Shanghai, China, July 14, 2017
Bill Russo will speak on “Disruptive Trends in Automotive: The Future of Mobility” at the New Tech Auto Summit organized by the Shanghai Jiading Industrial Zone Management Committee.
Ward’s Auto, June 13, 2017
The Lynk & CO startup is leaning heavily on the Volvo brand heritage for legitimacy, but an investment analyst says not having the burden of a parent brand actually may help electric-vehicle startup NIO.
by Alysha Webb
SHANGHAI – Lynk & CO and NIO both launched their first production models at the Shanghai auto show in April. Both tout their unique ownership experience, which includes lots of cool technology.
Cool technology is becoming standard in new cars, however. The automakers arguably have a bigger task before them on the road to success.
“They must go through the painstaking process of building a brand,” Bill Russo, managing director at Gao Feng Advisory, a Shanghai-based consultancy, tells WardsAuto.
Most new brands can rely on predecessor brands from the same company, for example, Lexus and, he says.
Lynk may have a leg up in the brand-building battle. It is the offspring of two automakers, Zhejiang Geely and Volvo, which Geely acquired in 2010. “But I’m not sure that helps Lynk & CO very much,” says Russo.
Meanwhile, the Lynk & CO website proclaims, “Forget what you know about car brands and buying.”
Its first model, a compact luxury CUV called the 01, is scheduled to go on sale in China in fourth-quarter 2017, in Europe in 2019 and the U.S. “some months” later.
Lynk will offer the option of shared ownership of its vehicles, which will include electric and traditional internal-combustion-engine models. The brand, which calls itself “the world’s most connected car,” offers a lifetime warranty and, more important to its desired image, lifetime free connectivity.
The car-sharing feature may be a bonus in trying to attract younger buyers in China, says Namrita Chow, principal automotive analyst with IHS Markit. But, she notes, “The tough part will be brand awareness and gaining traction in a market already saturated by existing brands as well as a throng of newcomers.”
The aim, says Alain Visser, senior vice president-marketing and sales at Lynk, is to create a “hassle-free ownership experience” that clearly will differentiate his company from its competitors.
The startup is leaning heavily on the Volvo brand heritage for legitimacy. The 01 and future models will be “built in China in a Volvo plant according to Volvo standards,” Visser says.
NIO, formerly known as NextEV, also displayed its first production model at the Shanghai show. The ES8, a fullsize SUV, is an all-electric vehicle with a swappable battery.
The startup is leaning on its ownership experience to differentiate it from the crowd, although details aren’t out yet.
“We believe that a better electric automotive product and a better ownership experience will make more and more users willing to own an electric car,” NIO founder and Chairman William Li says at the Shanghai show.
NIO says the ES8 will be on the market in China in 2018, and it will offer an autonomous EV for sale in the U.S. by 2020.
Not having the burden of a parent brand actually may help NIO, says Robin Zhu, senior analyst at investment researcher Sanford C. Bernstein in Hong Kong. “NIO is free to build a brand story consisting of Nurburgring lap times, Formula E and other achievements,” he tells WardsAuto.
The NextEV team has competed in the FIA Formula-E Championship race series since its inception in 2014, winning the series in 2015 with driver Nelson Piquet Jr.
In May, its EP9 electric supercar set an electric-vehicle lap record of 6 minutes, 45.9 seconds at the famous Nurburgring track in Germany. In February, an autonomous version of the EP9 set a new record for an autonomous vehicle with a lap time of 2 minutes, 40.3 seconds at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX.
It won’t be easy for the startups to use customer experience to brand themselves, says Tom Doctoroff, senior partner at global brand and marketing firm Prophet. Most Chinese companies still are much more focused on sales than service, he says.
“When you want to talk about customer experience, you have to look at corporate structure and whether it can provide an integrated holistic experience,” says Doctoroff, who lived in China for decades and is the former Asia Pacific CEO of communications firm J. Walter Thompson. “The ecosystem that is required is a very refined ecosystem.”
