Chi-Lan Lieu

Welcome ladies and gentleman to the Keynote Presentation of CES 2020 here at the MGM Park Theater. Now, my name is Chi-Lan Lieu, and I will be your host for this evening. Now, you've all come to Las Vegas for the largest exhibition of consumer technology in the world. For over 50 years, CES has been the global stage where next generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace, and to the world, and this year will be no different. Thousands upon thousands of innovations to improve people's lives will be on display, and it all starts tomorrow, but hey, this is 2020, the dawn of a new decade, and that brings with it a profound disruption of the automobile industry, and mobility in general.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Now, this disruption is being addressed in countless innovative ways, many of which you'll get to see for yourselves in the next few days. In fact, you'll hear quite a bit about it tonight, because it's such a pressing topic, and because the folks from Mercedes-Benz, the company that invented the automobile, they take it very seriously, but as this is the CES Keynote, you know you're in for something very special. Ladies and gentlemen, tonight you're going to get an exclusive look, not just years, but decades into the future, and that's because Mercedes-Benz has teamed up with some esteemed luminaries from Hollywood to present a vision of future mobility like you've never seen before, but I don't want to give it all away just yet.

Chi-Lan Lieu

To kick things off, please help me welcome to the stage, our keynote speaker, Ola Kallenius, Head of Daimler and Mercedes-Benz, and Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association. Good to see you.

Ola Källenius

Good to see you.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Thank you for joining us. Now gentlemen, I want to start off tonight's talk by talking about inner drive because it inspires all of us. Now, Gary, what inspired you to bring CES to life, and to help it become the most influential technology show in the world?

Gary Shapiro

It's all about innovation. Innovation makes our lives better, and the people around the world are going to benefit from the healthier and safer environment that innovation is creating for us. From the latest automotive technology to late life saving health care technologies, CES actually shows us how innovation will improve our everyday lives. This is my drive, because knowing that the innovations that are on display this week in CES will fundamentally improve the lives of people around the world, that's what turns me on.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Now Ola, I want you to follow that up. What is your inner drive, and what do you expect from CES 2020?

Ola Källenius

Well, first of all, I want to say Gary, it's great to be back. We love the CES, and we're happy that we could give this keynote here today. Well, when you come to the CES, the question you ask yourself is what's next? And, this what's next question, that's something that we have been asking ourselves for over 130 years. Our founding fathers, how do you push the boundaries? We come here to get inspiration, meet other tech minded companies, people, may be find and found new partnership, and of course, bring a little bit of our own technology to the party, which is what we're going to show you here tonight.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Well, Ola, I have to say, I know a lot of us have probably noticed that more and more automotive companies are coming to CES, so with that in mind, how do you see the future of the industry?

Ola Källenius

Well, we have been here for over 10 years now, and when we came here the first time it kind of felt from the other tech companies, what are these gatecrashers doing at this thing? But, we know of course, tech and auto has merged. They have merged in the last few years, but what is the big thing? The big thing is to take this invention and reinvent it and make individual mobility sustainable, so stay tuned.

Chi-Lan Lieu

All right, well we're looking towards the future. Gary, speaking of the future, what can we expect from CES, and what are you most excited about this year?

Gary Shapiro

Well, we have 4, 500 exhibitors, and we have about 170, 000 business attendees at the show and from the exhibitors you see about 20, 000 new products, so asking me which of those things is the most exciting? It's all very exciting. I am just so pumped up and what I'm most excited though, is to hear from all of the next hour or so.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Well, gentlemen, thank you so much for all of these insights. As you can all see, there's a lot to get excited about here this week, and this evening is no exception. Before I hand it over to Ola for the keynote portion of tonight's program, let's take a look at this video showing the evolution of how we interact with our preferred modes of transportation.

Speaker

Back in the day voice control was live, and this was the first dashboard. Our first interface was a stick, came with the invention of the car, and turned into steering wheels like this, or this. Dashboards became design icons. Steering wheels became static wait joy sticks. Your car let you sing along to your Durant's, so sorry you had to buy it all again on CD. We gave you controls, screens, buttons, early mobile phones, and then, Bluetooth. Look, no hands. We made the dashboard hold your coffee, or your popcorn. Things moved fast. We put the whole world on your display. Today, our cars go electric, and now you could talk to your ride again. Hey Mercedes.

Speaker 2

What can I do for you?

Speaker

Mercedes.

Narrator

In to tell you more about this exciting journey ahead is Ola Kallenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz.

Ola Källenius

Ladies and gentlemen, happy New Year, and once again, welcome to Mercedes-Benz at the 2020 CES. Where do we take it from here? I guess that's the core question at every CES, and this inner unrest for what's next is also at the core of our purpose at Mercedes-Benz. Today, we would like to show you what that means. Now, I don't know how you spent your holidays, but for me, among many other things, Christmas is a great opportunity for substantial research into cinematography, or in other words, I'm a real film buff. I spend some time catching up old movies, watching new movies. Of course, one of the classics, we've all seen it is Back To The Future. It actually predicted that in 2020 we would be traveling by flying cars now. Yes, air taxis, they do exist. One example is [inaudible 00:08:30] Volocopter from a great team of entrepreneurs that we're supporting, but let's be honest, it's still far from a standard option today.

