WICV2020 | German Automobile Associations VDA Strengthens Collaboration with China Ecosystem

9 min readNov 13, 2020


Original reported on auto.gasgoo.com in Chinese language.

On November 11–13, the “2020 World Intelligent and Connected Vehicle Conference (WICV2020)” was held in Beijing. The event aims to build the world-class platform with the largest scale, the highest level and the most influence in the field of global intelligent networked vehicles, continue to lead the development trend of the global automotive industry, and fully open a new journey for the development of the intelligent networked automotive industry.

The following is the speech made by Dr. Thomas Meurers, General Manager of the China Office of the German Automobile Manufacturers Association (Geschäftsführer bei Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA) e.V. at this forum:

VDA General Manager of China Office, Dr. Thomas Meurers

Good morning everyone! it is a great honor to participate in our theme forum today. First of all, I want to introduce to you the conclusions of our current research, and I will discuss today’s topic again.

Speaking of the VDA organization, I would like to give you a brief introduction. Just now we heard Mr. Li’s speech mentioned that we need to strengthen cooperation. We very much agree with this view. For example, we have seen that German automobile companies have always cooperated very closely with related parties of Chinese automobile companies. For another example, Cartel Germany also has related branches, which once again proves the importance of cooperation. This leads me to my speech today. Why do I want to give you a speech today? Let me give you a brief introduction first. The headquarters of the VDA German Automobile Industry Association is located in Berlin, the capital of Germany. We were founded in 1901. We had our headquarters in Frankfurt before 2010 and later moved to Berlin, the capital of Germany.

We are an institution that can influence the German government in terms of automobile policy, but for us, it is not enough to focus on the internal situation in Germany. We need to go out, so we have also set up offices overseas. In addition to Beijing, We also set up an office in Brussels. China is a very important automotive market. Therefore, we came to China six or seven years ago and set up an overseas office in Beijing. So far, we have a total of more than 600 member companies. In addition, these member companies include not only automakers, but also others, such as suppliers and component suppliers. We can basically cover the entire automobile production process. square.

Recently, our organization has undergone a certain reorganization in October. So far, we now have 1 chairman and 4 Managing Directors, because we hope to fully represent the situation of the entire industry and we also hope to handle our overseas offices well. Therefore, we have set up 4 managing directors. Especially under the premise that automation has become a new trend, there are extremely many working groups. Therefore, we hope that the interests of various suppliers can be well represented in the entire supply chain. We have also organized many top events in the automotive industry, including next year we will organize a series of important events such as car exhibitions, including many important customers, as well as suppliers, dealers and car companies will participate.

Let me introduce to you VDA’s work. The main content of our work has been in the past many years. We have fully represented the German automotive industry in Germany and international standards development organizations. The automotive industry is very important. Moreover, the automotive industry involves many sub-fields, so we are responsible for this part of the work, covering various issues in the automotive field. Including standardized work, formulation, tool development, etc. In addition, the standardization department of VDA is equivalent to that of the German Automotive Technical Standards Committee. We all know that standards and regulations are very critical to the automotive industry. In the entire automotive industry, there are many different stakeholders. On the one hand, they are producers, automakers, and car companies. But for automakers, they will face many difficulties and challenges, such as pollution, noise, etc., so we need to introduce laws and regulations to carry out relevant regulations and carry out relevant supervision.

At the other end of the industry, we see that there is a product side, and the product side requires the participation of suppliers. We will see a lot of competition, so we need to continuously optimize various processes, such as production processes, we need to set standards for related optimization work. These standards actually have similarities and differences, and hope to cover all aspects of the entire automotive industry. We hope to find a good balance between standards and specifications.

Let’s take a look at the differences between standards and regulations. This is mainly an introduction from a German perspective. For example, let’s look at laws and regulations first. Laws and regulations are more concerned with personal safety and environmental safety, these social benefits. Because when we are driving, not only do we drive ourselves, but you will have an impact on many surrounding environments and individuals. We can also represent the most advanced technology in a standard way. This is the difference between standards and regulations. Products have different prices. Therefore, certain standards must be adopted to control the quality and cost of products. This is also an aspect of the standards.

All in all, the standard is to support different manufacturers and car companies to fulfill their related obligations and urge them to complete their obligations themselves. For example, the two pictures shown for you are car seats. Children’s chairs need standards to regulate some of the details. For example, there are many standard details about how to set the seat belt on the car seat. Of course, the final consumer decides whether to buy such a product, but at least such a product should be provided to consumers to make such a choice, which involves standards. Regulations must be followed, but standards are selective. I would like to introduce you to the German national future travel platform. Today we are discussing intelligent connected vehicles. For intelligent connected vehicles, including standard specifications, Is a very critical element. Especially in Germany and other countries, such as China, we see that car leasing, online car-hailing, etc. are all very new trends. These require a unified integration platform from a technical perspective or from other perspectives. , We hope to integrate these elements into research and products.