DRIVE: Nissan Intelligent Mobility for your ride
Few observers of the evolution of the automotive scene have had a better vantage point than Bill Russo. With more than 30 years in the industry — half of that time as an auto executive with experience in China and Asia — Russo nowadays heads up the Automotive practice for Gao Feng Greater China, working as the company’s senior representative in Shanghai. We spoke with Bill recently for our third installment of our Q&A series to get his take on the impact of autonomous driving and the emergence of smart vehicles on the roads.
Q: How will the driving experience change in the Autonomous Age?
A: The potential is there for a complete redefinition of what we mean by transportation, both in terms of comfort and convenience. With the advent of autonomous driving, we’re talking about a transition from a device where we really had to focus on the road — because we were the brains of the car — to where we can focus on other things. That is time given back to us that will allow us to do other things because we won’t have to monitor what’s going on with the vehicle itself.
Q: Thinking back to how the public reacted to other major technology shifts in transportation, such as trains or commercial aviation – To what extent were these shifts driven by the user-convenience factor?
A: When you look back in history, the greatest inventions by humans — the wheel, the bicycle, the steam ship, the train, the airplane — they all exist to give us the ability to travel over increasingly greater distances. Over time, each invention added more convenience and more new features to make the experience of mobility much more enjoyable and less painless. And as each of these solutions became commercially viable and affordable, they did so by offering users a benefit versus whatever preceding form of transportation they had favored up to that point―a benefit for which they were willing to pay.
Q: How important was the pace of technological progress?
A: It’s not about creating a technology for the sake of having the technology; it’s about providing a more comfortable and convenient way for people to travel the distances that we travel each day. They have to provide a tangible benefit for people to be willing to pay and use the new mode of transport. For example, trains reduced the amount of time that it took to travel across the country from months to days. The commercial airplane reduces that same time to a matter of hours. We can circle the world in a jet in little more than a day. Not so long ago, in historical terms, that journey took people years in a boat and they may not even have lived to tell the story.
Q: Where do cars fit in the historical narrative?
A: The car became a primary means for the average person to satisfy their daily needs for mobility. We’ve designed city and transportation networks that were basically designed for vehicular transportation. In the 21st century, we’re seeing a phenomenon — particularly in emerging markets in Asia — where there are now very densely populated urban centers. That urbanized context is not really well suited for the car that we know today. Today’s cars are designed really for highway transportation. So in an increasingly urbanized world, we’re going to experience the next evolution of convenience and mobility which I think will be an autonomous mobility solution.
Q: Will perceptions of autonomous driving vary by country due to local conditions?
A: Absolutely. First of all, comfort and convenience are solutions to mobility “pain points” and the degree to which people experience pain points varies greatly based upon where they live. Mobility pain is much higher in densely populated cities, like New York or Paris or Delhi — and virtually all major cities in China. A city like Beijing experiences gridlock several times a day. And the driving experience in a highly urbanized country like China can be horrific. You can spend an hour going less than 10 miles in a car. So the joy of being behind the wheel and driving is not really there. It’s a big difference from the driving experience of getting out on the open highway. New forms of electric and autonomous mobility―like the advent of on-demand mobility where a user pays only for the time they are in the car, rather than owning it 24/7 and using it only seldom — will be a common solution to address the mobility pain points in many places.
Q: What does it mean when we have autonomous vehicles on the road that are designed from a user-centric perspective as opposed to the current driver-centric mindset?
A: With autonomous cars, we will be able to transform travel time into productive time — especially for longer distance commutes. There’s the potential to participate in the digital ecosystem, offering users in autonomous cars access to services and content that they can consume while mobile. Convenience services could include infotainment or watching news or doing emails and conference calls. The car thus becomes a connected rolling space that transports us to places where we live, work, and play.
Q: As autonomous technology removes the drudgery of mundane tasks associated with driving, how does that reshape how we relate to vehicles?
A: Vehicles will have the intelligence to diagnose the situations that they’re in and make the more complex decisions that human beings today make. That not only reduces the pain points of driving, it also is going to make the overall experience more convenient, safer, and enjoyable for the occupants.
With autonomous driving, we’re arriving at a point where we can define a new paradigm that refocuses how the passenger conducts and uses their transportation time. Observing what happens outside of the car, for instance, moves from being a requirement to a choice. You don’t have to look outside the window any longer. You can — if that’s what you want to do. But you really don’t have to concern yourself with what you see outside. It’s like being an airline passenger looking out the window. You can look out the window but do you really need to?
