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Daimler is looking into the Future at the World's largest Digital Conference in Austin

9th of March 2017
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Daimler is looking into the Future at the World's largest Digital Conference in Austin

Stuttgart. Daimler AG and its brands smart, moovel and car2go are guests at the world's largest digital conference, South by Southwest® (SXSW®) in Austin, Texas for the first time. The agenda shows central future topics, which are discussed in workshops, virtual reality installations and discussion groups. The unique mix of digital conference, music as well as film festival sets a world-wide emphasis on social issues. Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, will be explaining why highly accurate maps are of crucial importance for the continued development of autonomous driving. His speech will take place on March 11 at 9:30 a.m. in the Hotel JW Marriot Austin Downtown. The "house of smart" that is being staged in parallel to the conference is extending an invitation to a total of 15 interactive sessions and discussions, during which experts from around the world will be debating crucial social issues of the future. As a pioneer of electric mobility, smart will also be providing a free shuttle service in the centre of Austin between March 11 and 14 with a fleet of smart fortwo electric drive vehicles.

The comprehensive brand presence of Daimler AG showcases its diverse innovative strengths and provides creative impetus to help shape future mobility. "The South by Southwest provides a strong platform for open discussions with creative and very diverse people. The main question is how we as a society in the future would live together, work and be mobile. We are pleased to be able to contribute as a company in this environment as well”, says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Lufthansa FlyingLab: The digital conference is already on board

On March 9, 2017 the guests of the flight LH440 from Frankfurt to Houston in the "FlyingLab SXSW" will be already introduced into the topics of "South by Southwest" in Austin, Texas. On board of an Airbus A380, digital experts will give 15-minute presentations, ranging from the future, smart cities to the survival guide for the conference days. For Daimler AG, Alexander Mankowsky will be speaking as a futurologist about "The Journey Will Be the Destination - Again".

The FlyingLab is opened by Daimler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. In a video message, he complements the safety instructions on board and takes the passengers on a virtual journey into the future of mobility. The participants of the "FlyingLabs SXSW" receive the video livestream of the speakers including the presentation documents via WLAN on their smartphone, tablet or laptop. With their devices, the guests can enter the direct dialogue with the speakers during the presentations. You can find more information about the Lufthansa FlyingLab at: www.FlyingLab.aero/sxsw2017.

Relaxation and inspiration in the "house of smart"

In the "Waller Ballroom" on Austin's famous 6th Street, the "house of smart" will offer visitors a relaxing yet electrifying atmosphere that is ideal for topping up on fresh new ideas and renewing energy levels. Following its opening on the evening of March 10, four theme days will be taking place from March 11 – 14: "Refreshing Insights", "Creative Mindfulness", "Urban Trends" and "Sustainable Future". Over a total of 15 interactive sessions featuring presentations, live demos, virtual reality installations and workshops, experts from various fields are going to be discussing an extraordinary range of topics.

The theme day "Refreshing Insights" looks at the question of what progress will mean in the coming years. Can artificial intelligence become creative? Can wearables help to make use of the human brain's full potential? Speakers will include Aleksandra Przegalinska from the MIT Sloan School of Management and Ed Newton-Rex, the founder and CEO of jukedeck.com, which develops systems that are capable of composing music on the basis of artificial intelligence. Besides this, there will also be an inspirational co-creating session offering "refreshing first-hand insights" into the topics of creativity, leadership and motivation, that will be hosted by Dr. Annette Winkler, Head of smart, and Austin-based CEO and head chef Sonya Coté from Eden East, Hillside Farmacy and Homegrown Revival Austin.

The "Creative Mindfulness" theme day revolves around the pace of life. Why is it so important to keep deliberately slowing down everyday life at a time when technology is advancing at breakneck speed? Renowned tech evangelist and Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador Guy Kawasaki will, for example, be explaining the art of influencing innovation and change. Illustrating his presentation with examples from Apple, Google and Facebook as well as startup companies, he will reveal the key tips and tricks when it comes to changing the world. In the 1980s Guy Kawasaki helped the Macintosh computer make its breakthrough. Lüder Fromm, Senior Head of Global Marketing & Sports Sponsorship at HUGO BOSS, will provide insight into how the premium fashion brand uses its creative potential and the power of contrasts to develop its top-class collections and exceptional, customer-oriented services. Another speaker on this theme day will be adventurer and photographer Cory Richards, who was named "National Geographic Adventurer of the Year" in 2012. He will be taking guests on a visual journey to the highest and lowest places on Earth.

The theme days "Urban Trends" and "Sustainable Future" deal with alternative lifestyles and with what responsibility means at a time when there is an almost limitless choice of paths to take in life. Looking at everything from our personal mobility to the world of work and our living situation, what can we do to live in a more worthwhile, more aware and more sustainable way? In his panel discussion, Dr. Nico Rose, Head of Corporate Employer Branding at Bertelsmann, will explain, for example, what sustainable personnel development means and which staffing concepts are the true driving forces of corporate success. Simon Becker and Andreas Rauch, the founders of Cabin Spacey, will also be among those speaking. Their company develops minimalist and resource-friendly mini apartments that can be constructed on unused rooftops, for example.

Workshops, talks and round-table discussions by or with Daimler experts such as Paul DeLong, CEO of car2go, Rasheq Zarif, Head of Business Innovation Mercedes-Benz North America, and Nat Parker, CEO of moovel North America, complete the programme of events in the "house of smart". There will also be performances from electronic pop sensation Bishop Briggs as well as synthwave band S U R V I V E, who composed the hit soundtrack for the Netflix series "Stranger Things".

