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Author's profile photo Moya Watson

Students Charged With the Future at Connected Cars Winners’ Workshop at SAP Palo Alto

It’s a vehicular bonanza for cars innovation of all kinds from connected to electric to collaborative and alternative at SAP Labs in Palo Alto this week for employees, partners, automotive OEMs, and a special group of up-and-coming visionaries.

All week, SAP is hosting six bright students from around the world to jointly collaborate on building a connected cars application.  These are the six winners of the 2012 Connected Car Contest.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/students_227366.jpgWinning students and other collaborators in Palo Alto

Background, from left: Andreas Hauer, Sergej Trunchin (mentor – mostly covered), Christian Wuensche,Tobias Schlachtbauer (mentor), Tobias Schwan, Edson Fangwa (Audi)

Foreground, from left: Michael Schermann (assistant professor), An Dongmei, Kerstin Puchan, Dominik Goby (Audi).

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One student – Dongmei An – is from the National University of Singapore and five other students – Andreas Hauer, Kilian Batzner, Christian Wuensche, Tobias Schwan, and Kerstin Puchan – are from Technische Universität München.  During this five-day Winners’ Workshop they are fully immersing themselves together in the latest in connected and electric cars technology. 

At the same time, SAP is not only leading a two-day commuter fair for employees looking for alternative commute options from ridesharing to biking, showcasing an EV Ride & Drive event tomorrow where employees can sign up for 10-minute drives in a number of the top EVs on the market, but also on Thursday and Friday hosting the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s EV symposium: Silicon Valley Driving Charged & Connected


Electric vehicles for test-drive Thursday at SAP Labs Palo Alto.

Photo credit: SAP Labs Communications

The students get to soak up these events and much much more while they collaborate on their application.

On Monday, Workshop Day One, students introduced their ideas and enjoyed a range of insider presentations at SAP on topics from “How to prepare a successful VC pitch” to a deep-dive in design thinking.  Check out impressions from Dongmei An herself at You can also watch the collective video wrap here:

Yesterday, the students field-tested their collaborative idea, hung out with SAP colleagues and learned about SAP HANA, went to a special place called the Electronic Research Lab in Belmont together with Audi car professionals, and maybe even got to be seen in a coveted Tesla. Check out Day Two’s wrap from the students:  


Students visiting the Electronics Research Lab in Belmont, CA.

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The students are continuing to refine their idea today as well as paying visits to the local legendary institutions Stanford University and Google.

Tomorrow, the students will be able to participate in the symposium, hearing in person from disruptive technology thought leader Geoffrey Moore as well as Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff, SAP Chief Sustainability Officer Peter Graf, and a host of other leaders in the workplace charging and smart and connected vehicles space. Check out the whole impressive agenda of the two-day event.

Day Five on Friday is the last day of the workshop, and the students will wrap all the information they’ve assimilated into their refined idea and iterate on their actual real-world application.  When the students submitted their ideas they were particularly interested in solving parking issues, and this is what they set out to jointly collaborate upon.

The result is taking shape in the form of a novel mobile app. From what I’ve seen so far, it has to do with parking-space handover – but not for a profit.  Lucky holders of coveted parking spaces will get to connect with needy drivers with their collaboratively built application, but with a uniquely sustainable twist. You’ll have to wait to see how this builds out, but I’m most impressed with the students’ initiative in addition to the commitment this demonstrates to sharing our precious resources as well as giving back to the community.

Join the Facebook group at for updates on the rest of the week as well as details on getting your hands (and your car) on the application itself when it’s complete and be sure to follow the works of these students here on the SAP Community Network and beyond.  As you can see from their own reports, these students have had a bright week – and have an even brighter future ahead. It’s a future you will want to be a part of.

PS: Students from around the world will be able to continue to step up with their ideas and chances to attend workshops like these.  Up next is a Utilities of Tomorrow contest – takea look and share with students everywhere:–

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      Author's profile photo Moya Watson
      Moya Watson
      Blog Post Author

      And here's the video update from the students for yesterday, Day 3: 

      Prototyping, free ice cream, Stanford, Google, and more!

      Author's profile photo Moya Watson
      Moya Watson
      Blog Post Author
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thank you Moya. It was so nice to meet you!  I think of the moments in Palo Alto when reading this blog. This was one of best week that I have ever had!