Think about the “cockpit” space that’s now allocated in vehicles for the purpose of giving drivers information they need to make decisions. You can repurpose all of that from a driver-passenger perspective to a connected user perspective. You will be able to provide people display space that allows them a more productive use of information that they may need to go about their day. While the purpose of the car doesn’t change — it’s still a transportation system — this new concept of how to offer a convenience-oriented autonomous vehicle to the occupant(s) is different.
For more stories, please visit our page on Medium.com, https://medium.com/drive-publication
About Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Nissan is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. In fiscal year 2015, the company sold more than 5.4 million vehicles globally, generating revenue of 12.2 trillion yen. Nissan engineers, manufactures and markets the world’s best-selling all-electric vehicle in history, the Nissan LEAF. Nissan’s global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan manages operations in six regions: ASEAN & Oceania; Africa, Middle East & India; China; Europe; Latin America and North America. Nissan has been partnered with French manufacturer Renault since 1999 and Mitsubishi Motors since 2016 under the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
by Bill Russo
I recently attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where traditional automakers, suppliers and several technology firms were showcasing their vision of the future of mobility. Of particular interest were the many demonstrations and announcements related to autonomous vehicles. Early forms of this technology are finding their way into commercial applications in the form of “assisted driving” features which incorporate cameras and radar/lidar to provide the car an extra set of eyes to sense its surroundings and inform the driver of risks. Rapid advancement of technologies needed to fully automate the driving process is also evident, indicating that robotic forms of transportation will be possible within at least 2 industry product cycles (5-10 years).
The following is a Q&A which offers a perspective on the future of mobility and the design and function of autonomous vehicles.
Autonomous Driving will completely redefine the comfort and convenience of transportation. In our current paradigm, comfort is designed around the driver and occupants in an externally focused manner: with eyes to the road. The space around the front seat occupants – both driver and passenger – is oriented to the information needed to manually drive the car to its destination. Autonomous vehicles will experience fewer accidents, over 95% of which are attributable to human error. Cars can therefore be lighter, with less structure without compromising occupant safety. Traffic jams will be less common since autonomous vehicles will be able to leverage vehicle-to infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity in order to avoid congestion and smooth the flow of traffic.
Convenience always shapes our choices when it comes to transportation. Human beings are inherently explorers and some of history’s greatest inventions – wheels, bicycles, steamships, trains, cars, and airplanes – have allowed us to be mobile over greater and greater distances. Over time, each of these inventions added more and more convenience-oriented features to make the experience of mobility more “painless”. Mobility devices are themselves a convenience which allow us to get where we want to be without walking. All forms of public and privately-owned transportation are solving this basic problem of minimizing our travel time. Each solution became commercially viable by offering a benefit versus other forms of transportation that some people were willing to pay to either use or own. For example, trains reduce travel time across a country from months to days, and commercial aviation reduced this to hours. We can now circle the world by jet in a little more than a day, a journey the first explorers could not complete in several years, if they lived to tell the tale. In recent history, owing to the invention of the internal combustion engine powered car (Carl Benz in 1886), and the moving assembly line (Henry Ford in 1908) the car became the primary means for the average person to satisfy their daily commuting needs. In the increasingly urbanized world of the 21st century, we will experience the next evolution in convenient human mobility: personalized, autonomous mobility on-demand.
Such technologies act as “support” systems for drivers which allow more tasks to be “delegated” to the car. For example, cruise control allows a driver to focus less on maintaining a constant speed and thereby improves the driving experience. Routine or mundane tasks like parking or adjusting speeds while driving on highways are already becoming mainstream. Lane departure warning, parking assistance, and cruise control are features that allow the driver to focus less on routine tasks and focus on the actual experience of driving. Over time, the number of tasks that can be handled by the “smart car” will increase in order to reduce “pain points” of driving and making the overall experience more convenient, safer and therefore more enjoyable for the occupant.
