May 19, 2020

Deutsche Bahn's driverless cars to drop passengers at the station

Deutsche Bahn
Driverless cars
German rail industry
Real GDPR
2 min
Deutsche Bahn's driverless cars to drop passengers at the station

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn will be testing an app which allows passengers to be picked up by a driverless car to help them make their train on time.

It is specifically targeting the final mile of a passenger’s journey to the train station, which it says is one of the most stressful part of rail travel.

Although exact timescales on this project are not yet clear, the company’s boss Rudiger Grube said that autonomous technology will play a vital part in managing the rail network in the coming decade, helping to create smart cities connected by public transport systems that operate in tandem.

The EU is yet to legalise driverless cars, though it has given permission for several companies to carry out pilot projects. Nearly all of Europe’s major carmakers, including Fiat, Peugeot, Audi and Mercedes are carrying out autonomous tests, with tech giants such as Google also investing heavily in the concept.

The rationale behind Deutsche Bahn’s driverless lift to the station app is a bid to extend their customer experience beyond the train journey, helping to deal with the panic caused by waiting for late buses or other means of getting to the station.

Will this feature encourage more people to take the train or is it a gamble not worth taking? Join the debate on twitter @BizReviewEurope

Read the May 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

GfK
VMware
3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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