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SHIFT automotive 2019 Convention: the pursuit of our automotive utopia

We may now have self-driving cars, hydrogen or electricity powered vehicles, but have we considered its implications on the human experience?

May 12, 2019 | By Leon Ngiam


SHIFT automotive 2019 Convention: the pursuit of our automotive utopia

Consider this scenario: should self-driving vehicles only prioritise the well-being of its passengers, or should these AI machines also take pedestrians and other road users into consideration? In the event of an accident, a human driver responds instinctively, without forethought or malice. With self-driving cars, programming the system to take certain actions feels a little like premeditated homicide if others are always a lower priority. Yet, no rational person would buy a car that does not guard his or her self-interest.

Beyond a mere thought experiment, this and other related issues, show us that while we have the technological ways and means, we are falling short of an ideal solution. The public is both sceptical and optimistic, hungry for innovation yet wary of the consequences. This is the opportune moment for public engagement, and industry self-reflection, which is exactly what an event such as SHIFT automotive does.


On the cusp of the next automotive revolution, SHIFT automotive 2019 aims to address our limited understanding of the seemingly boundless potential of automotive technology. Certainly, this avant-garde convention has a venue to match—Berlin, the European heart of innovation. Held on 10 and 11 September, the 900 square metre hall at IFA NEXT Grand Theatre, Hall 26B will host an automotive exhibition that seeks to amaze and inform.

More importantly, this convention gathers top industry experts, politicians, business leaders, and academics to nurture the necessary and urgent conversation on the implications of novel technologies on the human experience.

Take a second to visualise an automotive utopia characterised by both ultra-convenience and environmental-friendliness, as contradictory as those two concepts can be. As images of self-driving vehicles and hydrogen or electricity powered vehicles form in your mind, an afterthought arises: the looming logistical challenges. Participants and attendees at SHIFT automotive 2019 of all walks of lives can look forward to thought-provoking insights on these and other relevant issues.

SHIFT automotive 2019 has announced that Fujitsu and SMART are key partners. Fujitsu will discuss the coming convergence of quantum computing and the automotive industry to optimise performance — a future of connected mobility through a quantum leap. Also, SMART will tempt us with its innovative ‘ready to services’ idea to allow expanded urban mobility— sharing your vehicle with strangers and have parcels delivered to your car boot.

Here are some key statistics from SHIFT automotive 2018 that highlight its potential for this year. Besides gathering 146 international journalists and 400 international participants, prominent speakers such as Karima Delli (Member of the European Parliament) and Bobbie Seppelt (MIT automotive technology scientist) also shared their perspectives on the future of mobility. As interest in SHIFT automotive 2019 grows, we expect this year’s edition to be just as electrifying.

SHIFT automotive 2019 is open to the public and encourages exhibitors to sign up early. Register your interest with SHIFT automotive 2019 to ignite a safer, cleaner and sustainable automotive industry.

SHIFT automotive is held in Berlin from 10 – 11 September in conjunction with IFA.

IFA is the world’s most inspiring tech-show for electronics taking place 6 – 11 September 2019 in Berlin.

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