Dear readers and virtual participants of the International Vienna Motor Symposium 2020!
Yes, this is correct – Unfortunately, we must hold a virtual Vienna Motor Symposium in 2020.
For quite a long time we were fairly optimistic and confident that, as usual, we would be able to welcome you to our symposium at the Vienna Hofburg Palace, perhaps with some restrictions. However, reality caught up with us – and, in fact, with the whole world – in the form of the Cotona pandemic! What a pity!
At first, we were shocked and frustrated having to cancel everything, with only a few weeks to go to the event, but then we decided immediately that we would look for possible alternatives and put them into action.
At present, the classical face-to-face mode of conference presentations cannot be used to inform you, Dear Participants, of current issues, the most recent trends, the latest developments and products in the automotive world; nevertheless, in this extraordinary year we would like to share this information with you by staging a virtual conference and using digital communication channels.
In recognition of the huge amount of work that especially speakers and co-authors have invested in their papers, we owe it to you, our interested congress audience, that we provide you with a professional and comprehensive presentation and publication of the lectures. The enormous efforts must not be in vain – the innovations must also be brought to adequate public attention!
Let me take this opportunity to, again, thank all speakers who – by agreeing to make their papers available, also in the form of video presentations, in addition to their printed versions in the conference proceedings – helped us to organize our virtual conference for you, Dear Participants, in spite of the current, certainly very stressful situation in their respective companies.
The technical exhibition is another important part of the Vienna Motor Symposium. We therefore offered all exhibiting companies – 64 this year! – the possibility to extensively showcase their planned technical highlights in a digital presentation on our website, in addition to the printed list of exhibitors in the conference documentation. We trust that you will find your virtual visit interesting.
2020 is a year of radical transitions in the automotive industry: the 95 g/km CO2 target for Europe becomes effective, and there are major regulatory changes worldwide affecting transportation technology in all aspects.
Emission-free, digitalization and automation – these are the buzz words and the key issues. However, different meanings often attach to them.
The Motor Symposium has always been a forum for presenting factual information about technical and economic solutions, as well as the technologies available for their realization – so that they can be brought to application, at least with a medium-term perspective. Whenever the technical features of new engines and driving systems were presented at Vienna Motor Symposia, they would be vehicle components, when buying a new car in the following year, at the latest, this will also be the case in the future.
In recent years, the main focus of developments has clearly shifted from performance and torque, or mere fuel consumption as well as driving comfort and emotions, towards protecting the climate, reducing exhaust gases and greenhouse gas emissions.
Follow the speakers through their presentations and comments on the new engines and powertrains. They may be classical combustion engines built with top technologies to achieve minimum consumption and similarly low exhaust-gas values (the catchword here is zero-impact emissions); they may relate to the many different hybrid driving solutions which lead on to the purely electric or even hydrogen-powered driving systems. The latter will not only come as fuel cells – hydrogen-powered combustion engines have once again come to the foreground and are presented not only in one but two papers.
In addition, novel vehicle platforms as well as future driving systems for heavy duty vehicles are topics at this year’s conference.
Effective climate protection requires a holistic review of our systems – in other words, a lifecycle assessment or cradle-to-grave approach. We must look at the full cycle from vehicle production to vehicle usage and, finally, vehicle recycling.
As a result, synthetic fuels – produced from regenerative energy (e-fuels) – also move center-stage when discussing driving systems. Ample scope is also given to this range of topics at this year’s symposium.
At a time of increasingly diversified solutions, the individual person cannot cover all aspects. Cooperation among companies – whether OEM or supplier – is therefore gaining in importance. For the first time this year, these issues will be dealt with in a third stream of lectures, for which a third lecture hall had been planned.
Innovative “test bench systems” and “development methods” are just as important for the many different new requirements. For the first time, this range of issues will be dealt with in separate blocks of lectures.
Dear Virtual Participants, Please use this somewhat different form of presenting you the symposium lectures. Please also use the possibility to click on the “question button” following immediately after every presentation, so as to communicate directly with the speaker. We will forward your questions, together with the request for a reply. As soon as an answer has arrived, it will be shown in the same place.
We hope that you find the many different scheduled presentations interesting, in spite of this year’s adversities. I look forward – already today – to being able to welcome you to the 42nd Motor Symposium at the Vienna Conference Centre in 2021.
President of the Austrian Society of Automotive Engineers