We need to introduce digital technology, we also need to introduce a lot of experts and human resources, so from a social perspective, how do we introduce these technical experts and professionals to decision makers, and only then can we find the best Solutions to solve various complex problems faced by the automotive industry. This is the significance of our establishment of such a platform, which can integrate the opinions and discussions of all parties to solve many technical, legal and social problems and challenges.

This is the structure of the travel platform we just mentioned. Here is a simple chart for everyone, which is very intuitive. The entire NPM is highly systemic and consists of different working groups. Everyone knows that digitization and standardization are very important elements, so you can see that we have set up a special working group, the third working group and the third working group. The six working groups are respectively responsible for digitization and standardization. We hope to cover the most critical topics in the development of the entire automotive field by setting up different working groups.

Now let me introduce these two working groups specifically for you. The first is the third working group that I just created, the digital working group. The work of the Digitization Working Group covers all aspects of digitization. On the one hand, it ensures emission reduction and sustainable development. At the same time, it hopes to meet personal travel needs and to continuously improve travel efficiency and safety. In addition, suggestions will be made to government decision-making departments on these issues. The following is the standardization specification and certification working group. I have just introduced to you what are the characteristics of specifications and standards. This is the work content of the working group. I hope to carry out relevant coordination work, including certification work.

When it comes to intelligent connected vehicles, autonomous driving is a very important topic. In fact, ICV is a very new topic. Whether it is in Germany or other countries, ICV is just getting started. For intelligent connected vehicles, autonomous driving The testing and development of the car is very critical. You see that this is the time required for Level 3 and Level 4 autonomous driving. Now we are looking forward to the next five years from 2020–2025. We need to intensively carry out related fields. Standardization work, especially autonomous driving. What we introduce to you is the core functional standards that are underway or in the plan. These standards are consistent with our work philosophy.

I just heard the previous speakers mentioned similar topics. China has also done a lot of work on functional standards. We are also making continuous efforts in this area. We hope to eventually raise it to the level of national regulatory policies. I think we can also carry out more international cooperation and discussions in this regard. China’s approach in terms of functional standards is similar, and we are very much looking forward to having more dialogues and cooperation with China on this issue in the future. In fact, for intelligent networked vehicles, the issue of functional standards is a very difficult issue that needs to be resolved urgently. We need to increase investment in this area.

When it comes to standards, standards are not only standards for products, standards for vehicles, but also standards for testing. This is also the core content of our work, especially for intelligent networked vehicles. We hope to establish a unified test. process. Including how to set up and arrange the test roads, how to deal with special situations, and how to deal with tests under different scenarios. If we do not make a unified definition, there will be a lot of trouble. For intelligent networked vehicles, a large number of road tests will need to be carried out in the future. We need unified testing and standardized testing. We even say that we need to complete unified standards at the digital level and at the virtual level, including The same is true at the national level, one is simulation, another is verification, and the other is testing. These three tasks need to be strengthened at the national level. We also hope that the unified standard can be promoted to the world to form a global unified testing and release process.

Let’s take a look at the current automobile network composition of different regions and various parties around the world, especially the relevant standards involved in enterprises. We need a top-down approach to accomplish this work. Some companies have very strong innovation capabilities, such as Bosch. Bosch has started relevant work a long time ago. You can see that the earliest time can be traced back to the 1980s. We need to learn from such professional technology and promote it to the entire industry. As you can see, we now have more data. We need to transmit the data to the Ethernet for data analysis and calculation. In this regard, we also need to promote the formulation of relevant standards to truly realize automated standards. This must involve the expansion of vehicle standards, because now vehicles are all networked, and more stakeholders are involved. This is especially true for intelligent networked vehicles. The number of companies involved is very large. Because there are huge numbers of upstream and downstream companies in the entire industry chain, how do we ensure that these upstream and downstream companies can communicate appropriately and efficiently. Another is how to ensure that each of the different components can meet the relevant standards, all need to invest in standardization work. For example, how to complete remote applications and remote diagnosis, support, etc., these issues need to achieve the development of extended vehicle standards.

Finally, let me make a brief summary. Standardization is very critical for the entire industry, especially for improving the degree of innovation, and for enhancing competitiveness. We also hope to achieve a unified test and complete industry-friendly legislation. This means that we need to set up a globally unified timeline. Only in this way can we truly help customers and the industry complete this work and task, and ultimately achieve efficient global travel.

Thank you everyone, the above is all the content of my speech.




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