Natural innovation ready for serial production

The automotive industry has always been a guarantee for growth and innovation. One of the pioneers in this field was Carl Benz, who in 1886 invented the first vehicle to contain a combustion engine. On 5 August 1888, his wife Bertha took the first cross-country drive from Mannheim to Pforzheim.

After a slow start, it developed at a swift pace: Carl Benz’s first company in Mannheim, which he called an “iron foundry and mechanical workshop”, soon grew into an internationally successful company.

The automotive industry has turned to the animal kingdom for inspiration in its search for new trends. The reason being that what has long since been provided and successfully implemented by nature can also be decisive for the future of the automobile.

This is why the trunk fish, which lives in the Western Pacific and is a member of the puffer fish family, has served as the inspiration for a modern, fuel-saving car: the Mercedes Bionic Car. Engineers at Daimler AG have taken this plump but extremely agile freshwater fish as a model for developing a car with an optimal aerodynamic shape and the greatest possible stability. They have been successful. The body of this bionic car is significantly lighter than those of conventional vehicles, and the energy savings are considerable.

Nanotechnology and bionics will continue to revolutionise the car market – for example, by optimising the combustion process and exhaust gas cleaning process or by reducing weight. Thanks to innovative production methods, vehicles will exist that are made purely of carbon. As a material, carbon offers many benefits: It is very strong but extremely light, it can be turned into almost any shape, it does not rust, and it can absorb a great deal of energy during a collision.

Mobility: One of VCC’s investment markets.