T-Systems is now speeding up towards a mobile future: since March, the ICT provider has been participating in the STARTUP AUTOBAHN, Europe's largest innovation platform. Currently, 27 companies and hundreds of startups are contributing their broad expertise to jointly developing even better processes and new products for the future of mobility, production and companies.
T-Systems' partnership with STARTUP AUTOBAHN will initially run for three years. All players benefit from the Telekom subsidiary's many years of experience in the automotive IT sector: In 2001, T-Systems emerged from the major customer segment of Telekom and Daimler-IT (debis-Systemhaus). Five years later, the IT subsidiary of Volkswagen (gedas) was added. Today, around 4,000 internal experts worldwide develop ICT solutions along the entire value chain of the automotive industry. They help T-Systems to accelerate the digitalization of the industry, particularly with their expertise in the areas of cloud and infrastructure, connectivity, digital services and IT security. When it comes to development, the provider from the Telekom Group can also contribute valuable expertise to the innovation platform: the Group's own incubator hub:raum has been in existence since 2012. And with its TechBoost program, Telekom is helping digital startups to expand.
By joining STARTUP AUTOBAHN, T-Systems is building on this experience. In the first 100 days of the partnership, teams of experts from T-Systems actively participated in the scouting process, got to know over 60 startups and produced promising project approaches.
Our goal is to develop new services for networked and future autonomous driving. The startups provide us with fresh ideas.
In mid-November, STARTUP AUTOBAHN came to Bonn. T-Systems invited all members of the network to a 'deep dive' at the company's headquarters. The focus of the event was scouting: The partner companies of the innovation platform met 13 start-ups from Germany, England, Italy, the USA and Israel, who presented their visions for the future of mobility in three-minute short lectures. In line with the motto of the evening "The future of data empowered mobility", the focus of many pitches was on the collection and use of data in road traffic.
The American startup Savari has developed a technology that allows cars to reliably exchange data with other road users, traffic lights or cell phones. The London-based company Synaptiv provides car manufacturers with important information for the introduction of new products on a specially developed data platform. For this purpose, the company collects the data from the sensors that are already installed in networked vehicles today. The solution of the startup Alter Mobili is a chip in the car that recognizes free parking spaces. It sends this information to drivers who are looking for a parking space. This could reduce the search for a parking space by around 30 percent.
The aim of the partner companies is now to create first prototypes in 100-day pilot projects and to find out whether they can get together for further cooperation or investments. In 2020, the pilot projects will be presented at an Expo Day.
The evening program also included a keynote speech by Francois Fleutiaux, Commercial Director at T-Systems, and Maximilian Ahrens, chief technology officer of the company. Fleutiaux explained: “We work in a company in which we have to bring tradition and innovation together.” For this reason, the partnership with STARTUP AUTOBAHN is elementary. Fleutiaux also emphasized the outstanding position of the automotive industry for T-Systems. The company invests a large portion of its annual budget in automotive related projects.
Dirk Backofen, former Head of Telekom Security, in his lecture referred to the risk of an increasing number of hacker attacks. New attack targets include connected vehicles and their infrastructure. “If every vehicle is connected, every vehicle needs security.” In this context, he presented the Telekom initiative for the so-called Automotive Security Operation Center. It is a system that monitors networked vehicles and associated IT systems around the clock. It analyzes cyber-attacks and keeps the defense up to date with the latest security technology.
STARTUP AUTOBAHN is the fastest way for startups to get together with companies and jointly develop innovative technologies for the mobility of the future. Located in the motor city of Stuttgart, the platform has been in existence since 2016 and its initiators include Daimler, Arena 2036, Plug and Play and the University of Stuttgart. Currently, 27 companies such as BASF, BP, Deutsche Post DHL, Hyundai, Linde, Porsche, TÜV Rheinland, Webasto and hundreds of startups participate in the network.
STARTUP AUTOBAHN has already produced some exciting innovations in the first three years: these include the extremely precise navigation system that Daimler has developed to market maturity together with what3words. Every three by three meter large patch of earth is clearly described with the help of three words, which makes them easier to find. The system is already fitted as standard in the Mercedes A-Class.