Ola Källenius

But, there's another technology, another area of technology where the car has made great progress, and still has amazing potential, which is connectivity, and to us at Mercedes, that's way more than pairing a smart phone to your car entertainment system. What I want to focus on tonight is the bond between human and machine. The video that we have just seen made one point, tech in the car. It's all about the interface. From wooden sticks, to switches and buttons, or all the way to our MBUX voice assistant, such as in our all electric EQC. For example, you can ask Mercedes, "How's your favorite sports team recently performed?" Well, I'm afraid I'm a New England Patriots fan, so the other night, "Not too great." But, if you ask another question, "What's the weather going to look like on the way to your favorite ski resort?" You're probably going to get a better answer.

Ola Källenius

Later this year you will also be able to control your smart home from the road. Yes, use your car to prepare your home before you get there, and the next step in the evolution in the interface of a Mercedes is just around the corner. The first truly intuitive gesture control, not learning a new sign language, but the car really understanding what you want intuitively, because we believe the interface is key to providing customers seamless access to opportunity, but without being lost in complexity. The more natural the connection gets, the better. That's especially important for our business, because people build highly emotional relationships with their cars. I don't know how many of you have a nickname for your smartphone. I don't, but we all know that many cars are called, and treated like friends, or even family. It's even more satisfying when you can interact with your car like a friend.

Ola Källenius

One idea that we want to show you tonight is based on biometric connection between the car and the driver. The car recognizes the human driver's heartbeat, its breathing, so man and machine literally merge into a fully intuitive experience. Selecting different functions for instance, it's easy. Simply raise a hand, and the menu is projected onto the palm of your hand, but before we get to that, there's another perhaps even more fundamental dimension of connectivity that we just cannot ignore, and that is connecting tech and nature. Mercedes-Benz has always been a technology and a luxury brand, and it is time to bring luxury and sustainability even closer together, because for us the two are no contradiction. I'm a finance guy by training actually, so I know that resources are always limited, including those of our planet, and I'm Swedish by birth. It's a beautiful sparsely populated country with abundant nature, wildlife, look at this beautiful picture.

Ola Källenius

In fact, more than half of Sweden is covered by trees. To preserve nature, many things need to change, and we are determined at Mercedes to take responsibility. Some people might say, "Here's the easy fix. Stop people moving from A to B, stop making [inaudible 00:12:58] together." But, let's face it, let's get real. Global demand for individual mobility is set to grow. Our 2019 sales figures proved out with the ninth record year in a row, and the fourth consecutive year as the number one car brand in our segment. Our home turf, the luxury car market is projected to outgrow the industry average. People love their individual freedom to go where they choose when they want to. That's why our perspective is clear. We understand the boundaries of the planet, but we don't want to add new boundaries to mobility.

Ola Källenius

In other words, fewer cars are not the solution, better cars are. Yes, the continued growth of mobility means that corresponding growth in the use of resources, so normally the resource curve would look like this, but we have to change that. Our approach is decoupling. Some here in Vegas may think of decoupling as undoing last nights wedding that you just remembered, but I'll leave that to your discretion. Decoupling the Mercedes way, however, means that we're decoupling volume growth from resource consumption. Our tools to achieve that are sustainable innovation and technology. Ultimately, we aspire to make the curve look more like this, and we have three main levers to succeed; reduce, reuse and recycle, with the ultimate goal of fully closing the loop from a value chain to a value cycle, and nature is and remains our greatest teacher in this. Nature has perfect cycles. Nothing is wasted. This attitude also sets the bar for the way we want to do our business.

Ola Källenius

Bringing humans, machines and nature closer together will require action on many different playing fields. For us, step one is reducing our CO2 footprint. We have started that journey under the headline Ambition 2039. We are aiming at carbon neutral vehicle production, growing share of zero emission vehicles, many of them electric, some fuel cell for the commercial vehicles, and finally having a carbon neutral new passenger car fleet in three product life cycles by 2039, and we want to address this in a holistic way, and that includes driving our suppliers and our partners to comply with our objective of carbon neutrality. Our next step is refocusing on resource preservation. Let me give you some examples, saving water. By 2030, our car production plans are set to reduce their total water consumption per vehicle by more than a third, and that will add up to many hundreds of millions of liters of drinking water.

