Daimler and BMW further cement their partnership in the future of mobility
Following approval from regulators to merge their “mobility” services, BMW and Daimler are set to partner on delivering an increasingly agile, digitised, multi-modal transportation.
Competition to deliver cost-competitive, high end products and services across the automotive sector continues to grow apace, leading to greater collaboration to bring shared advantages and increased speed to market. The collaboration between Daimler and BMW will also lead to the transformation of parking and electric car-charging services. The urban mobility market could reach a value of $25bn by 2024, according to a Navigant report.
“Our vision is to create a major global player for seamless and intelligent connected mobility services together,” said Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
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At present, Daimler’s Car2Go programme and BMW’s DriveNow division operate more than 20,000 vehicles in 30 international cities, where the need for connectivity will further improve the lives of everyday citizens. Both parties will partner to also develop further capabilities within car-sharing and ride-hailing in the US.
BMW has also recently been recognised as the first high-end automotive business to adopt Tmall Genie voice assistant. Catering towards the Chinese market, the technology will be embedded into each BMW model by the end of 2019, delivering further connectivity and entertainment functions.
“With the integration of Alibaba’s Tmall Genie in BMW vehicles in China we are adding a digital ecosystem, which will open up new possibilities that customers can access quickly and safely from the car. This development sees BMW reaching a new milestone in China in terms of intelligent connectivity between the customer’s vehicle and their digital touchpoints,” commented Dieter May, Senior Vice President Digital Services and Products at the BMW Group.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.