“The automobile industry worldwide is changing rapidly,” says Heiko Herchet, trive.me Chief Executive Electrifier. The expert for automotive IT and connectivity solutions is responsible for the technological side of the promising, new project. “With trive.me, we want to contribute to this change and rethink mobility in a completely new way.”
The new brand trive.me is deliberately written with a ‘t’ instead of a ‘d’. “The ‘t’ stands for transformation,” explains Michael Pollner, EDAG Marketing Director and trive.me’s Zeitgeist Evangelist. The IT, marketing and media professional is responsible for the whole branding process and bringing the innovations to the market.
“We understand ourselves as drivers of the digital transformation in the automotive industry. We want to contribute to improving the driving experience by focusing on ease of use, connectivity and integration of automotive software, information and data flows – value-adding features that are increasingly distinguishing a good car from a superior one,” Mr. Pollner says.
EDAG considers trive.me as a new ‘vehicle’ to establish digital software solutions as a basic constituent of automotive mobility. Though cooperating closely with the group and benefiting from its resources and expertise, it is operating as an independent startup with its own brand name. trive.me offers a constantly growing range of mobility-enhancing ideas.
At this year’s International Motor Show in Frankfurt, trive.me presented trive. park, a parking space assistant that helps drivers navigate in car parks. Another innovative app is trive.account. “trive.account is a personalized car account that aims to transfer the account-based login paradigm used with PCs to the car,” Mr. Herchet describes the ingenious solution. “The new app enables the driver to personalize the car and customize the software to meet his individual demands.”
“trive.account means a complete paradigm change for the automotive industry,” states Mr. Pollner. “At present, new software solutions cannot be retrofitted. You would rather have to buy a new car to benefit from novel connectivity services. With trive.me’s approach, new features and functionalities can be upgraded easily and at low cost.”
The current trive.me solution range is rounded off by trive.hotspot, a mobile anywhere hotspot service. trive.me is targeted at the vehicles and drivers of not only tomorrow but today – vehicles that will increasingly be electrically driven and drivers who will increasingly be considering advanced, upgradeable connectivity solutions as important as the car itself.
This development is accompanied by the growing popularity of car sharing concepts where people want to use a car when required but do not necessarily have to own the car themselves anymore.
“This will go along with a complete reappraisal of values by society,” explains Mr. Herchet. “Software will be more significant than hardware. Car IT and connectivity and the whole mobility concept will replace the vehicle as such as status symbol.”
While providing major benefits, the growing digitalization of automotive mobility also involves substantial risks. “The greatest issue is data protection,” says Mr. Herchet. “The challenge is to balance the added value on the one hand and the circulation of data on the other.”
The ongoing digitalization of mobility will also lead to the progress of autonomous driving solutions. “Solutions will commence in semi-public places, such as car parks, to enable automated parking, and involve an increasing presence of automation features in vehicles in an evolutionary process,” explains Mr. Herchet. “At the end of this process, there will be fully autonomous driving solutions.”
This process will also affect vehicle manufacturers’ marketing strategies. “Some car makers connect their brand philosophy to ‘driving pleasure’,” states Mr. Herchet. “In the future, this could change to the ‘pleasure of being driven’.”
In marketing its new brand and expanding awareness among consumers, trive.me engages in social media. At the same time, the brand exhibits at leading industry fairs, such as Frankfurt’s International Motor Show and its New Mobility World exhibition.
“We want to offer stimuli for the mobility of the future,” says Mr. Herchet. “The digital transformation in the automotive sector is evolving rapidly. Our concern is to provide the right incentives and attractive solutions that help shaping this transformation towards our vision of Driving 4.0.”
trive.me appears to be the perfect platform to turn this vision into reality. As a separate activity, it provides the necessary room for developing new, innovative ideas free from established conventions. At the same time, trive.me can draw on the resources and expertise of EDAG in automotive development and engineering.
Also for this reason trive.me might be the perfect accelerator for young startups looking for bridges into the automotive business and growing mobility ecosystem. “trive. me is our tool to create a new mo bile world that benefits car makers, drivers and the environment,” concludes Mr. Pollner.
EDAG is specialized in automotive development and engineering services. The company is committed to improving mobility in the broadest context by developing and optimizing vehicles, production plants and business processes. Serving automotive OEMs, automotive suppliers and traffic, transport and logistics businesses, EDAG turns over 690 million EUR and employs 7,600 people at about 60 operations across Europe as well as in China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia and South Korea (status as of 30 June 2015). The company was founded as an engineering office by Horst Eckard in 1969. Since then, EDAG has developed into one of the leading independent engineering partner to vehicle makers worldwide. Recently, the company has increasingly focused on electric vehicles, additive manufacturing and lightweight construction. In 2010, EDAG set up its own e-mobility competence center. The latest automotive innovation presented by the engineering group is the EDAG Light Cocoon, a lightweight car body produced using the latest 3D printing technology.