Ola Källenius

The ultimate goal, of course, is a fully closed water cycle. That means our plants would reuse the water throughout the process, and we have initial projects underway in several plants around the world to test is. Another example, energy consumption needs to be reduced. Equally, by 2030 our car production plants are set to reduce the energy consumption by more than 40% per vehicle. All ready today, our plants in Jawor, Poland as well as in Hambach, France are run entirely on renewable energy. By the end of 2022 all plants in Europe will be carbon neutral, and the rest of the world will follow, and we're also reducing waste. In the next 10 years, our factories will reduce waste per vehicle also by more than 40%. Where we can't go for reduction, we're going to focus on the other two; reuse and recycle.

Ola Källenius

As we keep expanding our electrical vehicle lineup, the battery becomes a major lever in this endeavor. A great example for reusing electric car batteries is giving them a second life as a stationary energy source, but ultimately, it's about closing the loop in a circular economy based on recycling. Every Mercedes passenger car is recyclable today by 95% and this standard also applies of course to our new electric vehicles. Battery recycling is happening, but there's room for improvement. What we're aiming at are 100% recyclable batteries, so at this CES we will show you a sneak preview of the next level battery technology for the future. At the same time, we keep encouraging our partners and suppliers along the whole value chain to further increase the usage of secondary materials, the obvious candidates for a car; steel, aluminum, and polymers to foster this mentality, this philosophy of circularity just as we do in reducing our CO2 footprint.

Ola Källenius

To sum it up, the philosophy of reduce, reuse and recycle will lead us to our ultimate goal, the zero impact car. A car that uses technology to provide maximum fascination for people, but has zero negative impact on the planet. This may be in the distant future, but it is our goal nevertheless. Pursuing this mission, we have teamed up with like minded innovators who share our vision of putting tech and nature in balance. They have created one of the most fascinating and successful Hollywood movies of all time, and it is my great pleasure to announce the global partnership between Mercedes-Benz, and the Avatar films. I'm deeply honored that the mastermind behind the Avatar saga, James Cameron will join me with his team here on stage tonight, and we've already done some work together, and I would like to present the first result of this partnership, the Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR, which translates to advanced vehicle transformation, a visionary car that points far into the future, and a show car that is truly inspired by the fascinating world of Avatar.

Ola Källenius

The results highlights completely new ways of intuitively connecting humans and machines without the wooden sticks, and the plastic knobs, and the steering wheel. The Vision AVTR also showcases new ways of moving people through the environment, sideways, almost like a crab moving through the landscape, and it takes sustainability to new levels through a fully recyclable battery, which is based on an organic cell chemistry, and doesn't need materials like for instance, nickel or cobalt. This means in the future the battery could be compostable, and yes, of course, it's going to offer incredibly fast charging too. This show car also uses many recycled and sustainable materials inside the cabin. A lot of people are talking about vegan diet, how about vegan dynamic leather, or karun woods made of fast growing rattan? It also provides spectacular insights into nature, and nearby wildlife while blurring the boundaries between the interior, and the outside world.

Ola Källenius

In fact, it is less of a machine and more of a living creature in its own right. Are you ready? Let me see if the Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR is now ready to come to the stage. Here it is, the Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR. It is a show car, and show cars are here to spark our imagination of the possible just like good science fiction movies do. Imagine a car that delivers a completely new experience, which combines an inside out design philosophy, with an outside-in approach to connecting passengers and environment. This car showcases new ideas of communication, for instance, by using its bionic flaps. Now, we'll hear more about these features from the joint teams that have put their passion, and ideas, and hard work into this project. Please give it up for Jon Landau and Gordon Wagner.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Hello ladies and gentlemen, isn't this car just jaw dropping? Well, I want to welcome to the stage for the first of our three expert talks with Oscar winner, Jon Landau, who's a Producer of Avatar, and the upcoming Avatar sequels, and Gordon Wagner Chief Design Officer at Mercedes-Benz. Gentlemen, we've been talking a lot about that inner drive. I have to ask you, what inspires your work?

Gordon Wagner

Well, Chi-Lan with open eyes, you can actually take inspiration from everything on this planet. For us, designers creating a car inspired by a fantasy or sci-fi movie like Avatar is a dream come true, Jon.

Jon Landau

It's been great.

Gordon Wagner

So, you fulfilled our dreams. For the Vision Avatar we transformed that bionic, and nature focus inspiration from the Avatar time movie to a futuristic concept that demonstrates how a vehicle can actually merge perfectly with its driver like an Avatar and blend in harmony into its ecosystem.

Jon Landau

Gordon is absolutely right. We take inspiration from everywhere. Our natural world is one that we take great inspiration from. Technology is another. Technology allows us to tell stories in ways that were not possible for it, and to communicate compelling and engaging ways, and Gordon and his team have delivered that with the car. Well done, sir.

Chi-Lan Lieu

I wish you all could stand here and be this close to the car because it's absolutely stunning. Gordon, one of the challenges for you is because Mercedes-Benz is known for luxury, how do you figure that into the design of the show car?

