation with an internationally leading tech firm like Qualcomm.”

Qualcomm is helping the automotive industry create an entirely new landscape for communication, convenience, energy efficiency, infotainment and safety through its Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Automotive Solutions, while Daimler has a history of producing vehicles that embody these concepts. Mercedes-Benz customers have come to expect vehicles equipped with numerous intelligent systems and sensors that enhance safety, convenience and comfort. Together, the companies intend to combine automotive expertise to advance the connected car industry by delivering intelligently connected vehicles of the future that drive emission-free.

“Our work with Daimler AG is a natural extension of the sponsorship we have with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One team as our work in motorsports cultivates the innovation and advancements seen in the auto space,” said Derek Aberle, president of Qualcomm Incorporated.

“The automobile has become a mobile platform and an extension of always-on connectivity, and as such, we’re utilizing our expertise as the leader in mobile technology to deliver in-car experiences comparable to the ease and convenience of smartphones.”

Autonomous truck cleared to drive on US roads for the first time

dn27485-1_300Autonomous truck cleared to drive on US roads for the first time

The next big thing in autonomous vehicles really is big. At a ceremony at the Hoover Dam last Wednesday, automotive manufacturer Daimler unveiled a self-driving truck – the first to be cleared to drive on US roads.

For the freight industry, the Inspiration Truck holds the promise of a future with fewer accidents, lower fuel costs and well-rested drivers.

Over the past few years, autonomous trucks have drawn the attention of companies that repeatedly use the same routes or encounter few people or other vehicles. Some farms use autonomous grain harvesters or planters. Mining company Rio Tinto has more than 50 self-driving vehicles hauling iron ore at a remote site in Western Australia. In Texas, the US military has been working on trucks that can navigate battle zones.

The Inspiration is different, designed to travel on the highway alongside regular cars and trucks. With clearance to drive on Nevada’s highways, this could be big news for the trucking industry, which struggles to find drivers to do the exhausting work. If successful, other big self-driving vehicles could follow, such as garbage trucks or city buses.

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Autonomous convoy

Autonomous trucks have a few potential advantages over their hands-on counterparts. For one, they could help cut fuel use, as they accelerate and decelerate more gently than a human driver might. Programming multiple trucks to travel in convoys would be beneficial, too: one truck could draft behind another, reducing air resistance and so using less fuel. The trucks would communicate, telling each other when to slow down or to speed up.

And the trucks could slot easily into an industry that has already embraced robotic help. In the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, containers are lifted off ships by robotic cranes and slotted into the right stacks with the help of automated trolleys. Last year, the Netherlands announced a five-year plan to prepare the country for vehicles like the Inspiration.

Proponents of self-driving vehicles also tout their safety benefits. According to one study, about 90 per cent of road accidents are caused by human error. Artificial intelligence takes those mistakes out of the equation.

“A car never gets tired. It doesn’t have any emotions when it’s driving home from a break-up with its girlfriend. It doesn’t get drunk or old and slow,” says Patrick Vogel at the Free University of Berlin in Germany.

The Inspiration trucks know how to stay in lane, change speed and avoid collisions. A camera mounted above the dashboard has a range of 100 metres which can recognize pavement markings and keeps the truck in its lane. Radar monitors the road up to 250 metres ahead to spot other vehicles and the truck also automatically complies with any speed limits.

Not totally driverless

But they are not totally driverless. A human driver still sits behind the wheel, ready to take over in case of a lane change or unexpected hazard.

With vehicles that are only partially autonomous, the safety benefits may not be so clear-cut, says Steven Shladover of the University of California at Berkeley.

“There is a risk that drivers will become overly dependent on the system, or that drivers may try to cheat a little bit and try to use the system in situations in which it was not intended to be used,” he says. “If that happens, there could actually be safety problems.”

Like other self-driving vehicles, the Inspiration truck is still years away from commercial release. Now that they’re licensed, Daimler plans to conduct tests on Nevada’s roads, collecting real-world data to help improve the truck further.

In the meantime, several issues still need to be addressed. It is not yet clear how insurance companies might cover self-driving vehicles, for instance, or where blame would be attributed in a road accident.

And the long-term implications of swapping out low-tech trucks for those using artificial intelligence are not yet clear – like what effect this will have on truckers’ jobs or roadside businesses like motels and truck stops.

“Before it became clear that the technical issues could be addressed, these were academic exercises,” says Peter Stone, a computer scientist at the University of Texas at Austin. “Now, they’ve become very real questions.”

Source: New Scientist