BARCELONA, Spain, February 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
The car of the future at the MWC
The company partners with the popular music-discovery app to safely allow users to identify music through SEAT DriveApp
XMOBA is created, a new company which identifies, tests, markets and invests in business models related to future mobility
SEAT explores collaboration possibilities with the Barcelona Council to turn the city into the European hub of 5G networks
SEAT is set to become the first carmaker in the world to integrate Shazam, one of the world's most popular apps, which is used by hundreds of millions of users to magically connect with the world around them. This was announced today by company President Luca de Meo at a press conference on the first day of the Mobile World Congress. The integration will become operative starting this April in the brand's cars via the SEAT DriveApp for Android Auto.
The partnership will enable SEAT customers to easily identify their favourite songs while driving in a completely safe manner thanks to the safety features available in SEAT DriveApp. With this move, the brand is taking a further step in its goal of providing an experience that is increasingly simple and personalised, and that causes less distraction to drivers. "For all music lovers, being able to identify songs is going to be at their fingertips. Integrating Shazam will enable us to continue making progress in our goal of delivering maximum safety for our customers and achieving zero road accidents" assured de Meo. In his presentation, he added that "attending the MWC not only allows us to showcase our latest technological breakthroughs, but it also gives us the opportunity to connect and learn from other benchmark companies in the sector and make future scenarios a reality."
Future mobility was precisely another major topic of de Meo's speech, who took the opportunity of the opening day of the congress to make an exclusive announcement in this regard, namely the creation of XMOBA, a new company with the main goal of identifying, testing, marketing and investing in projects that contribute to promoting solutions that improve future mobility.
In order to do this, the new entity will work independently to identify new trends and business models and implement pilot projects through investments or the development of initiatives that offer solutions to current and future mobility challenges. "The creation of XMOBA is framed within SEAT's reorganisation as a corporate holding of different companies. XMOBA joins Metropolis:Lab Barcelona or CUPRA, the sporty new brand we launched just a few short days ago. With these initiatives we recreate the spirit of startups at a great company like SEAT" de Meo pointed out.
XMOBA is beginning its activity by spearheading two major initiatives. One is 'justmoove', the first project launched by the new company that will be available to all drivers. It is a platform that integrates a set of services for users to reserve and pay for parking, tolls and refuelling, among other options. The other, the carsharing company Respiro recently acquired by SEAT, will become wholly owned by the new entity, which will centralise and coordinate its activities. Not only will XMOBA offer its services to SEAT users, but it will also develop compatible solutions for the general public.
5G technology, the key to the future of the connected car
SEAT also announced at a press conference about its intention to get involved in one of the most important projects that the city of Barcelona is going to take on - to become the 5G technology capital. Promoted by the Catalan government, the Barcelona Council and Mobile World Capital, among others, the initiative aims to turn the city into the European 5G lab.
The purpose of the brand's participation in the project is to work in collaboration with the stakeholders involved to develop 5G technology in a prototype connected car that will be tested next year in the city. "We want Barcelona to be the place where these kinds of initiatives are developed before anywhere else, as this is the fifth most innovative European city and the 13th in the World, and we're here to move this process forward. We have also begun implementing collaboration agreements with Telefónica to conduct research into the benefits of 5G technology for connected cars" declared de Meo.
The SEAT stand at the MWC, the epicentre of technological innovation
SEAT, which has clad the façade of its future Casa SEAT in the centre of Barcelona with a canvas covering to announce its participation at the congress, is using the MWC as the backdrop to reveal its vision of the future of driving and its commitment to safety. In this sense, in addition to the integration of Shazam, SEAT is also presenting its successful SEAT Leon Cristobal concept car, the 'guardian angel' of drivers. This prototype, which aims to achieve zero road accidents, is equipped with more than 15 safety assistants, whose functions can contribute to reducing the main causes of traffic accidents by up to 40%, including distractions, drowsiness, excess speed or alcohol consumption.
Furthermore, the main area of the stand is showcasing the SEAT Connected Experience2.0, an impressive simulator that will give a 360° view of the future of digitisation that the brand is developing. Users can access the simulator by creating a SEAT ID to personalise their information and the configuration of the car. They can also introduce their mobility routines in the system, and the simulator will offer them the best transport options in the city of Barcelona. Seated at the wheel of the simulator, visitors will get have an interactive experience showing them what future driving will be like with the breakthroughs in connectivity and driving assistants that the brand is currently working on.
In addition, the brand is also going to be present outside the stand. This year's MWC has a new space that will give visitors the chance to unwind after the intense activities of each day of the congress. SEAT and Primavera Sound, who recently announced a collaboration agreement whereby SEAT is going to become a strategic partner for this year's edition of the festival, are kicking off the Mini Primavera Sound MWC, a cool place decorated with urban art featuring cool afterwork music.
SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting 80% of its vehicles, and is present in over 80 countries through a network of 1,700 dealerships. In 2017, SEAT achieved worldwide sales of nearly 470,000 vehicles.
The SEAT Group employs close to 14,700 professionals at its three production centres - Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza, Leon and Arona. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca and the Toledo in the Czech Republic, the Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii in Slovakia.
The multinational has a Technical Centre, which operates as a knowledge hub that brings together 1,000 engineers who are focussed on developing innovation for Spain's largest industrial investor in R&D. SEAT already features the latest connectivity technology in its vehicle range and is currently engaged in the company's global digitalisation process to promote the mobility of the future.