Gordon Wagner

Well, our ambition at Mercedes is to become the world's most loved luxury brand, and the definition of the luxury of the future is about the fusion of beauty and intelligence, therefore, the AVTR Vision embodies that redefinition of luxury by combining the beauty of nature with the responsibility of sustainable luxury for our planet.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Now, we spoke about this a little bit earlier, but can you elaborate more about how this show car is actually inspired by Avatar?

Gordon Wagner

Of course Chi-Lan, yeah. In deep discussions with Jon and his team, we defined how our AVTR show car can actually pick up on all levels of the inspiration of the Avatar story. We created a futuristic vehicle that had to authentically looks like it comes out of this amazing sustainable world. Also, that is a vehicle that is able to enhance the capabilities of your own body like the idea of an Avatar in that movie. Eventually, we didn't want to create a car, we wanted to create something like a living organism.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Almost like a human, right? Speaking about the Avatar movie, Jon, can you tell us how you were able to incorporate themes from the human world into that movie?

Jon Landau

Well, first of all let's talk about what the first Avatar was about. I tell people that the first Avatar began and ended with the same image, Jake Sully opening his eyes, and I always viewed that as a challenge to audiences to open their, eyes and to understand that our actions have an impact on both people around us and the world around us. I think this car is being realized, and people who get in it, people who drive it are going to feel that connection with the world around them, and it's going to change how they look at the world when they get out of the car.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Can you expand on that a little bit more?

Jon Landau

Our job is to tell compelling emotional stories, but I think we also have a responsibility to inspire people to take action towards a sustainable lifestyle, harmonious interactions with others, and if we could bring that again into the real world, and Gordon, and his team, and the vision that Ola has laid out for them, they've realized it in a magnificent way.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Now, Gordon didn't mention that this-

Gordon Wagner

Thank you so much for that.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Absolutely. Now, Gordon did mention that this car does take a lot of its inspiration from Avatar, so as a producer of Avatar, looking at this car, what's your favorite connection with the car and the movie?

Jon Landau

Yeah, I think the connection with the car is, we have AWA on Pandora, and people get to make that connection to AWA. People get in this car, and they put their hand on the controller, and the car reacts to them. It connects with them, it takes their biofeedback and you really feel a pulse to the car, it feels your heartbeat, and you feel one with the car.

Chi-Lan Lieu

That's so incredible. Now, Gordon, we know that Mercedes-Benz is in this very unique position where you're able to shape the future, so talking about the Vision AVTR, what type of innovations can we see in the show car?

Gordon Wagner

Well, this concept is full of innovation. Our concept has, first of all, a progressive and sustainable bionic design that brings our design idiom of censured purity to an entirely complete new level. The design of the shapes therefore is fast, smooth, and in harmony with nature forces. Take for instance these aerodynamic flaps on the rear of the vehicle, they mimic the raising of the hair of an animal when it's moving, and actually they have some aerodynamic functions where they can also respond to you. Secondly, that car has a futuristic look, thanks to this super futuristic, elevated, sporty, we call it one bow proportion of the body, which blends beautifully with these circle wheel arches here, and of course, these round wheels.

Gordon Wagner

Additionally, to the exterior, the interior concept might be even more revolutionary. It shows a complete virtual instrument panel that takes the occupants on an experience journey beyond reality. Also, when you look at the car, there's light strips connecting through the entire vehicle creating something like a neural network, and so, this is much more than just an organic design. This concept car really merges the car, and the driver into one living organism.

Chi-Lan Lieu

What an incredible concept.

Jon Landau

It's been a great collaboration, and a great experience.

Gordon Wagner

Totally, so inspiring.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Well, Jon, Gordon, thank you so much for your time, and although all of this sounds very futuristic, I have to say that I think these innovations, they aren't very far away. Would you guys agree?

Jon Landau

I agree. I think you've got to push the boundaries, it's the innovators who lead and that's what Mercedes is trying to do.

Chi-Lan Lieu

And, that leads me to our next topic, and our next guests. Let's take a look.

Gordon Wagner

Thank you.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome Vera Schmidt, Director Advanced Experience Design at Mercedes-Benz, and Ben Proctor, Production Designer for the Avatar sequels. Ben, Vera, welcome to the stage.

Vera Schmidt

Hello.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Okay, I think that one subject that both of you are very involved with is this merging of humans with technology and nature, so Ben, let's start with you. How does your team really touch on this topic?

Ben Proctor

Well, I would say the merging of humanity with both nature and with machinery is a key element of Avatar for sure.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Can you explain a little bit more?

Ben Proctor

I think, a great example is the Na'vi people of Pandora. They have this incredible connection with nature that even the humans come to understand later on, and then, on the other side you have the incredibly high tech neural link system of the avatars themselves, which is really what allows humans to explore the planet.

Chi-Lan Lieu

That's really cool, and Vera, how are you influenced by some of these concepts when you're developing the user interface of the show car here?

Vera Schmidt

Well, we work on the work between man and machine every day, but the Vision AVTR, we created an immersive experience. We have reshaped the technology as a mediator between you as a human being and you as part of species, part of nature.

