The Volkswagen Group is dealing with an enormous process of change. In this context, The “Futures of Mobility” project, which involves all the Group’s brands, points the long-term way.
No one can tell the future. However, by analysing 2,000 research papers and by considering the customers’ points of view in their respective environments, it is possible to get an idea of things to come. “Futures of Mobility” does exactly this through a network of experts who meet up on a regular basis – the so-called “Future Heads”. In other words, it assists the Volkswagen Group and its brands in the way towards the future. Or rather, “futures”, plural. The participants have been called on to imagine and plan out different possible scenarios, rather than working on a unique, large-scale vision which could miss the point.
The project involves the Group and Brands transversely. Leaving the sectoral mentality aside and adopting an approach which focuses on customers’ actual habits, the “Future Heads” analyse different situations, define the points of contact between them and the brand for which they work, and describe the added value in a future context.
This exercise has, so far, led to the identification of four different scenarios which, due to practical considerations, have been associated with the same number of different cities or regions: Beijing, San Francisco, Mumbai and eastern Saxony. They are representative examples to describe many situations all over the world. New forms of transport, ever-greater connectivity and integrated mobility solutions: these are the main future challenges for the Volkswagen Group.
The “Future Heads”
Designers, engineers, specialists in the IT, HR and sales sectors: a team made of over 250 people from all brands and departments of the Volkswagen Group. The “Future Heads” set themselves apart with their open-mindedness towards innovation and their desire to shape the future in a concrete manner, and they are working on developing new ideas for the mobility of tomorrow. They debate and compare ideas on apps, interfaces, digital ecosystems and devices; autonomous, electric, vertical and multimodal mobility; traffic management and connectivity. They conduct detailed research on current and future technological trends, as Axel Heinrich, Head of Volkswagen Group Research, explains: “2030 may seem a long way away, but it isn’t really. We need to organise ourselves now to be ready for tomorrow. We have previously been accustomed to planning seven years ahead, but that is no longer sufficient. The work we are moving forward with today will form the basis for our future research”.