In the first of a new series in which Intertraffic attempts to find out a little more about some of the most well-known names and faces in the intelligent mobility sector, we caught up with Matthias Schulze, Vice President for Europe and Asia for Algolux, a Montreal-based computer vision company and provider of safety-based AI-based solutions and asked him five (relatively) simple questions…
1) In the last five years, what one new innovation or one new development has made your job easier? It can be new technology, new thinking, new legislation… what would it be? And why?
Matthias Schulze (MS): Would make my life easier? That’s a tough question, it's actually hard to say! In terms of what has changed my job over the past five years that I would have to say Covid-19, although that didn't make life any easier. Working from home has probably made my life easier but that’s probably not the answer you were looking for.
2) So let's fast forward to Intertraffic Amsterdam 2024. What are we going to be talking about post-show? This year the post-show topic was undoubtedly the proliferation of artificial intelligence in smart mobility solutions.
MS: This will continue to be artificial intelligence, I would say maybe with a stronger focus on the functional safety aspect, which is still, from my point of view anyway, largely ignored. There are some funded research activities that focus on AI but it's still an issue.
3) If you could change one thing about the sector you work in that will be of benefit to society as a whole, what would that be?
MS: Only one thing? Much more computational power. And also more and more robust things. Both go hand in hand, however. Computational power is increasing and increasing, but from my point of view, you will always need more because the sensors get exponentially better too. Also, that this increase in computational power should be cheap.
4) What subject did you study at University and has it actually helped you during your career in the smart mobility/ITS world?
MS: I studied mechanical engineering, so yes it has. It has certainly helped me because I'm very much a person that thinks in functions. So I'm not just looking on the software aspect, I look at the outcome - that helps me to think more in terms of the whole system, as a broader approach. Sometimes it has also been a disadvantage, but I would say in general, my mechanical engineering degree has helped me a lot in this business.
5) You are very well-known figure in the ITS sector but away from the business world, what would constitute a perfect Saturday for you?
MS: A perfect Saturday morning would be to go grocery shopping at a local farmers market in Muehlacker (a small town between Stuttgart ad Karlsuhe in south-eastern Germany that Schulze calls home). And then a good lunch. Maybe if the weather is fine I’ll take one of my motorbikes out or go for a drive in one of my old convertibles. I have a collection of 12 cars and six motorbikes that, fortunately, I am able to keep at home, or at least close to home at a workshop that I converted from stables.
6) You spent almost 30 years at Daimler and people would closely associate you as being the brains behind the Chauffeur and Chauffeur II ‘electronic tow bar’ projects that welcomed in the era of truck platooning. What would you like to be remembered for, however?
MS: I think what I would like to be known for is for having at least a slight impact on the autonomous driving world.
For more information on Algolux visit http://www.algolux.com