Chi-Lan Lieu

How does that work exactly? What do you mean?

Vera Schmidt

The car expands your senses, and it lets you experience environment, and the beauty of the nature around you, and this is really beautiful. It becomes a very central extension of your skin.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Can you describe the future's in a little bit more detail?

Vera Schmidt

So, nowadays days if you approach a car, you are the one who is reaching out to the car. You push a button, you touch a display, but in the Vision AVTR, you lift your hand, and icons are projected on your skin, on your palm, and even if you move it, the interface moves with you, so it's really that the machine starts reaching out to you like in a living organism.

Chi-Lan Lieu

I feel like we're just scratching the surface, right Ben?

Ben Proctor

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chi-Lan Lieu

Is there more of Vera?

Vera Schmidt

Yeah, we have a craft dashboard projection, on this one you can switch to a bird's eye view and you can see the environment, foot of birds, or foot, or eyes of the bird, or a different animal, and you can also see natural forces, which are usually not visible to the human eye. For example, you can see magnetic fields, you can see the energy flow of trees, or the wind, so that's fascinating.

Chi-Lan Lieu

It's just amazing. Okay, so a question for you both. I feel like when you're talking there, you're showing us that there are starting to be a lot of similarities between some technology as well as automotive technology. Would you say?

Ben Proctor

I would totally agree. On the first Avatar we had to create new film technologies to immerse people in this new kind of brilliant 3D imagery that was bright, and colorful, and amazing, and of course, on the sequels, I think we're going to introduce some new standards as well that will hopefully surprise people, but what we're seeing, I think in this project that we've done together is that this kind of immersion, this kind of full sensory experience is also making its way into the automotive industry

Chi-Lan Lieu

Vera, would you agree with that?

Vera Schmidt

Absolutely, and especially this development that we're intensifying the future with all the interfaces and technologies we have.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Okay, so we're looking into the future now, because that's one of the topics that we're discussing. What future technology are you both most excited to work with?

Vera Schmidt

For us, it's visualizing information on different shapes, materials, movements that even the human gets part of the digital landscape, for us that's key, because only then we can start transforming [inaudible 00:37:39] medium to a digital membrane.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Okay, so if I may put it simply are you trying to say that digitalization will then become the essence, the lifeblood of the vehicle?

Vera Schmidt

Yes, absolutely. We think that digitalization it will spread like an aura around you, and it will become the DNA of the car.

Chi-Lan Lieu

That is so incredible, and Ben, what about you?

Ben Proctor

On Avatar, we try to take people on an incredible emotional journey through the medium of cinema, but I think it's also really interesting to look at AR and VR and all these other new media, and think about where they're going to go, and to see them starting to sort of convey the same sense of intense emotion, the same connection that we associate with Avatar. It's very exciting.

Chi-Lan Lieu

It is all very exciting. All right guys, thank you so much for your time, and especially for those insights. Ladies and gentlemen, the future is a very funny thing. Right after it occurs it becomes the past, but it has always fascinated artists and scientists to look far ahead in order to capture people's hopes, and desires, and to anticipate new technical possibilities. Now, I welcome two experts who are doing exactly that.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Ladies and gentlemen, our final expert talk before James Cameron hits the stage, please help me welcome Aashrita Kamath, Art Director of the Avatar films, and Alexander Mankowsky, Futurist at Mercedes-Benz. A question for you both, in what ways are the Avatar sequels and the Vision AVTR really pushing boundaries?

Aashrita Kamath

In the film making sense, I think pushing boundaries means to overcome a variety of creative, technological and monetary challenges to tell a story that completely captivates an audience.

Chi-Lan Lieu

For example?

Aashrita Kamath

One example would be in the Avatar sequels, we created an underwater world, and then, we developed the technology that allowed us to shoot motion capture underwater.

Chi-Lan Lieu

I think a lot of us have heard of that, right? Tell me what exactly were your tasks?

Aashrita Kamath

In the art department, we are responsible for giving the director's vision a tangible form as well as to create the overall look for the film. I believe that a well designed film, like the Avatar sequels are one that completely immerse an audience in the story, convincing them that the world of the film extends far beyond the confines of the set.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Alexander, how about you? As a scientist, in what context do you see this vehicle?

Alexander M

The context is we have to know what sustainability is, and a very good model to understand sustainability is the so called Gaia Model from James Lovelock. Gaia Model means that our biosphere is a kind of a system which maintains its own livable environment so that we can breathe air and the air is breathable, for us it's not an accident, it's not a given it's the biosphere doing that, then for this one is that it gives us the opportunity to feel this, to see this biosphere, like what Vera has told us here, to see the magnetic lines, the communication, what the biosphere is doing.

Chi-Lan Lieu

I feel like you're talking a little bit about meaningful technology, if you will. Can you go in a little bit deeper about what meaningful technology is?