With Autonomous driving, a new paradigm can be established to re-focus the passenger on how to productively use their transportation time. Observing the outside of the car moves from a requirement to a choice – especially for the user of a mobility service. Space that is allocated to providing driver information can be repurposed from a driver-passenger perspective to a “connected user” perspective. Beyond mobility, a fully autonomous vehicle’s key benefit will be the experience it gives to the user, and the primary benefit which comes from delegating the task of driving to the car is PRODUCTIVE TIME. As such, while the purpose of the car as a transportation device has not changed, the very concept of how to treat and offer convenience-oriented features to the occupant is different: the autonomous vehicle is built with a “user-centric” mindset, as opposed to a “driver-centric” mindset.
An autonomous car, especially one used in longer-distance (>10km) commuting distances will need to be able to transform travel time into productive time through convenient services which may include infotainment (watching news/video, gaming), online communication (social networking, e-mail, conference calls), or online-to-offline services (discounts or promotions based on mobility patterns). In the world of personalized, autonomous mobility on-demand, the car essentially becomes a connected rolling space that transports us between the places we live, work, and play.
For people born in the late 20th century, it will be difficult to reimagine this new form of mobility. Most of us from this period see a car through a nostalgic lens: our most prized possession outside of our home, and the one that we can take with us to showcase our lifestyle and aspirations. For many, this will never change.
However, mobility is being revolutionized by digital technology. The rapid emergence of ride-hailing services such as Uber, Lyft, Ola, and Didi Chuxing are transforming the car into a transportation service device. It is in this mode that we can see a great fit for autonomous forms of mobility – as the operators of such services will benefit from not having to incur the cost of a driver, along with the lower maintenance and repair cost of autonomous vehicles. Users of such services expect to be driven and are not seeking the driving experience in any case.
The most surprising aspect of this type of vehicle will be that it affords its users the opportunity to turn inward and use their time productively. Future cars used for short commuting will be smaller and occupy less physical space: they simply pick people up and drop them off and do this with minimal “extras”. These will be summoned by an app on a mobile device. Longer commuting will be done in autonomous vehicles which have spaces designed to address the productivity needs of the occupants: with connectivity and consumption of content at the core. Such cars may be booked or offered through a “subscription model” to give the users some flexibility in the service offering. The shift in this paradigm will surprise people the most since these vehicles will be designed from a pure passenger experience perspective which will include how to entertain or delight the user during the journey.
The commercialization path for more complex and fully autonomous driving will be very different than what we seen so far. In the current owner/driver-centric business paradigm, new features have to be sold to customers who accept the value proposition of the technology and are willing to pay for it. Early-stage technologies typically come with a heavy price premium and are typically introduced to “premium” brands where customers are less price sensitive. However, barring regulatory intervention, this will likely limit adoption of technologies including electric and autonomous vehicles as there are cheaper alternatives (conventional engines and human drivers).
The game-changer for both electric and autonomous vehicles comes from the convergence of On-Demand Mobility (ODM) with electric and autonomous vehicles. ODM players, such as Uber and Lyft are highly investing in autonomous vehicles as a means of lowering their operating costs and unlocking the potential to participate in the Digital ecosystem through offering the users of its services access to content and O2O services. This will create a new pathway to commercializing and scaling up the autonomous driving technology in a way that has not been seen before: as we have seen with other “smart devices”, hardware innovation is backed by the digital ecosystem and thereby eventually becomes mainstream for everyone.
Comfort and convenience are solutions to mobility “pain points”, and the degree to which people experience these pain points varies greatly based on where we live.
Mobility pain is much higher in densely populated urban cities like New York, London, Paris, New Delhi, Mexico City and virtually all major cities in China. The driving experience in highly urbanized countries like China can be horrific. Cities like Beijing experience gridlock conditions at several times during a day, and suffer from severe environmental impact from the tailpipe and other emissions. Electric and autonomous mobility on demand would be a welcome solution to address these mobility pain points.
Adoption of autonomous driving technology will improve flow of traffic, reduce accidents and improve the quality of life in an increasingly urbanized world. Scaling up this technology through the convergence of ODM with electric and autonomous vehicles in these cities will accelerate a transition from a transportation model where we own an under-utilized asset that is used 1-2 hours per day to a model where autonomous cars, directed by a smart-city transportation grid, are deployed on demand to where they are needed. This is a far more efficient system where we will witness a shift from ownership of hardware toward paying for the utility that is derived from the hardware.
