Uniti want to change an industry that hasn’t been changed in 50 years

April 25, 2017News

– In Sweden, there is approx. 1,2 people travelling in a car for short distances. Uniti is a smaller format car made for urban transportation. This was the opening by Albin Wilson from Team Uniti at Future Transportation Square. The car has a display with augmented information with road data and we’ve taken inspiration from planes when developing the steer-by-wire solution. In short, are looking at technology that already exists to see how we can make it work for us.

Genuine is the only way to go

Albin Wilson, Uniti
Albin Wilson, Uniti

– Team Uniti have always been very open about what we are doing and how we are working, and we want to show that to our audience. We want people to be a part of the development of Uniti, so we decided to create an equity crowdfunding, Albin says.
– We started with a very sleek presentation video, only to realise that it wasn’t us. So we scrapped that and made a new one with genuine content. And it was the right thing to do, as we had one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns of 2016 in Scandinavia.

The equity crowdfunding was one of Scandinavia’s biggest during 2016 with 570 investors from 45 countries and collecting funding of 1.200.000€. You can see the crowdfunding video here.

– We want to build trust through communication with our audience. Many of our fans today will be our future customers, Albin explains. Instead of working for years and then revealing the finished product, we have different groups to collaborate with us when we are making design decisions. Getting this input is invaluable and it also means that we are creating a product that people will want.

A virtual production line

– We are in a partnership with Siemens and we both want to learn from each other. We are planning our production line in virtual scenario, using Siemens software. This enables us to see possible problems before they are implemented and we can make changes before we build the production line. We will have a fully automated production line, Albin explains.

Here are some of the questions from the meeting

With smaller cars, there is always the safety issue, how do you work on that?

– We are working a lot with autonomous driving, trying to stop a collision before it happens. We are also using carbon fibre, which is equally strong as steel also through good design we can achieve a very safe vehicle.

Do you think that the infrastructure for electric cars will be in place as more and more electric cars are being sold?

– Infrastructure is being built throughout sweden and europe to meet these needs. However our car is also smaller than most, so the battery can be charged at home over night. We will have a range over 150 km, but we are also aiming for a second model with a 300 km range.

There is an automotive war right now and many old players are trying to reinvent themselves. How do you intend to stay open without being plundered?

– The generations before us tried to be open, but they didn’t have the tools to do it. The tools are almost in place now and we are trying to use them to our advantage. You give trust and you build trust. And if someone steals what we do, that means that we have developed something great.

How do you plan on making Uniti a car that fits in a sharing economy?

– By using technology and connectivity. Sharing economy is a reality now, so we are able to fit that into our solution from the start.

How is it possible to create a production line without a prototype?

– We are developing a prototype now and it will be ready in September. And we can start developing some of the machines that the suppliers will need. We already know most aspects of what parts we need, even if the exact measuring hasn’t been decided yet.

Quick facts about Team Uniti

The team consist of 60 people and the company has grown to this size in just two years.
The car will weigh 400 kg without battery and have a top speed of 90 km/h – 120 km/h depending on model.

Start looking at total cost of mobility – Clever on future transportation

March 1, 2017News

”When you are driving an electric car, you don’t necessarily drive to the gas station anymore, it has moved to your home.” So, it is a major shift in behaviour and experience we are seeing now.” This was one of the opening statements from Nathalie Kinell from CLEVER Sverige AB, who was presenting at the second edition of Future Transportation Square.

CLEVERs goal is to make it easy – easy to choose an electric car, easy to choose a charging solution and easy to recharge the vehicle.

“We like to think that we combine the traditional energy supply industry with the car industry – providing both parties an opportunity to increase the value offerings to their customers. The concept of mobility is central for the evolution in both businesses. The consumers might not want to own their car, but subscribe to mobility in an integrated transportation system with different components like car sharing services, autonomous vehicles, electric bicycles and connections to public transportation. And as a result companies might stop looking at total cost of ownership and start looking at total cost of mobility. What are the total needs for you and your employees to transport themselves, both at home and for the business?”