Alexander M

Yeah, meaningful technology should be, or it should be a technology which connects us to nature, to the biosphere, because we are a part of this nature, we are part of the biosphere. It's not us, and it, yeah. A good technology would serve as a medium between this biosphere, which is us also, and what we are, because we as human beings, we are tool making beings. We need all this technology, and yeah, we are not naked, and so, we need the connection, and if you have the connection with the biosphere, then yeah, well, I can even say this circular economy should fit into this biosphere.

Chi-Lan Lieu

All right, so one last question. I mean, we're talking so much about the future. How do you see the future as a scientist?

Alexander M

Yeah, I would say yeah, we are working with many creative people about that, and that's fun. It is a togetherness between us, living plants, living life as it is, and mediated through as again, as technology. We'll see a picture of all of that.

Chi-Lan Lieu

That's very insightful. Well, thank you so much Aashrita, and thank you so much Alexander. All right. Are you guys ready? Thank you so much. Now, please help me welcome for our last expert talk. You've been waiting all night for him. He is none under none other than Academy Award winner James Cameron to the stage.

James Cameron

Hi there.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Jim, good to see you.

James Cameron

Thank you.

Chi-Lan Lieu

I'd like to welcome Ola back on the stage as well.

Ola Källenius

Thank you.

James Cameron

Hi Ola, how you doing?

Ola Källenius

Good to see you.

Chi-Lan Lieu

What a great couple right? Gentlemen, I'm sure everyone out here is wondering the same thing. What brought you two together, and how does the relationship, a collaboration between Avatar and Mercedes-Benz EQ makes sense? Jim.

James Cameron

I don't think it's obvious when you first hear about it, and it even wasn't obvious to me until I heard the vision, a two decade vision from Ola himself talking about this huge commitment that they've made to sustainability, and I think that shows such a leadership position, and so, many other companies are going to have to follow, but you're leading, you're doing it, and you've made this commitment, I believe from the heart, and you're not just doing it at the vehicle, kind of at the tailpipe by electrification, and fuel cells, and all that sort of thing, but you're doing it in the way you're going to manufacture the vehicles, and you're going to extend that back as you were saying to your suppliers, and all the way back through the supply chain, so it's a sort of total life cycle assessment of the entire process, and that's inspirational to me, because my main thing in life right now is sustainability, and I mean, true sustainability.

James Cameron

How are we going to do this? What's our future going to look like? And so, I think tonight is all about the future. I look at this vehicle here, I see the future, not just an automotive future with all the wonderful things that it could inspire that could feed back into the cars that are real production cars, and by the way, I was devastated to find out that I couldn't just order one, but apparently, we're ways off on that, but it's also an aspirational future. What kind of future do we want to have as human beings? Are we going to continue to be takers, or are we going to become caretakers? Are we going to protect nature? Are we going to protect the mother, the guy, a force that sustains us here on this planet? Are we going to turn our back on it at our peril?

James Cameron

And so, for a major manufacturing company like Mercedes to make this commitment, I think is just awesome, and should be celebrated, and to me, when I look at this car here, I see a beautiful car, and I love cars, and I see so many amazing innovative things, but I also see the physical manifestation of a philosophy, of an idea, of an emotional idea. I would go so far as to say a spiritual idea made manifest right in front of us, and that inspires me.

Chi-Lan Lieu

That's incredible. Ola can you talk a little bit about how your interests have aligned with Lightstorm and Jim?

Ola Källenius

Well, as I mentioned at the beginning of my speech, I've always been a film buff, so I've been watching your movies, huge fan of all these years, and of course, next to a great story which is essential for a hit for a good movie. What's fascinated me and impressed me is the use of technology. I've observed that back to the movies '80's, '90's, how technology have evolved and even understood from you, you have sometimes waited on executing a movie, because the technology is not yet there, and I had the chance to visit Lightstorm productions to kind of peek behind the scenes, how's the next Avatar movie going to be shot, an if you're in the business of technology, like car people you really eat, sleep and drink technology, and you get to peek into somebody else's kitchen, and see how they're doing it, I was blown away, so that innovative core is a perfect fit between the Avatar team and Mercedes-Benz.

Ola Källenius

And then, comes what Jim was talking about, sustainability. We have of course always tried to make our vehicle as efficient as possible. That's not the issue, but this major pivot to realize we are at a very important point in our development here, and do we want to sit back, and just see what happens, or do we want to be architects of that future in that sense with the first Avatar movie, and the whole philosophy behind that Lightstorm was ahead of us, but we're going in the same direction, so tech people understanding the importance of sustainability, it was really a perfect match for us.

Chi-Lan Lieu

That's incredible. Jim, I have to ask you, we've all been talking about that inner drive. As the creator of Avatar, the sequel that's going to explore the worlds a little bit more, what is your inner drive?