Autonomous vehicles deployed by on-demand mobility services fleets will be able to communicate with each other, and will be directed to and from users and their destinations by a Smart City transportation network. These cars will be highly utilized assets, which minimizes the amount of city space which needs to be allocated for parking lots for cars which sit idle for more than 22 hours a day. Cars can be routed around the traffic, minimizing the traffic jams that define the life of residents of cities like Los Angeles and Shanghai. Smart, connected, and autonomous mobility devices backed by advanced algorithms used to govern the mobility patterns will improve the livability of cities in an increasingly urbanized world.
Autonomous driving will have a tremendous impact on our environmental footprint. The technologies required to power and govern a network of personalized, electric and autonomous mobility on demand (A-MOD) have the potential to transform the lives of people all over the world. For example, these increasingly electric-powered vehicles will be also be part of the energy storage grid, we could very well moderate energy consumption and potentially shrink our carbon footprint. Transportation innovation has reshaped the history of mankind, and the transportation revolution of the next decade will set the course and has the potential to improve the lives of all generations to follow.
Bill Russo is the Managing Director and Automotive Practice Leader at Gao Feng Advisory Company, based in Shanghai. He has 30 years of automotive industry experience and has lives and worked in China since 2004. He was formerly the leader of Chrysler Group’s business in North East Asia.
The Detroit News, January 7, 2017
Baidu Inc. and state-owned Beijing Automotive Group Co.’s collaboration on telematics and autonomous driving is almost ready for its coming-out moment, as industry and government join hands for a self-driving vehicle push within China.
A BAIC-built model equipped with Baidu tech will debut in April at the Shanghai auto show, BAIC Chairman Xu Heyi said in interview Friday at the trade show CES 2017 in Las Vegas. The two companies also plan to conduct road testing of a car that will be autonomous in limited environments by the end of this year.
China has set a goal for 10 percent to 20 percent of vehicles to be highly autonomous by 2025 in the world’s biggest auto market, and for 10 percent of cars to be fully self-driving in 2030. State broadcaster China Central Television began airing a five-part series this month on one of its prime time programs to highlight the country’s efforts in autonomous vehicles and related technology.
“It’s a smart move for both to team up,”said Bill Russo, managing director of Gao Feng Advisory Co. “BAIC can bring manufacturing and Baidu can bring technology capability to solve mobility problems.”
The cooperation with BAIC is Baidu’s most comprehensive, though the internet giant also is working with other automakers on joint development of self-driving cars, Baidu President Zhang Yaqin said Friday. The Beijing-based company is close to setting up a new research center near Seattle that will focus on artificial intelligence and cloud computing and security, he said.
Baidu formed a self-driving car team in Silicon Valley in April that it said would employ more than 100 researchers and engineers by the end of last year. It’s partnered with chip maker Nvidia Corp., has been testing its autonomous vehicles in eastern Chinese cities including Wuhu and Shanghai and earned a permit from California to test in the state last year.
BAIC, owned by the local government of Beijing, has made progress of its own. The automaker whose joint-venture partners include Daimler AG and Hyundai Motor Co. in April let customers ride in self-driving cars on a test track.
China is seeking to shed its image as a cheap manufacturer of products with little value-added content. The government is pushing its technology and manufacturing industries to create more sophisticated products and services in line with the global trend toward digitization and internet connectivity.
To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Tian Ying in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tech Wire Asia, September 20, 2016
With a population of over 20 million, Beijing citizens face traffic congestion on a regular basis despite the government’s efforts to maintain a smooth traffic flow, such as tolls, car usage limitations, and public transport subsidies.
But top scientists believe that artificial intelligence (AI) could – and in the near future, will – solve this problem.
According to Sixth Tone, on Saturday, scientists said at a lecture at New York University’s Shanghai campus that autonomous vehicles will aide smoother traffic flow in less than a decade.
AI scientists are attempting to design self-driving cars that are able to drive smoothly and avoid sudden slowdowns and collisions that cause traffic congestion.
According to Tsinghua University Professor Li Keqiang, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has outlined a plan that allows autonomous vehicles to access highways within three to five years, and city centers by 2025.
With today’s advancements in science and technology, this five-year prediction is certainly not impossible.
