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Smart Mobility: Andreas Herrmann as expert for “Tagesspiegel Background”

What will mobility of tomorrow look like? The new format “Tagesspiegel Background Verkehr & Smart Mobility” provides answers to this question every day. Every day, the Tagesspiegel informs decision-makers in the relevant industries about new insights from various perspectives such as science, business and politics. Here, influential leaders that shape the future of mobility voice their opinions, including Andreas Herrmann.

The Tagesspiegel Background introduces leading scientists and voices that shape the future of mobility, amongst others Andreas Herrmann. Read the portray here (Jana Kugoth, 04.08.2020):

Autonomous driving is not only a topic for mechanical engineers. Andreas Herrmann, Director at the Institute for Customer Insight at the University of St. Gallen, is also concerned with robotic vehicles and autonomous shuttles. He has been working closely with manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Volkswagen for around ten years.

“What’s still missing are business models that make it possible to earn money with shared, electric and driverless cars,” observes Herrmann. This is where the professor and business economist wants to start. The 55-year-old is also investigating what the city of the future and its infrastructures for the new mobility could look like. This is also the focus of the “Smart Mobility” advanced education program, which he designed and which starts in the fall.

“Autonomous and automated vehicles are safer, more reliable and more economical than those in which a human driver is in control,” says Herrmann, who after completing his doctorate in the early 1990s initially worked in the marketing department at VW subsidiary Audi before returning to science in 1996. In addition, he believes that driver assistance systems can significantly increase safety.

Science should support car industry in its reinvention

The fact that the development of such systems takes much longer than initially thought does not surprise the scientist: “This can be observed with all new technologies: After an initial euphoria comes disillusion. “Now we will continue with a sense of balanced reasoning.”

As before, Europe can still keep up with competitors from China, the USA and Israel in the race for the future market with robot shuttles. “To do this, however, we finally need to harmonize European jurisdiction,” urges Herrmann. He welcomes the fact that the grand coalition in Berlin is currently working on a proposal that will make autonomous driving possible. “This could open up the possibility of finally testing the technology under real conditions.”

However, the concerns in the population about autonomous shuttles are still great, observes the German who lives in Switzerland and regularly flies to Stockholm and London to give lectures on these topics at universities there.
It is particularly important for the car nation Germany to be at the forefront, says Herrmann. “The mobility industry here in Germany is one of the largest in the world, with hundreds of thousands of jobs” that need to be maintained. The industry now faces an enormous challenge to “reinvent itself”. Science could help with this.

Even though Corona initially posed obstacles to research and innovation as funds in this area are cut – “the transformation cannot be stopped. For the sole reason that the environmental crisis is a bigger one than the Corona crisis,” the marathon runner is convinced, who will probably have to wait until next year for his next run. The Berlin Marathon, for which he had registered, has been postponed due to the pandemic. Jana Kugoth

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