Prof. Rupert Stadler, chairman of Audi AG delivered the Tech Titans keynote address at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas highliting the latest development on the piloted driving concept and many others…here is the full keynote address transcript at the CES 2014…
Speaker: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your host for this evening, Kunal Nayyar.
Kunal Nayyar – Actor, The Big Bang Theory
Thank you……Hi, how are you guys doing? Everyone good?
Many of you know me from my role as the astrophysicist Dr. Rajesh Koothrappali on The Big Bang Theory. Now one of my characters’ defining traits is his absolute inability to talk to women unless he is under the influence of alcohol. And I’m starting to think a similarly emboldening effect could be achieved without the alcohol – mind you – sitting in the driver’s seat of some of the vehicles you will see in the next half hour. It is an absolute pleasure to host Audi’s fourth year at the International CES for two reasons. First, this is my science fiction becomes just plain amazing mind blowing science. And second, I’m a big fan of Audi. When I got my first paycheck from the Big Bang Theory, I treated myself to the vehicle I lusted for a long time: the Audi TT. That’s why I’m happy to do something that’s very rare for an actor to do, okay, willingly and voluntarily accept a role where he’s sure to be upstaged by an inanimate object.
But here’s the thing. The vehicle once relegated to the domain of inanimate objects is becoming quite well animated. That’s why I am proud to join the likes of Dick Van Dyke in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, David Hasselhoff in Knight Rider and Lindsay Lohan in Herbie Fully Loaded – actors who let the cars do the driving, and if we’re being honest in a couple of those cases, those cars did the acting too.
Notice that I didn’t mention Will Smith in iRobot. That’s because I know better than to cut on Will Smith and besides those driverless concept cars were Audi’s. So it’s all good. But all those films get at what has been an automated fantasy for as long as they have been automobiles. It’s what the word “automobile” actually means self-moving.
And while self-driving cars have captured the popular imagination as of late, few people realize that piloted driving has been part of Audi since its earliest days. Take a look.
Wow, wow. I guess what I’m saying is that what we call piloted driving today was once called a chauffeur doing his job. And this chauffeur and this classic vehicle have brought us two important guests. To get things started, I have the honor of introducing the President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, Gary Shapiro.
Gary Shapiro – President and CEO, CEA
Thank you so much. You know when you think of CES, cars may not be the very first thing as a consumer product that would come to mind. But the truth is the cars have become mobile technology platforms. Automakers are rapidly adding innovations that allow cars to be personalized and drivers to be connected.
And when you think of German engineering, you automatically think of cars. Audi has been at the forefront of the automotive industry for more than 100 years. Audi also has been pushing the envelope in infotainment, driver assistance systems, piloted driving and brilliant advanced lighting concepts. If you’ve seen the Audi displays at CES you can attest to that. Because Audi is such a premier leader in the automotive industry, I’m excited to present our keynote – keynoter tonight Rupert Stadler, the Chairman of the board and management at Audi AG.
Rupert was born in Germany in 1963. And after graduating from university with a degree in economics, Rupert joined the sales and marketing department of Audi AG in 1990. He became a member of the Board of Directors at Audi AG in 2003 and in the Chairman in 2007. Back in 2011 when Rupert gave his first CES keynote, the Audi A8 was chosen as the recipient of Edmunds.com’s Technology Breakthrough Award because of its groundbreaking technologies. It premiered the world’s first automotive touchpad for entering information for navigation destinations and Google Earth to provide realistic navigation mapping.
This evening, Rupert will focus on connectivity technologies and show how future innovation in the automotive industry directly ties into the consumer technology market. We are so delighted to welcome back to CES the Chairman of a worldwide premium automotive manufacturer. Please welcome Rupert Stadler.
Rupert Stadler – Chairman, Audi AG
Thank you, Gary. It’s great to be back to CES. We are proud of our efforts to leverage technology to make our vehicles safer, more efficient, and more exciting than ever before.
In 2011, we introduced our modular infotainment concept over here. In 2012, we showcased connectivity in the interior of the car and explained how we connect vehicles with their environment. And in 2013, we introduced our brand-new Matrix LED lighting technology and created a lot of excitement with our piloted driving and parking demo.
And today, we will share about connectivity, piloted driving and other rapidly evolving innovations. Most of all, we are showing the full spectrum of what it means to be a leader in innovation. By developing technologies that show our industry and government stakeholders around the world how to get from point A to point B more efficiently – and, of course, more safely.
Thank you, Gary for hosting us at CES, the undisputed stage for innovation.
So ladies and gentlemen, the great car and I arrived is a Horch 850 from the early 1930s. At the time, Horch was a synonym for the most exclusive and technically most advanced automobiles in Germany and beyond. A true premium brand of its era, one of the predecessor companies of Audi – and its spirit carries on. Arriving in this vehicle, you get to enjoy the driving experience that many owners of a Horch enjoyed about eighty years ago – a piloted driving experience. And today, we are redefining what “piloted driving” means for a new era.
But before we do that, let me take a step back to the history of the automobile. As I see it, that history falls into four eras. In the first era, men created a machine and sought to push its limits. Drivers strapped into the seats of their Silver Arrows, adjusted helmets and goggles, and drove like mad.
The second era was about taming the machine. Making it reliable. Making it work for people. Turning it from a novelty to an everyday life tool.
The third era is really the era from the time of this Horch until today – constant gains in safety, efficiency, technology, and luxury. Most cars, under the hood, were not too different from this Horch here.
Today, we see a period of major changes. And I believe the fourth era is one in which we are moving from refining the automobile, to redefining mobility.
Our customers around the world tell us what they expect from an Audi – and they talk about wanting: Mobility offerings that make sense in urban surroundings and match their individual needs; offerings that include navigating parking, traffic congestion and any other areas where driving pleasure is limited. And customers want offerings that allow them to be efficient while driving, commuting, and traveling.
This is a real mega-trend. No matter who we ask, no matter where they live, people want to be connected. So if mobility used to be about connecting places and people, it is now about connecting the driver – the driver with the car, the car’s surroundings, the traffic infrastructure, and all of the other connected elements of their life.
We are committed to constantly refining our automobiles so that they demonstrate, of course, best-in-class performance and efficiency, sporty and dynamic handling, safety and comfort, stunning design, premium fitting and top quality.
And we are equally committed to redefining mobility. That includes everything from how the automobile is powered with advances in electronics, hybrid-electrics, and advanced diesel technologies to closing the gap between consumer electronics and automotive electronics, closing the gap between how connected you are in your vehicle and how connected you are in your life, and closing the gap between science fiction and the reality on our roads. That is what we hope to highlight together with you today.