Bill Russo, automobile consultant from Gao Feng Advisory Company, said as it stands, full optimization of self-driving automotive technology is more a matter of regulation than science.
“Unlike other countries, China has the capacity to drive the market from the top down and create the right circumstances for self-driving cars,” Russo was quoted saying.
Therefore, the government needs to open more doors for self-driven and human-driven vehicles to operate side-by-side on roads, he said.
Currently, self-driving cars are banned on public roads in China. Automobile players, however, view this restriction as a slowdown for the industry. Tech giants around the world like Google, Baidu and Alibaba, are already tapping into the automobile industry as their next business target.
As Forbes said last month, China “will be reluctant to forbid semi-autonomous cars completely.”
“The country has too much at stake, it has invested heavily in autonomous technology and urges its automakers and tech companies to develop autonomous cars,” it pointed out.
But after a number of fatal incidents, a ministry official in China recently said drivers could be held liable for accidents with advanced driver-assistance systems, a China Daily report said.
The report quoting China’s deputy head of Bureau of Work Safety Jin Xin said when fully autonomous vehicles hit the road, the manufacturer would become legally responsible for accidents.
But according to Yu Kai, founder of the Institute of Deep Learning – China’s first AI research and development center – the country’s automobile industry is anticipating the commercialization of autonomous vehicles as Chinese consumers are beginning to expect cars to be connected devices.
Yu also believes that self-driving cars could go on roads within 10 years.
“My focus is creating innovative technology to put in the car, to make the car independently intelligent.
“We are working with car manufacturers on how give their vehicles the ability to plan and make decisions, using a combination of sensors, processors, and algorithms,” Yu said, as quoted by Sixth Tone.
Shanghai, China, December 1, 2016
Bill Russo, the Managing Director and Automotive Practice leader at Gao Feng Advisory Company will chair the Connected Mobility Roadshow conference in Shanghai – hosted by Messe Frankfurt.
The main players in the mobility industry are currently re-evaluating their positions, for connected mobility promises huge potential: by 2020, the market for interconnected cars is expected to have increased by 45% – ten times the growth of the general automobile market. It is estimated that in five years, three quarters of all new cars will be able to connect, and, from 2025, autonomic driving could be possible outside of protected areas.
Shanghai, China, September 1, 2016
As the development of automotive electronics and telematics is gaining speed, intelligent car applications are gradually and successfully integrated in our daily lives.
The numerous advantages of latest technologies do not only include an improved driving experience or enhanced safety, but also the evolution towards less fuel consumption and more sustainable driving.
Therefore, the September Automotive Roundtable in Shanghai will discuss promising trends of future cars in China and its latest applications in several areas, such as Driver Assistance Systems, Autonomous Driving, Automotive Multimedia & Communication, Connected Vehicles and Online Services in China.
– in cooperation with Autoköpfe –
– Strategic Partner: EU Chamber –
When: Thursday, September 01, 2016, 6 pm
6:00 – 7:00 pm: Registration and Networking Dinner, incl. buffet dinner
7:00 pm: Presentation:
By Mr. Roger Looney, VP of Vehicle Engineering – Vehicle Systems Development, including Electric Drivetrain & Autonomous Driving, Qoros
Roger Looney has 30 Years experience in automotive tooling, engineering and design and over 20 years experience in Asia. Current goals include utilizing that knowledge and experience to develop world class, exciting vehicles of the future.
Specialties: Automotive Product Development and Launch, Electronics, Hybrid & EV development, Asia Mergers and Acquisitions, Six Sigma, Product Development, New Business Development in Asia, Team Building in China, Low Cost Country Sourcing, Contract Development and Negotiation in China, Korea, Japan.
7:20 pm: Presentation: Integrated Mobility, Transportation Redefined
By Mr. Bevin Jacob, Head of Biz Dev, APAC, Continental Intelligent Transportation Systems
An ‘Internet of Vehicles’ enthusiast, Bevin Jacob envisions building and incorporating “Mobility Services” to improve Consumer’s digital lifestyle. He has 16 years of active involvement in building “Connected Solutions” for Mobile, Telematics and Multimedia Devices. Bevin enjoys working with highly motivated teams to bring about disruptive innovations in connected vehicles business.
