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A-IQ Ready at Society 5.0

On the 30th of January 2024, we had a great opportunity to join Society 5.0 conference in Vienna, where Erwin Schoitsch from AIT, Reiner John from AVL, and other experts from science and the fields of material cycles, mobility, and infrastructure discussed Sustainable Technology trends and Society, and how we as a society are at a turning point as we attempt to reconcile digitalization and sustainable management in many areas of our working lives. The conference was organized by the think tank Future Network

together with the training and conference partner CON•ECT Eventmanagement. 

According to Erwin Schoitsch, an expert in norms and standards at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, the achievements of digitalization require a critical view of technical progress. The term Society 5.0 was formulated in a government program in Japan in 2017 to develop assistive technologies for the aging population, especially robotics. Humans, as part of a "super smart society", an extensive network from the street to the bedroom, may be an exaggerated idea. However, smart products and infrastructures are also being sought in Europe to solve a wide range of challenges. The EU is now following the predecessor trend of Industry 4.0 with a political programme of subsidies, regulations and funded research for a sustainable society. It is a new way of doing business that not only focuses on the individual person and individual systems – keyword: production in units up to batch size one – but always considers goals in the context of their environments. Schoitsch explained the "system of systems" using mobility as an example: Even with a fully autonomous vehicle, journeys from Vienna to Copenhagen will make little sense. Only the combination with, for example, rail transport enables the optimal mix from the perspective of resource consumption and environmental impacts. "In the future, available technology will be geared toward needs," said the expert. This requires trust in technology, which must be built and function in a transparent, ethically correct and reliable manner. Because, in a complex world in which social media platforms have the sovereignty of interpretation, people "often can no longer see through what is happening around them," said Schoitsch.

Reiner John from AVL, coordinating strategic R&D topics for European funding projects, focused on digitalization, affordability, user-friendliness and emission reduction. John recognizes a paradigm shift in the transport sector. The electric car is no longer viewed in isolation, but combines cost-effective energy use and convenient transportation planning. Through the interaction of energy consumption and transportation, such as charging in various networks, it offers a "kit" between mobility, infrastructure and energy systems. There is potential here to optimize energy networks through renewable energy, emissions reduction, affordability and cost improvement. Decisions on usage and planning are increasingly being made in cyberspace, from charging to demand-based navigation and commercial sharing models. For John, this is a gradual process: the electric vehicle is becoming the connecting element for mobility, infrastructure and energy. It is driving the transformation of the living space and has a significant influence on the efficient use of electrical energy and safety in the transportation sector. One hypothesis is that the electric vehicle will become the kit of the mobility, infrastructure and energy ecosystems.

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