BMW Summer School 2019 shines the spotlight on “Artificial Intelligence and Urban Living”.

BMW:BMW Summer School 2019 shines the spotlight on “Artificial Intelligence and Urban Living”.

Munich. As an initiative from the BMW Group Research
division, the BMW Summer School provides junior scientists from all
over the world with a regular opportunity to discuss their research
with top-class experts from both theoretical and practical
backgrounds. This year’s get-together took place in Lenggries-Fall,
Bavaria on 15 – 20 July 2019 under the auspices of the French consul
general, and was staged in collaboration with EURECOM,
the Technical University of Munich
(TUM)
and BayFrance with the
support of the Franco-German
University
, the Digitalist
Group
and the German-French Academy for the Industry of the
Future. The platform the BMW Summer School provides for dialogue with
established professionals from academia and industry combines with the
participants’ multidisciplinary backgrounds to give the event its
distinct identity. This year, young researchers from the fields of
computer science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering,
civil engineering, psychology, law and industrial design got together.
“We see the BMW Summer School as a benchmark for cooperation between
industry and universities“, said Hannemor Keidel, TUM representative
for scientific relations with France.

Artificial intelligence is transforming mobility and urban living.

“Advances in the field of artificial intelligence have a major role
to play in shaping the future of mobility,” commented Michael
Würtenberger, Head of the Excellence Cluster for AI at the BMW Group.
“The BMW Group identified AI as a vital research area at an early
stage and set up the requisite development expertise.” The influence
of AI extends far beyond mobility into day-to-day life, future
production methods and business processes; AI therefore affects
society as a whole. The interdisciplinary nature of the BMW Summer
School 2019 made it the ideal forum for highlighting to participants
the social relevance of their research topics.

BMW Summer School: the sharing of scientific knowledge between
the worlds of theory and practice across three main areas.

To facilitate an intense exchange between the junior researchers and
the experts from science and industry, the programme for the BMW
Summer School 2019 was organised into three main areas.

Highlights from the keynote track, for example,
included a talk by Carlo Ratti, who heads the Senseable City Lab at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Ratti: “Large cities
worldwide are facing enormous challenges. Big Data and AI can give us
better knowledge of the urban environment, and thus their potential
beneficial applications are countless.  This requires a new generation
of researchers to think and collaborate across disciplines and it is
great to see this kind of thinking fostered by the BMW Summer School”.
There were also breakout sessions that gave the participants the
chance to discuss specialised topics in small groups with academics
and industry representatives. The issues up for debate included the
use of AI for mobility services, design thinking methodology, quantum
computer technology and ethical considerations relating to the
interaction between human and artificial intelligence. “The successful
development of smart cities relies on the harmonization between
people, mobility solutions and infrastructure and their mutual
cooperation. We are expecting artificial intelligence and 5G to be
catalysts for smart cities”, said Weiyun Jiao from the Chinese
National Center for Intelligent Transport Systems in one of the sessions.

The poster track centred on the fields of research
pursued by the up-and-coming scientists. The participants presented
the ideas behind their current research and its objective to the
multidisciplinary audience in a competition format. This year’s awards
for the best research posters and most engaging presentations went to
Matthias Zöhrer (Graz
University of Technology
), Dantong Ge (Beijing Institute of
Technology
) and Felix Batsch (Coventry University).

The third key element was the lean startup machine.
The participants were split into mixed groups, asked to develop
innovative product and service ideas based on their research topics
under the guidance of agile design coaches and eventually present them
to the audience in a short pitch. This competition gave the young
researchers a realistic impression of what putting technological
innovations into practice entails, be it in the form of a business
idea or company startup. This year’s winning team of the startup pitch
award created the concept for „APPetite“ – an AI empowered meal
planner that helps its users to reduce the ecological impact of food waste.

In addition to the three main elements of the BMW Summer School 2019
programme, the PhD students also seized the opportunity to share ideas
informally among themselves and with the assembled science and
business experts. This allowed them to gain some inspirational
insights into the research work carried out in various disciplines and
its practical application in the industrial sector. A pair of evening
events involving Prof. Jörg Ott and Prof. Constantinos Antoniou from
TUM and Dr. Markus Grüneisl, Head of Production Systems,
Digitalisation and Operative Excellence at the BMW Group, helped
maximise this exchange of knowledge.

Experts at the BMW Summer School 2019.

Industry and business:
Pang Heng Soon, SGInnovate,
Singapore
Markus Grueneisl, BMW Group
Toni Cheng,
Alibaba
Ulrich Fastenrath, BMW Group
Jane Vita, Digitalist
Group
Oliver Oberst, IBM
Jakub Marecek, IBM
Tom
Hubregtsen, BMW Group
Irina Benkert, BMW Group
Kyle
Hounslow, Digitalist Group

Research:
Prof. Carlo Ratti, MIT
Weiyun Jiao, ITSC,
Ministry of Transport, People’s Republic of China
Prof. Arnaud de
la Fortelle, Mine ParisTech
Prof. Jean-François Bruneau,
IVADO
Prof. Jörg Ott, TUM
Prof. Constantinos Antoniou,
TUM
Susanne Müller, Munich School of Philosophy

Research committee at the BMW Summer School 2019.

Committee chairpersons:
Prof. Ulrich Finger, Director of
EURECOM
Prof. Andreas Herkersdorf, Head of the Chair for
Integrated Systems, TUM
Michael Würtenberger, Head of Research
E/E Architecture and Technologies, BMW Group

Original Press Release