7:40 pm: Panel discussion: Future Cars
Moderator: Mr. Bill Russo, Managing Director, Gao Feng Advisory Company
Bill Russo is the Shanghai-based Managing Director and the Automotive Practice leader at Gao Feng Advisory Company. His over 30 years of experience includes 15 years as an automotive executive, including 12 years of experience in China and Asia. He has also worked nearly 12 years in the electronics and information technology industries. He has worked as an advisor and consultant for numerous multinational and local Chinese firms in the formulation and implementation of their global market and product strategies. While the Vice President of Chrysler North East Asia, he successfully negotiated agreements with partners and obtained required approvals from the China government to bring six new vehicle programs to the market in a three-year period, while concurrently establishing an infrastructure for local sourcing and sales distribution. Mr. Russo has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University in New York, and a Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Mr. Russo is a highly sought after opinion leader on the development of the China market and the automotive industry.
Panel additionally includes:
Ms. Vanessa Moriel, Managing Director Asia, Liase Group
Vanessa Moriel is Managing Director Asia with the LIASE Group, a global retained executive search firm & talent management consultancy that specializes exclusively in automotive and mobility companies.
Ms. Moriel has been providing CEO & top management placements and succession expertise for global automotive companies across the Asia-Pacific region for close to 15 years. She previously worked for Schlumberger, the London Consulting Group, Frito-Lay (Pepsico) and Fiducia Management Consultants.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering for the Institute of Technology and Superior Studies of Monterrey and has completed an Executive Program in Strategy and Organization from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Mr. John Shen, Managing Director, Accenture Strategy, Greater China
Mr. Shen Jun has more than 20 years of industry and management consulting experience. He is now Managing Director with Accenture Strategy Greater China. Before he joined Accenture, Mr. Shen was Senior Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and has been leading the Automotive Competence Center (ACC) in Greater China. Mr. Shen has served many leading MNC/local companies in automotive industry, covering a wide range of topics. Mr. Shen has in-depth knowledge and expertise in the functional areas of corporate strategy, merger and acquisitions, operational benchmark, organizational restructuring and sales and marketing management (especially on branding, channel optimization, pricing and new product launch), etc.
8:10 pm: Q&A
Where: Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Jiading 上海绿地万怡酒店
3101 Huyi Highway, Jiading District, Shanghai 201821, P.R.C
Fee: 250 RMB/Person for annual spinsors, incl. buffer dinner, free flow soft drinks and beer
350RMB/Person for non-sponsors, incl. buffet dinner, free flow soft drinks and beer
(Please note only cash or pre-payment via bank transfer is accepted)
Hotel Room Information: The participants of Automotive Roundtable can enjoy the special rate of the hotel room: Superior Room: 550 RMB/night (incl. 1-2 breakfast). To book the room, please email to:
Ms. YILIA JIANG
Assistant Sales Manager
Tel: 86.21.3991.6816, mobile: 139.1831.2521
and indicate rate code of “Automotive Roundtable”.
Seats are limited! If you like to attend, RSVP via email
In case you register but cannot attend, please cancel your reservation before August 30. Otherwise you will be invoiced for the event.
Thanks to all our sponsors and our media partner!
If you are interested in sponsoring, speaking or participating, please feel free to contact us at: email@example.com.
Shanghai, China, June 27, 2016
West Bund Art Center
2555 Longteng Ave, Xuhu
|The Big Data Behind the Internet of Vehicles|
|The traditional automotive industry, where technology innovation has primarily been focused on powertrain and safety systems, must now contend with new forms of mobility services that are transforming the manner in which we experience the product. The particular conditions of urbanization, an ever-expanding middle class population, pollution, and congestion are uniquely challenging in China, which may create opportunities for innovative new mobility solutions for China.
The conventional hardware-centric, sales-driven, asset-heavy and ownership-based business model with sporadic customer interactions is now competing with a connected, on-demand, and often personalized mobility experiences. This new form of “connected mobility” is driving new technologies in the world of navigation, analytics, driver safety, driver assistance and information virtualization.
Innovations such as these, originating from both traditional OEMs and new mobility solutions platforms, many of whom are Chinese, could pave the way to a an entirely new business model for China’s auto industry.
