Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thoughts from Paris and the Dassault e-car conference

So here we (Aurel and I) are in Paris attending the Dassault Systèmes sponsored, FREE, e-car conference. (Twitter: #ecarconf)

One day before the DS ECF (Twitter: #ECF2010) customer extravaganza, Dassault has taken the fabulous and interesting step to host a conference on the subjects of Open innovation and Electric Cars. Additionally, they will introduce a project between their 3dSwYm community and 40 Fires who will come together to design a Hydrogen fuel cell Powered Electric vehicle which is intended for Mobility as a Service (MaaS).

For those of you who do not know, 40 Fires is a foundation started and managed (1/3rd) by the crew at RiverSimple who have conceived of the lightweight Hyrban (that is Hy-Urban) car that is at the center of the DS-40Fires project.

From Mobility as a Service, (a play on SaaS - software as a service)
to passion for attraction, (gut-gripping exciting cars)
to social product creation, (making hard goods with the help of a group)
to the car-as-an-app-enabled-platform, (one big, driving, iphone)
to sustainability, (the ever-present green leaf)
to electric propulsion, (Nikolai Tesla)
to Open Source, (Linux)
to Co-creation, (the smarter step-child of crowdsourcing)
to 3D modeling and simulation, (Dassault's sand-box)
this conference is bringing together a melange of powerful ideas around which there is bound to be a vibrant discussion.

Since the call-out to this free conference is likely to attract those who are interested in such subjects, you might expect that it will be a kumbaya of attendees from the next generation automotive progressive camp. I, however, predict least about the kumbaya.

Many of these ideas in the melange are not natural sequitors to each other and so there might even be some fire-works. I, for one, am not a fan of Mobility as a Service (though I see its usefulness in certain niches). Many do not see the value in individuals collaborating to design an innovative car, as they believe innovation is better in tightly held circles. And some do not see collaboration happening in 3D as the complexity of the tool can obscure the kernel of brilliance in the hands of a novice.

Nonetheless, whatever your bias or opinion may be on these issues, I think (another prediction) that we will all come together on some essential truths:

1. making mobility sustainable
2. making this sustainable mobility so attractive that people will use it."

Come to the free e-Car conference and be prepared for a hard-hitting conversation on all these issues. The crew at DS (Jonathan, Kate, et al) has set this up in a way for participants to get the most out of the time, and it is going to be great.