High-profile trends in 2017
Our trend monitoring in the year under review focused on four topics. In all these areas, it is particularly important to use the right approaches now in order to ensure that our business is fit for the future.
Intelligent automation #DIGITALIZATION
Intelligent automation is bringing changes to all areas of life. Artificial intelligence and the rapid development of speech and gesture recognition, for example, mean that people who are less familiar with technology can interact with machines more easily, individually and intuitively. At work or in private life, machines can increasingly facilitate or entirely take over clearly defined tasks and routine work. Another example is predictive maintenance. In the future, freight locomotives, switches, elevators and escalators will automatically report any malfunctions so that they can be repaired and maintained in a timely manner. In the area of logistics, goods will transport themselves from automated warehouses and will use real-time tracking to provide constantly available information on location, temperature and expected delivery time. For the railways, intelligent automation thus represents an opportunity to assert themselves in the increasingly competitive mobility and logistics market. The digitalization of rail operations can increase performance and reduce costs.
On-demand offers #DIGITALIZATION
More and more customers expect an offer that is available in real time and can be consumed immediately if required. The increased appetite for such on-demand offers is reducing the importance of traditional offerings presented at designated times, such as TV programs. Providers are being called upon to develop customized solutions that will satisfy customer needs in a faster, more personalized and more cost-efficient way. Market opportunities are further increased if these offers are also easy to use and promise a positive experience. Large amounts of data are usually a prerequisite for producing these offers: the better companies can assess future individual demands, the more reliably and cost-effectively they can provide the right on-demand offers. By analyzing large amounts of data, it is possible to determine the extent and timing of future demand. In order to successfully offer on-demand services for mobility, we use ioki to develop tailor-made solutions for our customers.
CO₂-free transport #Climate Protection
Emissions-free mobility and logistics solutions are establishing themselves on the market and are gaining market share. Alternative drive technologies and new mobility concepts can reduce pollution and thus greatly improve quality of life, especially in cities with significant traffic congestion. Politics plays a driving role here: the German government is under pressure from EU regulations and the diesel exhaust scandal. At present, inner-city driving bans for older diesel and gas vehicles are being discussed and some of them are already being implemented (in Stuttgart, for example). New business models are being developed around climate-neutral transport, especially as a result of increasing regulatory intervention. The spectrum ranges from emissions-free delivery vehicles and electric cars to electric scooters and retrofit kits for internal combustion engines. We have also set ambitious goals for ourselves: we plan to be completely climate-neutral by 2050.
Cities as innovation hubs/smart cities #Digitalization
Cities are increasingly developing into experimental locations for innovative transport solutions. The strong appreciation for urban life, professional opportunities in cities and the better services available compared to rural areas are increasing the influx into urban areas. Denser populations and rapidly growing e-commerce are saddling cities with steadily more traffic. In addition to driving bans, more and more cities are moving into the driving role themselves by using mobility and logistics with intelligent solutions to reduce this pressure. They are working closely with partners from industry, who are increasingly cooperating with cities to implement their own products in urban areas. Internationally, cities have already developed much more strongly into innovation hubs. With our Group program Smart Cities we are shaping the cities of tomorrow: we develop services and offers for the intelligent networking of transport infrastructure – with mobility and logistics from a single source.