Story-Telling versus Tech-Lingo-Bullshit OR When 40-Year-Old Men Build Cars for 40-Year-Old Men

At the Audi Summit 2017 in Barcelona the German manufacturer presented its new Audi A8. And everything looks impressive, but what the audience seems to miss is the reason: why?

But before we start with the criticism, here is the video starting at 4:40 and lasting almost four minutes.

The voice-over praises a whole list of features in a stakato of technical lingo, which leaves the observer breathless and exhausted. Here is the list of vocabulary and abbreviations that the video throws at us in less than four minutes:

zFAS, MMI, highly automated driving, Traffic jam pilot, Central driver assistance control (zFAS), Audi AI remote park pilot, dynamic all-wheel steering, sporty driving with unwavering suspension, active suspension with MHEV drivetrain, electro-mechanically operated suspension system, smooth vehicle body response, V6 turbo engines, 3.0 engines, TDI, TFSI, belt alternator starter (BAS), mild hybrid technology, A8 L e-tron, new MMI touch-response, and swarm intelligence of the Audi-fleet.

Vorsprung durch Technik is seen as a machine-gun-style stakato of tech-lingo-bullshit. But no mention, why we need it. Who needs it becomes more obvious: the same 40-year-old men who built the car. The driver in the video is male and the same age range.

This is not only exhausting for the audience, it’s also lacking the answer to the Why. What does this mean for people, for the environment, for our way of being mobile and connecting with others? And this is the very reason, why German manufacturers look like relics of the past, of being stuck in history. The focus is solely on technology, but not on the larger reason, the epic meaning, the question what mobility means for humans. And precisely for those humans who are not those 40-year-old men. Latter ones are the minority

It doesn’t come as a surprise that even the Audi Summit 2017-audience in Barcelona seems not knowing what to do with this video. They only began applauding timidly after the moderator started his praises after the video with the words:  “Just incredible, ladies and gentlemen, just beautiful.” SIGH…

As a contrast here the story that Google-subsidiary Waymo is telling. If you see the story that is being told here, what emotions and feelings are depicted, and who is in the story’s focus, then it becomes apparent why so many people feel touched. And: the video has no need to use any tech-lingo.

This article has also been published in German.

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