James Cameron

I'm driven by a couple of things. One is just my passion for storytelling. I love to tell stories, and I love to tell stories with images, so the perfect place for me is to be a filmmaker, and I've dedicated my life to that, but in recent years I've also dedicated myself to the cause of sustainability in many forms at first with energy, and then, with food choice, and so on the impact of agriculture, and so, on our environment, and it occurred to me that the perfect weight to fuse both of those powerful drives was to do more Avatar movies, because if you've seen the first one, you know that this is a film, and the sequels will follow in that same thematic vein that celebrates nature, and our place in it, and our connection to it.

James Cameron

I believe that the way that film work to some extent because of its beauty and its sense of wanting to be there, and wanting to ride those creatures, and fly through those mountains, and so on was it awoke in the viewer that sort of childlike sense of the wonder and the curiosity, and the joy in nature that we all have when we're kids, and then, as we grow up, and as the world grows up, and becomes more urban, and less rural, I grew up in a rural environment in Canada, but as we become more urban, we have this kind of nature deficit disorder that we're all collectively suffering from, and part of that is denial of what we're doing, and part of it is that we just sort of turn our backs on it, and so, I think that for us to survive here as a civilization on this finite world we have to embrace these ideas of sustainability, so that's what's driving me now. That's why I'm making the movies, because I'm naturally a storyteller. I'm naturally curious.

James Cameron

The other thing I love is innovation, technical innovation. I love it. I love creating new creatures, and all these new designs. I work with some of the best designers in the world. You got to meet Ben Proctor earlier. I have a really inspiring design team, but I like to create new technology as well, and I like to see something manifest itself on the screen that no one else frankly knows how to do yet, and we'll tell them all after we're done, but we won't tell them beforehand.

Chi-Lan Lieu

And, we always can never wait to hear about the technology that you've created for your storytelling. Now, speaking about your movies, I mean, first and foremost, they are highly entertaining like you were saying, right Ola? They are so great to watch, but they're also an incredible way you to communicate your message, your passion, for instance, about the Earth's environment, and its species, and can you talk about how you use the film Avatar to really reflect that passion?

James Cameron

Well, look, I think that you can have a preachy film, and you'll be preaching to an empty house. At first and foremost, first, second, and third, it has to be a good story, ideally, well told with good characters that you care about, and there's some kind of emotional connection, but clearly between the lines of the first Avatar film, and we're continuing in that vein is this respect for this deep love, and reverence for nature, and the system of nature that keeps everything in balance. When you see those big blue cat like people in Avatar, the Na'vi people, they awaken in us a kind of a respect, they remind us of our better selves. It's not really meant to be a story about the bad humans and the good Na'vi. It's about the best of humanity as represented by these Na'vi characters who kind of represent the more primal version of ourselves that knew how to live in balance, and now things are so out of balance.

James Cameron

And so, in the new films we'll be having good humans and bad humans, good Na'vi and bad Na'vi actually, and it's a question of values, it's a question of do you want to be a taker, or do you want to be a caretaker? Do you want to be a custodian? Do you want to be a steward? Do you want to aspire to a future where cars like this are possible, or a degraded future? We have that choice, and that's the choice that we need to make now relative to the world that we're going to be passing on to our children, our grandchildren and future generations, and so, I salute you, and your company for the commitment that you've made to that aspirational future.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Speaking about the respective industries that you both work on, you're both ahead of the class there. Why is constant innovation so important in both of these industries? Ola.

Ola Källenius

Well, we talked about what's next. That's the question we have been asking ourselves. Our founding fathers, they asked themselves that question. They created a new industry. They didn't improve the horse, or the horse here made it lighter or anything. They just broke new ground, and asked up what's next? So, that is really at the core of our DNA, to constantly think about that, and what did it give us? It gave us a fantastic gift, individual freedom, self-determined individual freedom, and that beautiful invention in a nice wrapping Gordon, that needs to be reinvented now, and that's why we're going from what we call modern luxury to sustainable, modern luxury.

Ola Källenius

We got to make the beautiful machine a sustainable, beautiful machine, and we're going to need all the creativity, all the ingenuity, every engineer in our company is going to have to dig deep because there are of course a lot of challenges on this road. Also, financial challenges, but if you put your mind to it, and you make up your mind that you're going to solve this problem, you probably will. If you don't, nothing's going to happen.

Chi-Lan Lieu

That's very true. Once you're dedicated you can do it. Jim, what about you? Why keep pushing in your respective industry? You've done pretty well, so why keep pushing, and when you're looking towards the future, what's next?

James Cameron

Okay, that's two questions, so the need for innovation, I think, my career trajectory is basically sort of living proof of the need for innovation. I look at the milestone films that I've made that were big hits. A big part of what attracted audiences to those movies was that sense of dreaming with your eyes wide open, whether it was the liquid metal guy in Terminator 2, or the intelligent water tentacle in the Abyss, or whatever it was. Those were literally things that were not possible the year before, that we willed into existence in order to tell that specific story, and now, of course, those tools are ubiquitous, and anybody can do those things now years later, so we have to constantly be looking ahead.