Mr. Bill Russo, Managing Director, Gao Feng Advisory Company
AFP Newswires, April 23, 2016
Chinese Internet giant LeECO Holdings Ltd unveils its internet electric battery driverless concept car ‘LeSEE’, during a launch event in Beijing, on April 20, 2016
Beijing: Chinese manufacturers and internet giants are in hot pursuit of their US counterparts in the race to design driverless cars, but the route to market is still littered with potholes.
While Google has been working on autonomous vehicles for at least six years, with the likes of BMW, Volvo and Toyota in its wake, more recently Chinese businesses have entered the race, from internet search giant Baidu to manufacturer Changan.
Last week, ahead of the Beijing Auto Show opening on Monday, two self-driving Changan cars made a mountainous 2,000 kilometre (1,200 mile) journey from Chongqing in the southwest to the capital in the country’s first long-distance autonomous vehicle test.
Another Chinese internet giant, LeECO, is also venturing into autonomous technologies, unveiling Wednesday in Beijing an electric car that can park itself and be summoned to its owner’s location via smartphone.
And late last year Baidu tested China’s first locally designed driverless vehicle, a modified BMW, with a 30 kilometre ride through the streets of Beijing.
Despite China’s relatively late entry to the field, analysts believe the country could become a key market for driverless vehicles thanks to a more favourable regulatory and consumer environment.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) forecasts that global sales of driverless cars will reach 12 million by 2035, with more than a quarter sold in China.
Vehicles which automatically adjust their routes in response to real-time traffic information could solve chronic gridlock in China’s major cities, BCG’s Xavier Mosquet told AFP.
“If they believe this would ease traffic, Chinese authorities will do all they can to promote the development of this technology and then its use,” he said.
Public concerns over the safety of driverless cars are far lower than elsewhere, according to a survey by Roland Berger consultants in 2015, which found 96 per cent of Chinese would consider an autonomous vehicle for almost all everyday driving, compared with 58 per cent of Americans and Germans.
In a country notorious for accidents, the promise of better safety through autonomous technologies could also be appealing.
The ultimate prize, say analysts, will be when mass transport firms such as taxi-hailing giant Uber, or its Chinese rival Didi, can deploy huge fleets of robot taxis.
“The real payoff for truly driverless technology will come when cars on the road are no longer owned by people, but are owned by fleet management services,” said Bill Russo, managing director of the consultancy firm Gao Feng.
“That’s where you want to think about taking the driver out of the equation. Mobility on demand is hugely popular here.”
In the Roland Berger survey, 51 per cent of Chinese car owners said they would prefer to use robot taxis rather than buy a new vehicle themselves, compared with 26 per cent of Americans.
With a ready market, China may soon become the top location for companies to refine driverless technology.
Swedish manufacturer Volvo, owned by China’s Geely since 2010, this month announced plans to test drive up to 100 of its vehicles on Chinese roads this year.
Changan, a partner of Ford, is set to roll out commercial autonomous vehicles for motorways from 2018, while mass production of driverless city cars is projected to begin in 2025.
‘Does the car choose?’
Baidu, meanwhile, says it will launch self-driving buses by 2018, which will operate on fixed routes in select cities in China.
Like Google, the internet giant already owns detailed road maps and has experience in electronic security, and a company spokeswoman told AFP it had had “very positive feedback” from the government.
But analysts are more cautious, predicting slow-moving autonomous vehicles will not appear in towns until at least 2020.
Production costs were still too high to make a robot taxi fleet viable, BCG’s Mosquet said.
“There are still many questions to be resolved” before fully autonomous vehicles can be put into public use, said Jeremy Carlson, a senior analyst for IHS.
He pointed to “chaotic traffic situations” on roads shared with cyclists and pedestrians, and less-than-adequate infrastructure.
Technology will be the first to see solutions, he said, but that still left regulation and issues around liability and insurance to be addressed.
For some, there are moral dilemmas as well.
“If you have someone jumping out in front of an autonomous car, does the car have to choose between killing that person, or swerving and crashing and killing the passenger?” asked Robin Zhu, senior analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein.
“If your car could choose to kill you, would you get in it?”