“We envision a future multimodal transportation system where different means of transportation are combined in order to create a sustainable and seamless solution to the consumer’s mobility needs. Providing seamless solutions will challenge the traditional value chains and require a great amount of data integration and transparency between the different industry players. We don’t have all the solutions ourselves, so we need to work together in order to make this work” Nathalie explains.

After the introduction, it was time for questions from the audience.

So, what do you think should be on offer when I am charging my car for 20 minutes?

When it comes to the car it is possible to offer to upgrades of the software or change the tires. But I can envision services that helps me in my everyday life as well, like postal services or shoe repairs.

Wouldn’t it be better to place the chargers next to shopping centres or grocery stores instead of gas stations?

Sure, and I think we will see more of that. But the traditional gas stations has a great potential to offer a range of value-adding services, maybe even become a transportation hub with car pool services, rental cars or why not meeting facilities for people on the road.

With more charging taking place at home or at the grocery store, how do you secure the energy supply?

For sure it will require investments, even from the real estate owners. An investment in this infrastructure will on the other hand give you a competitive advantage today and prepare you to accommodate the further demands from visitors and tenants.

Charging your car takes a while, should the gas stations be extended to be able to accommodate more cars at one time?

I don’t think that is necessary. The charging time keeps getting reduced and the battery capacity is increasing, up to 500 km per charge, so you will not need to charge your car very often. But it is difficult to predict how the increased range of the cars will affect the need for public charging.

How do you package your offer, is it car + charging station?

As a result of our partnerships with some of the leading EV car brands we have the opportunity to offer our services early in the purchase process. We can train the staff at the car dealership and provide them with the answers to the customer’s questions regarding charging of the car. This goes back to our mantra of simplicity, to remove the obstacles for the customer.

Join us on March 28 for the next Future Transportation Square

See more about our focus are Future Transportation

Find out more about CLEVER

How Volvo Cars are working to face the challenges in the auto industry

January 28, 2017News, Offer

Henrik Svensson from Volvo Cars was the first presenter at Future Transportation Square here at Ideon Science Park. Volvo Cars are going through a major transformation in how they are developing products, and a lot of that concerns software. That is one of the reasons why Volvo Cars chose to open an office in Lund, there is a lot of competence within software and connectivity here.

“There is a major transformation in the auto industry right now and the four big trends that are shaping our future are connectivity, autonomous driving, electrification and sharing” says Henrik.

The customer experience is everything

One of the challenges today is that the software and services sets the tone for the customer experience.

“We need to rethink the way we are working with our suppliers going forward. Gone are the days when an order is placed with lots of specifications and then delivered and installed. There needs to be a close collaboration in order for us to develop great software with quick updates, they are key in giving the customer a great experience”.

Henrik talked about an early venture of adding software solutions to their cars, but having minor success, until it was possible to connect them with smartphones, like starting the heater with an app on cold days. “The service was there, but there were no tools to utilize them in the right way”. Now the tools are there and there are many possible applications, like route prediction and crowdsourcing of maps to alert other drivers of accidents, roadworks and so on. But in order for these services to really take off, a standard API for cars is needed.

There were several questions in the meeting, here are a few

In order to develop new software with open source, is there a need for standards in order to make it work?

“Open source is a collective standardization project, but there is definitely a need for standards. It would make it possible for all suppliers to build great, connected solutions for our customers.”

What is the biggest bottleneck when it comes to connectivity?

”The problem is standardization, as there is no one standard today that the authorities or the industry has agreed on. We would prefer the car-to-car communication to be cloud based in order for us to build smart solutions. In the US there is a proposal on legislating the car-to-car sharing and wifi standard. If introduced, that would have a major impact on the industry.”

What opportunities are you looking for in Lund and Skåne?

”Solutions for driver identification and sensors, both within and outside the car.  We need solutions to identify the different drivers so that it is possible to predict and plot a route adapted for that person. The goal is for the car to learn the patterns of the different drivers, so that they don’t have to change the settings every time. Machine learning is important for the experience.”

Join us at the next Future Transportation Square

The last Tuesday of the month we gather at Business Lounge in Beta House, Scheelevägen at 08:30. See all details here.