As a pioneer of electric mobility, smart will also be providing a free shuttle service in the centre of Austin between March 11 and 14 with smart fortwo electric drive vehicles. smart is the only car manufacturer that will be offering its entire model range with both combustion engines and all-electric drive. All activities and details about the smart house can be found at: www.smart.com/houseofsmart.

moovel – radically simplifying mobility in the city

The objective of the Daimler subsidiary moovel is to radically simplify urban mobility. It is working on a type of operating system for urban mobility, offering access to a range of very different mobility applications. The trend towards on-demand mobility and multi-modal mobility platforms is therefore at the centre of the activities being showcased by moovel during its first excursion to the technology conference in Austin.

To help visitors quickly find the best way from A to B during the conference, moovel North America is providing the moovel app, a mobile journey planner which offers precise real-time information on local public transport. The app can be downloaded free of charge from the international Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

The mobility brand will furthermore be inviting visitors to the technology conference to take part in the "Transportation Trivia" competition in the moovel shuttle, which will be out on the streets of Austin between March 10 and 13. Its current location can be tracked on moovel North America's Twitter channel (@moovelUS ). Anyone who tweets a photo of the moovel shuttle to: @moovelUS with the hashtag #moovelme can win prizes of up to 1,000 US dollars.

Debating the future of urban mobility

On the first day of this year's festival, moovel will be taking part in two panel discussions: At 12:30 p.m. on March 10, Meg Merritt, Director of Business Operations and B2C, is talking at the Hotel Hilton Downtown on the topic of "Austin’s Best Transportation & Mobility Startups" as part of a mobility panel at the SXSW. Meanwhile, product manager Michael Naka will also be taking part in a panel on March 10. It takes place at 2:15 p.m. in the Omni Hotel and is entitled "Converge Culture: Consumer Experiences".

In collaboration with Messe Frankfurt and ZEIT ONLINE, moovel is organising a "moovel breakfast" on March 12. This exclusive breakfast session will be attended by 40 specially selected experts from the automotive industry. The informal discussions will centre on the opportunities and challenges that digitisation presents for the future of mobility. The discussion will be led by ZEIT ONLINE editor Eike Kühl and Nat Parker, CEO of moovel North America.

On March 13 from 2:30 - 3:00 p.m., moovel North America CEO Nat Parker will be speaking on the topic of "Changing Landscape of Mobility and Daimler's Approach" in the house of smart together with Paul DeLong, CEO of car2go North America, and Rasheq Zarif, Head of Business Development Mercedes-Benz Research & Development.

Daimler at a glance

Daimler AG is one of the world's most successful automotive companies. With its Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses, and Daimler Financial Services divisions, the Group is one of the leading global suppliers of premium cars and is the world's largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles. Daimler Financial Services offers financing, leasing, fleet management, insurance, investments and credit cards as well as innovative mobility services.
The company founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history by inventing the automobile in 1886. As a pioneer of automotive engineering, Daimler continues to shape the future of mobility today by focusing on innovative and green technologies as well as on safe and superior vehicles that captivate and inspire. Daimler consistently invests in the development of alternative drivetrains – from hybrid cars to full electric vehicles with battery and fuel cell – with the goal of making zero-emission driving possible in the long term. Moreover, the company is actively promoting accident-free driving and intelligent networking all the way through to self-driving cars. This is just one example of how Daimler willingly accepts the challenge of meeting its responsibility towards society and the environment.
Daimler sells its vehicles and services in nearly all countries of the world and has production facilities in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. In addition to Mercedes-Benz, which is the world's most valuable premium automotive brand, Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Maybach and Mercedes me, Daimler's current brand portfolio also includes smart, EQ, Freightliner, Western Star, BharatBenz, FUSO, Setra and Thomas Built Buses, as well as the Daimler Financial Services brands Mercedes-Benz Bank, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Daimler Truck Financial, moovel, car2go and mytaxi. The company is listed on the Frankfurt and Stuttgart stock exchanges (ticker symbol DAI). In 2016, the Group employed a total workforce of 282,488 and sold some 3 million vehicles. Revenue totalled €153.3 billion and EBIT amounted to €12.9 billion.

About CASE

CASE – these letters will shape the future of Mercedes-Benz Cars. They stand for the strategic pillars of connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric), which will be intelligently combined with one another by the company. Mercedes-Benz Cars already plays a leading role in all four areas. For example, all activities in the area of connectivity are focused on the digital brand Mercedes me, which gives customers access to an extensive and personalised range of services by app, website or straight from their car. On the way to autonomous driving, Mercedes-Benz has for years been a key driver of development and has repeatedly set the benchmark. To this end, the Mercedes engineers use what is known as sensor fusion. The data from different sensors, such as cameras, ultrasound and radar, are intelligently combined and analysed. When it comes to sharing, too, the inventor of the car is a pioneer with car2go. With some two million users the company is the world's biggest provider in the area of free-floating car-sharing. Mercedes-Benz is pursuing a holistic approach regarding the electrification of the drivetrain. Apart from the EQ brand with a family of vehicles, Mercedes-Benz is also developing a holistic ecosystem, which, alongside the vehicle itself, also comprises a comprehensive range of electric mobility-related offerings. This extends from intelligent services to energy storage units for private and commercial customers as well as charging technologies, such as inductive charging, to sustainable recycling. The activities are bundled into a new organisation in order to drive forward the equal development of all four pillars.

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