James Cameron

The universals of storytelling never change. Great characters, people that you can invest in, human emotion. That goes back to the Greeks, and all the way back to a thousand years to the Epic of Gilgamesh, but the specifics of what you see on the screen, and the journey that you're taking, that changes, and it's dynamic. I mean, the worst thing that can happen to an artist is to become irrelevant. To stay relevant, to stay surfing the crest of that wave, you have to change. Everything that I started out with as a filmmaker 37 years ago has changed, but the only thing that's still the same is the glass in the lens. We write onto it to a digital medium, everything is done in CG, it's all digital. All the things that I learned, my initial craft, gone completely, but the principle stays the same that you've got to ride that wave.

Chi-Lan Lieu

Ola, what about you? When you're looking to the future, what do you see as next?

Ola Källenius

Well, I see next to turning this into a sustainable machine. There're so many auto technologies that are working together now. We talked about connectivity in this case going all the way, more or less merging humans with the machine itself, so interface, but making it intuitive, it needs to be easy. You shouldn't have a PhD in computer science to understand how to do it. Sometimes we joke in our meetings, it needs to be understood by a five year old kid, or a board member at Mercedes, and-

Chi-Lan Lieu

Either or.

Ola Källenius

If it passes that test then we're probably good to go, and if I look around I'm really excited to see what's new here at the CES this year. If look around at what so many other companies are bringing to the party, and it's interesting to see, by the way, how many tech companies use the car to display their technologies. We got a little bit of co-creation going on here, and you could argue a car company as far as this proposition is concerned is the master integrator of all of that. Some of it we will of course invent ourselves, maybe the organic battery chemistry that we were talking about. Some of it we will find with other people, or we will take inspiration from other businesses, and then, move the game on to the next level. That's what drives us.

James Cameron

I see a future where we continue to co-evolve with our technology. Our technology is changing us, and we in turn reflect our needs into that technology, and we will merge, we will absorb it, and it'll just become such a natural part of our lives. It already has that we don't even think about it. A five-year-old Na'vi child can jump onto a banshee, and plug in, and fly, and so, the idea of making it so simple, and intuitive, and obvious that anyone can do it. I think that's the important thing. So much is possible now, but too much of it is complex at the user interface, and that needs to be cleaned up, and of course, there are always the tech nerds that love to learn all the hacks and the tricks, but I think the average person wants it to be invisible, wants it to be transparent.

James Cameron

And, it's pretty amazing when I sat in this car, and you put your hand on the control interface, and it just breathes. It seems alive. It's organic, and so, I think that our technology will become more organic, and more easy for us to interface, and so, this car is symbolic of that, and maybe some of the manifestations of the specifics won't show up for a few years in your future model lines, but you have to start with the gesture. You have to start with the idea.

Chi-Lan Lieu

I want to take this conversation to another realm here. Ola, actually let me in on a little secret. I don't mean to put you on the spot, but I hear you may have brought us a little something to show us about Avatar 2.

James Cameron

A couple of glimpses.

Chi-Lan Lieu

All right. Would you mind sharing it with everyone? Everyone here is super excited to see it.

James Cameron

Okay, well, I think it's too late they're running it. All right, so we're just going to go through-

Chi-Lan Lieu

What are we seeing here?

James Cameron

Well, I mean, well, I mean I think if I sum it up in the broad strokes I see a world that I want to go to. That's what we're trying to create. That's what we're trying to create with our designers, an aspirational world, because by falling in love with it you want to protect it, so you feel invested, and so, our world is beautiful. We take our inspiration from our world right here on earth, and it's still beautiful. Many parts of it are still spectacular, and we need to fight to protect that, and that's really the message of Avatar, that's why I thought I'd share some of images to give you a sense of what you might look forward to.

Chi-Lan Lieu

It's so incredible. Thank you so much for sharing that concept art. Did you guys love the concept art from Avatar 2? I mean, come on. That's so beautiful. All right gentlemen, thank you so much for your time. It was so insightful, and so enjoyable. Now, to wrap up the presentation, I am going to pass it to you, Ola who has just a few short words to share with you, so Ola, back to you.

Ola Källenius

Thank you Chi-Lan, and thank you Jim for joining us, and for this great partnership. Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you enjoyed the show just as much as we did. We believe that aiming high and thinking ahead is paramount in this process, in this transformation realm. We believe that inspiration and fascination are the most powerful drivers for change and progress. Our way is sustainable, modern luxury. Our tools are technology and innovation. The transformation of the automotive industry at large and society as a whole is something we look forward to. That's an attitude that we share with Jim and his team. We are quintessential tech optimists, and the Vision Advanced Vehicle Transformation is a symbol of that, and a reminder, the best is yet to come. Thank you very much, and have fun at the CES 2020.

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