Into the future with the "skateboard" Project manager of the Vision URBANETIC

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The Vision URBANETIC celebrated its world premiere in September and since then has been looking to the future. The idea is this: To bring together passenger and goods transportation. But who and what exactly is behind the concept vehicle? What happens from the moment of concept development to the world premiere? Thomas Moser is project manager and provides us with exciting insights into the development process.

Could you please briefly introduce yourself to our readers? Could you describe your career to date?

Moser: I studied mechanical engineering, with a specialization in vehicle construction.

I have been at the company since 2003, where I have worked in different positions, for example as a body shell design engineer and as a project manager for the Sprinter minibus.

Why did you choose Mercedes-Benz as your employer?

I was already in indirect contact with Mercedes-Benz during my studies. While writing my thesis and in my first job after my studies, I worked at a body builder that used chassis from Mercedes-Benz. This collaboration gave me a good impression of Mercedes-Benz as a company and an employer.

You are project manager for "Vision URBANETIC". What's the idea behind this concept?

Vision URBANETIC is a mobility concept aimed at integrating passenger and goods transport in a single vehicle. Our autonomous chassis with a battery-electric drive forms the basis of the vehicle - we also like to call it the "skateboard". Depending on the use case, this "skateboard" can be equipped with the cargo module for goods transport or with the people mover module for passenger transport. Changing the modules is automated. We have developed an intelligent, self-learning IT infrastructure around the Vision URBANETIC in order to detect what kind of transport is required in real-time.

What might this look like in future in practical application?

An example would be morning and evening commuter traffic. The people mover module would predominantly be used here to bring people to and from work. During the day and at night, when demand for passenger transport is lower, our Vision URBANETIC can be used for goods transport. In this way, we can ensure optimal capacity and flexibility.

What were your tasks in conjunction with the Vision URBANETIC?

I managed the project from the initial concept development phase, to completion and finally its world premiere. My specific priorities and tasks always resulted from the various project phases. In practice, this meant that during the concept development phase at the beginning I worked with our developers a lot. The designers and engineers then came on board for the design process. During the construction phase, the primary focus was on managing our external partners. Communications concepts were then developed later in parallel to production.

"Vision URBANETIC" is now another part of the "adVANce" future initiative. What other areas are behind "adVANce"?

We are presenting ourselves as providers of system solutions and alongside our vehicles, we also offer integrated and intelligent overall systems. "adVANce" stands for our six fields of innovation: Autonomous, electric drive, sharing, rental, solutions and digital. We have combined all aspects of the "adVANce" strategy in a single concept with the new Vision URBANETIC.

What do you like most about your job?

What I like best about my job is that I can see the results of my own work very quickly. It only took one year from the first pencil stroke to realizing and presenting the vehicle. I work with a team that is exclusively dedicated to this project - a highly motivated team that makes such ambitious and innovative projects possible.

Please tell us a bit more about your team and your work. What is the composition of the team? What is exciting about your team or unit?

I don't have a team in the traditional sense. I work with project partners from all kinds of different areas: My colleagues from the strategic unit are more like the project's customers. I work with the teams from the design, engineering and IT units on implementing the project. Toward the end of the project, when it comes to vehicle's release and premieres, I need the assistance of my marketing and communications colleagues.