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Audi and the Future of Premium Mobility

Audi and the Future of Premium Mobility

The IOTA Foundation has revealed that Audi is looking into the technology. Let’s examine what this collaboration could mean for both IOTA and Audi’s foray into premium mobility.

Factbox

Audi:

  • Headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany
  • €60 billion annual revenue (2017)
  • Member of the Volkswagen Group
  • 80,000+ employees
  • 1.87 million cars produced in 2017
  • The company’s name derives from the founder’s Latinized name (German “horch” = listen! = audi!)

 

The Audi Denkwerkstatt think tank describes its field as follows:

We can’t imagine life without mobility, yet nowadays ‘mobility’ goes way beyond the car, encompassing infrastructure solutions and new concepts of locomotion, as well as pedestrians. But what will the premium mobility of the future be? Who will define it, who will influence it and who will shape it? The Audi.Denkwerkstatt would like to answer this question with “WE WILL”. […] But ‘WE’ also means start-ups, technology partners and the creative talent who are helping us to develop and realize products and business models. ‘WE’ want to use Audi’s strength as a centre of technology expertise and combine it with start-ups’ skills in agile development, creative approaches and absolute customer focus. (source)

IOTA is one of these startups mentioned above. At the end of July, a team from this think tank organized a one-week Google Design Sprint to explore Tangle-based use cases, build a low level prototype, and gather customer feedback.

How is IOTA relevant in the eyes of Audi?

Being a premium car manufacturer, Audi is always looking for new ways to improve their products and impress their customers:

We create and implement digital business models for premium mobility and focusing on hardware-related business models which shape various forms of mobility, but which do not have to have anything to do with cars. (source)

This kind of mobility is further defined as follows:

 Mobility here is deliberately a very broad term; we are focusing on mobility that is forging new paths away from traditional car manufacture. The spectrum ranges from concepts for pedestrians via infrastructure solutions to the third dimension. We focus on hardware as the basis for our business models because, as an automotive company, we have great expertise in this area and can therefore optimally enhance the content alignment of other agile units from the Volkswagen network. (source)

As Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is one of Audi’s main areas of interest, IOTA’s fast/scalable/feeless solution obviously proved intriguing enough to warrant spending a whole week just to learn about it.

What are Audi’s intentions for IOTA?

Audi Denkwerkstatt consists of eight Audi employees plus 15 colleagues from different business areas. These 23 people work together in Berlin (which is also home of the IOTA Foundation) for 6 months in order to explore and work on new mobility goals. Following that 6 month stint, the 15 people from different areas all go back to their original positions, and spread their new ideas with the hopes of transforming the company into being a provider of digitized premium mobility.

Audi’s Think Tank: purpose

 

This is not only an interesting concept for Audi but also for the IOTA Foundation:

We link start-ups with creative ideas in a targeted way with our colleagues in the global Audi network. (source)

Summary

IOTA is a perfect fit for Audi because it runs the gamut of the think tank’s topics on a technological level:

  • E-mobility
  • DLT
  • Drones/Automation
  • Experience-Mobility: added value through time spent on useful things while sitting in autonomous-driven vehicles

While IOTA’s technology is seemingly hand crafted for these IoT-related use cases, its characteristics lend themselves to myriad other applications. The sky is the limit when collaborating with partners with such magnificent clout in the industry. Even more, Audi is a member of the Volkswagen Group which revealed its enthusiasm for IOTA not long ago. It becomes easier by the day to imagine a bright future with such world-leading companies’ already taking a look at the potentially revolutionary technology.

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Written by: Chris Mueller