What does the mobility of the future look like? Karl-Thomas Neumann should know. He is familiar with the current developments, discussions and questions in all areas of this topic. Dr. Neumann has spent his entire career in the automotive industry and was the chairman of the board of Adam Opel AG until 2017. When he left Opel, Dr. Neumann turned his back on the large, traditional automotive manufacturers, but stayed true to the industry: As part of the management team at Canoo, a start-up from California whose goal is to reimagine (electric) mobility and get it on the road.
Cars act as a smart device for mobility services
“We asked ourselves: How could everyone afford an electric car?” says Dr. Neumann. The approach: In the future, Canoo doesn’t want to sell cars, but offer them as part of a subscription model. A fully-customisable option for everyone. Dr. Neumann continues: “The question regarding whether we even want to continue owning cars that largely sit around, unused, will be a major issue in the future. Aren’t there much better ways?” But that is just one way the start-up from Silicon Valley wants to set itself apart from established and new competitors.
How vehicles themselves are seen is crucial: Canoo sees itself as a mobility service provider for whom cars are, ultimately, just a tool to present mobility services. More concretely, that means: The vehicle itself becomes a smart device with a perfect connection to the Internet of Things (IoT). Cross-manufacturer networking is therefore a major aspect.
Interfaces require interoperability and, thus, standards
Whether Bluetooth, WLAN or 5G: Networking is the focus. Then, there is also the matter of standards. In particular with respect to replacing or upgrading software-based services, standardised interfaces are indispensable. “We have a major interest in standardised interfaces and will place value on standards, for instance with respect to charging, and not develop our own solution,” Dr. Neumann explains.