On cloud 9
Rental car via app: It drives up autonomously, opens the door, and knows the destination. On the way, it avoids traffic jams, dials into a conference call and gives reminders for appointments. Utopia? Gerhard Koch (CTO Connected Car Daimler) and Paulo Ribeiro Monteiro (Senior Manager Purchasing Connectivity and Mobility Services) explain what is possible.
Daimler vehicles already offer a variety of intelligent services. Changing over to the latest cloud technology brings the vision of “Intuitive Mobility” even closer. Why?
Ribeiro Monteiro: By combining the CASE future fields of Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services and Electric, Daimler is shaping “Intuitive Mobility”. Connected, self-driving and electric vehicles, as well as mobility services, are designed to make life easier for our customers. More and more, the car is becoming a personal assistant. Vehicles are connected to the driver, to other vehicles and to the traffic infrastructure. For example, to fetch road and weather information in real time, to use office functions in the car or to inquire about tank ranges and service intervals via smartphone. And this is all just the start.
Koch: The digital intelligence needed for that is stored both in the vehicle multimedia system and, in the future, in the new Connected Car Cloud. The data and applications are hosted in the cloud as a “virtual backend”. Using state-of-the-art technology, we offer our customers secure access to the ever-expanding service world of Daimler.
The Connected Car Cloud is the basis for making mobility services available to customers even more quickly. It is a pioneering development platform and with it the backbone of our CASE strategy. Decisive to our selection was the supplier's ability to maintain the highest security standards with the cloud architecture.
Intelligent services offer our customers more and more comfort. What role does the new cloud generation play here?
Ribeiro Monteiro: The cloud is not visible to the end user, however the comfort is noticeably greater: Access times for services are lower because the entire data intelligence for future services is stored in the cloud. Here we draw on the fastest and most innovative technology from our new cloud partner.
Koch: The multi-cloud system architecture separates confidential data from less sensitive data: in the private and public clouds. The rigorously protected private cloud enables the exchange of sensitive data – in accordance with the highest security standards. As a result Daimler always has full control over relevant data. And the new cloud generation has another decisive advantage: It functions as a flexible development platform through which we can optimally integrate new mobility services from ourselves and third-party providers.
How will customers experience the transition to forward-looking technology?
Ribeiro Monteiro: Additional services can be easily integrated into the Connected Car Cloud – without long lead times on releases. We are able to react with exceptional flexibility to trends and customer needs and expand our digital service world even faster.
Of course there are interesting new perspectives for IT partners and developers too?
Koch: Yes, the changeover to the technology will give our IT developers the opportunity to implement their ideas via agile processes and tools. In addition, we enable a fast, high-quality integration into our development processes for our IT partners. Digital services from new partners are also ideally positioned on the Connected Car Cloud. An opportunity for young companies or start-ups who are heading for collaboration with Daimler with innovations and agile methods such as Scrum and DevOps.
Purchasing is in transition. We live and breathe partnership and agile project work. Especially with regard to this future-facing topic, it was a decisive factor for success that all participants worked together from the beginning. Here we closely integrated technical and commercial aspects and conducted all negotiations in parallel.
Keyword teamwork: How did the contract award of this future-oriented project take shape?
Ribeiro Monteiro: Purchasing and the specialist unit defined the project goals at the start on the basis of previous market and technology assessments. In a multi-level partnership process, purchasing, specialist units, IT developers and various cloud providers brought important negotiation points to the table. The project team also included our colleagues in the legal department. In a so far unparalleled form of agile, cross-functional collaboration, we have achieved our goal – and selected our IT partner with the best technology and highest level of sustainability.