Autonomous cars: The new multifunctional room

Video-Interview with Ralf Lamberti, Head of Intellectual Property, Trends & Innovation at Daimler AG.


It's one of the biggest topics for the future: how will mobility evolve? E-cars and self-driving cars are hot topics. Be honest: will there be more or less traffic in the future as a result of self-driving cars?

Ralf Lamberti: I think the demand for mobility – by people and customers – won't suddenly drop off. There will be solutions that will require fewer vehicles to transport more people, such as robo-taxis or maybe robo-buses, but people will also want to travel, commute to work, and enjoy mobility in the future as well. That's why I don't think autonomous driving and electromobility will cause any dramatic drops in traffic. I think the commute that we have today might become a little more or a little less. 

You already mentioned it: will future cars have a different appearance? Not just the exteriors, but also the interiors? That they offer more possibilities for what I can do while the car is driving?

Ralf Lamberti: Certainly the latter. There will be many more possibilities for the interior. An electric car offers many more possibilities for dividing up the interior and pursuing new solutions. When a car drives autonomously, I can think about games and entertainment. But I can also think about just talking more with the other people in the car. Maybe that's good advice. And I think that we will still put a lot of work into the exteriors, particularly in the premium segment, to make them desirable and set themselves apart from the competition.

Apropos "desirable": there's a popular saying cars are a German's "favorite child". Will the relationships that people have with their cars change?

Ralf Lamberti: Now we're almost getting philosophical. Many people – not all, of course – in countries like Germany and the U.S. have highly emotional ties to their cars. I don't think that will go away. In the trend research we conduct – in the U.S., Germany, and China, for example – we see that people who have cars like to have their cars and can develop very emotional ties with them. Even young people. 

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