ŠKODA is facing up to its transformation process from a vehicle manufacturer to supplier of mobility services in a particularly dynamic manner. The latest step in this direction is the opening of the new DigiLab in Israel.
The Czech brand’s strategic goals, defined within the 2025 Strategy, are twofold: increasing sales and creating new business areas in the field of digital mobility. It was precisely this latter goal that led to the opening last year of ŠKODA DigiLab Prague, an IT lab structured like a start-up – agile working practices and a hierarchy-free team are the keywords there – which can count on the best talents both from the technology and automotive sectors, and whose focus is the development of new business concepts.
Tel Aviv, at the heart of innovation
Now joining the Prague location is ŠKODA DigiLab Israel, recently opened in Tel Aviv alongside the Israeli ŠKODA importer, Champion Motors. The choice of the location is anything but random: Israel is one of the most dynamic IT countries worldwide, and right there ŠKODA DigiLab decided to extend its creative partnerships on the automotive and smart mobility fronts through a project supported by the Israel - Czech Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Tel Aviv currently boasts more than 6,000 start-ups, 300 research and development organisations, and hundreds of high-tech companies. Over 500 start-ups and research groups are involved in projects linked to the automotive field - six times more than in 2013. ŠKODA DigiLab Israel is currently cooperating with ten start-ups, and is already involved in the concrete development phase of a project with four of these.
Car2X and car sharing
ŠKODA DigiLab is working on the Car2X communication system, which allows the vehicles in a fleet to share data, be controlled remotely and integrated with a Smart Home management system. Integrated transport systems allow communication between the infrastructure, cars and other drivers, making traffic safer and freer-flowing. The end goal of the project is to guarantee safety in future self-driving ŠKODA models, through integration with the road network. For what concerns the shared mobility, in the Czech Republic ŠKODA DigiLab has created the HoppyGo peer-to-peer car-sharing portal: using an app, owners who wish to rent out their vehicles privately and users interested in hiring them can quickly get into contact to arrange car sharing.
CareDriver, intelligent parking and car pooling
Another service supported by ŠKODA DigiLab is CareDriver, in operation in Munich since 2017 with the goal of linking mobility and social services. How does it work? The “CareProfs” - qualified professionals who accompany children, the elderly and others requiring special assistance in their daily routine and free time - can be booked using the official site, social media, a phone call or a dedicated app. Moreover, as everyone knows, city parking is a major source of stress. The DigiLab is also fine tuning a service which uses an algorithm to inform drivers of free parking spaces available and allows them to pay the charges directly, as well as working on an app which facilitates car sharing by finding the best car-pooling options for the route in question. The application will use real-time traffic reports to calculate the best route and an accurate ETA.
Source: ŠKODA Storyboard