With bits and bytes into the mobile future

A talk with Jörg Lamparter, Head of Mobility Services, about smart cities and the future of urban mobility.

Jörg Lamparter, Head of Mobility Services

Mr. Lamparter, Daimler Mobility Services is increasingly investing in Internet start-ups. What are your plans in this area?

In 2017 we successfully promoted and enhanced the three pillars of Daimler Mobility Services: carsharing, transportation services, and mobility platforms. In addition, we acquired shares in Turo, which is the US market leader in peer-to-peer carsharing, and the ridesharing service Via, as well as Careem, a ridesharing service based in Dubai that has more than ten million users. We’ve also completely taken over Flinc, the first ridesharing platform for short trips, which was founded in Darmstadt. All of them are promising enterprises, and we aim to use them to further expand our strong position in the mobility market.

Are you currently experiencing a tailwind?

The mobility sector is currently undergoing rapid change. The trend is toward “mobility on demand.” Customers want to have intelligently interlinked mobility services that they can search for, book, and pay for simply and directly via their smartphones. Our car2go service is the global market leader for flexible carsharing, mytaxi is the leading taxi app in Europe, and our multimodal moovel platform offers users access to a wide variety of mobility options. Through our interaction with the services of the companies in which we have holdings, we are in effect creating an operating system for urban mobility and supporting cities’ efforts to make mobility simpler and more sustainable.

What does your vision of future urban mobility look like?

Today urban regions all over the world are facing very similar challenges. Their transportation infrastructure is overburdened, and traffic congestion is a strain on their inhabitants. In the future, cities will once again focus on their residents. We are convinced that traffic will require less space in the future. There will be a broad and varied range of mobility offers that can be flexibly combined. And a combination of intelligent route planning with the pooling of ride requests will create additional flexibility.

Does this mean that people practically won’t need cars of their own?

Daimler is setting sales records. But at the same time, people are increasingly demanding mobility offers that go beyond their own cars. Especially in cities, people are increasingly rethinking their daily mobility routines and deciding on the best way to get from A to B in each situation. We are already responding to this trend by offering appropriate options — including booking and payment through our mobility platform moovel.

In other words, there will still be cars in the smart cities of the future. How much will the “robocars” of the future have in common with the cars of today?

I’m confident that our developers at the Group have clear ideas about that. These “robocars” will stand out because of factors that go far beyond design issues. They will have autonomous electric drive systems, be fully connected, and be shared by many users. From my perspective, Daimler is ideally set up for this development in every one of its divisions: cars, trucks, vans, and buses. Daimler probably has the widest range of new technologies that are already in operation or at least in the pilot phase.

If your vision of connected mobility is to become a reality, the main thing you need is data. How is Daimler Mobility Services addressing data protection?

For us, data protection has top priority. In many areas we are already implementing the requirements of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation, which will come into force at the end of May 2018. We regard this as an important aspect of our value proposition: to deal responsibly with the data of our partners and customers. One of the ways we set ourselves apart from our competitors as a German provider is by complying with the highest data protection standards in the world. That’s an example of “made in Germany” in the best sense of the word.

Bits and bytes instead of status and horsepower — doesn’t this approach conflict with the core business of your company today?

Vehicles will continue to be a core business of Daimler. We entered the market early on with our Daimler Mobility Services, and we’ve established ourselves in a good position. Our ultimate aim is to occupy the interface with customers, because through our mobility offers we reach not only car owners but also people who don’t have a car. We are transforming ourselves from an automaker into a mobility group.

Through our operating system for urban mobility, we are supporting cities’ efforts to make mobility simpler and more sustainable.

Jörg Lamparter, Head of Mobility Services

Mr. Lamparter, Daimler Mobility Services is increasingly investing in Internet start-ups. What are your plans in this area?

In 2017 we successfully promoted and enhanced the three pillars of Daimler Mobility Services: carsharing, transportation services, and mobility platforms. In addition, we acquired shares in Turo, which is the US market leader in peer-to-peer carsharing, and the ridesharing service Via, as well as Careem, a ridesharing service based in Dubai that has more than ten million users. We’ve also completely taken over Flinc, the first ridesharing platform for short trips, which was founded in Darmstadt. All of them are promising enterprises, and we aim to use them to further expand our strong position in the mobility market.

Are you currently experiencing a tailwind?

The mobility sector is currently undergoing rapid change. The trend is toward “mobility on demand.” Customers want to have intelligently interlinked mobility services that they can search for, book, and pay for simply and directly via their smartphones. Our car2go service is the global market leader for flexible carsharing, mytaxi is the leading taxi app in Europe, and our multimodal moovel platform offers users access to a wide variety of mobility options. Through our interaction with the services of the companies in which we have holdings, we are in effect creating an operating system for urban mobility and supporting cities’ efforts to make mobility simpler and more sustainable.

What does your vision of future urban mobility look like?

Today urban regions all over the world are facing very similar challenges. Their transportation infrastructure is overburdened, and traffic congestion is a strain on their inhabitants. In the future, cities will once again focus on their residents. We are convinced that traffic will require less space in the future. There will be a broad and varied range of mobility offers that can be flexibly combined. And a combination of intelligent route planning with the pooling of ride requests will create additional flexibility.

Does this mean that people practically won’t need cars of their own?

Daimler is setting sales records. But at the same time, people are increasingly demanding mobility offers that go beyond their own cars. Especially in cities, people are increasingly rethinking their daily mobility routines and deciding on the best way to get from A to B in each situation. We are already responding to this trend by offering appropriate options — including booking and payment through our mobility platform moovel.

In other words, there will still be cars in the smart cities of the future. How much will the “robocars” of the future have in common with the cars of today?

I’m confident that our developers at the Group have clear ideas about that. These “robocars” will stand out because of factors that go far beyond design issues. They will have autonomous electric drive systems, be fully connected, and be shared by many users. From my perspective, Daimler is ideally set up for this development in every one of its divisions: cars, trucks, vans, and buses. Daimler probably has the widest range of new technologies that are already in operation or at least in the pilot phase.

If your vision of connected mobility is to become a reality, the main thing you need is data. How is Daimler Mobility Services addressing data protection?

For us, data protection has top priority. In many areas we are already implementing the requirements of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation, which will come into force at the end of May 2018. We regard this as an important aspect of our value proposition: to deal responsibly with the data of our partners and customers. One of the ways we set ourselves apart from our competitors as a German provider is by complying with the highest data protection standards in the world. That’s an example of “made in Germany” in the best sense of the word.

Bits and bytes instead of status and horsepower — doesn’t this approach conflict with the core business of your company today?

Vehicles will continue to be a core business of Daimler. We entered the market early on with our Daimler Mobility Services, and we’ve established ourselves in a good position. Our ultimate aim is to occupy the interface with customers, because through our mobility offers we reach not only car owners but also people who don’t have a car. We are transforming ourselves from an automaker into a mobility group.

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