SXSW 2018 in Austin: The Future is Unwritten – Bring Your Pens

Experience tomorrow today at me Convention

From A for autonomous driving and artificial intelligence, through C for culture, E for electric mobility, F for future technologies, L for leadership and N for networking – these and other topics have already become as much part of our everyday lives as the alphabet. Over 70,000 conference participants are looking from the present into the future at South by Southwest® (SXSW®), held in the Texan city of Austin from March 9 - 18. Mercedes-Benz, smart, the electromobility brand EQ, smart EQ fortwo and the mobility brands car2go, moovel, mytaxi and Blacklane will present their concepts for the future with dedicated activities and agendas from March 9 - 15 at Palm Park in Austin. Complementing this, me Convention offers inspiration, participation and networking for topics far beyond pure mobility, formats like "Mystery Talks by me Convention". A varied program with interesting content providing visitors around the Austin Convention Center some time out and comfort in style during the festival bustle.

Fairmont Hotel
Fairmont Austin, 101 Red River Street,
Austin, TX 78701äufer

The SXSW programmed "Intelligent Future Track" co-hosted by me Convention, will take place at the Fairmont Hotel. In September 2017, Mercedes-Benz organized the first me Convention in cooperation with SXSW during the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Germany. 

The Intelligent Future track shines a light on the numerous opportunities presented by the increasing integration of artificial intelligence into essential parts of our lives. Speakers will discuss the achievements and challenges that future technologies will bring about in medicine, communication, the environment, deep learning and autonomous mobility. At the same time the Concept EQ electric mobility ecosystem will illustrate the Mercedes-Benz way into the automotive future.

The me Convention locations at a glance

Palm Park

Palm Park, 711 E 3rd St, Austin, TX 78701
Program available at:
Open between 9 am and 10 pm

Mystery Talk by me Convention each day at 5:30 pm on the Pool Stage
Friday, March 9
at 6:30 – 7:30 pm Expert Talk Jan Frodeno & Guy Kawasaki at the Pool Stage
at 7:30 – 8:30 pm live concert with Capyac, tiny house of smart
Saturday, March 10 at 9 am Morning Run with Jan Frodeno

Palm Park is next to the Austin Convention Center, a short walk from the Fairmont. This will be the center piece of me Convention activities. This is where conference participants will find a place of calm to relax during the festival bustle. The Pool Stage at Palm Park will also act as the central venue of me Convention.

The festival atmosphere with food court, bar, as well as a lounge and other relaxing areas proved very popular with participants at me Convention in Frankfurt last autumn and can be newly experienced.

At the Pool Stage, visitors can follow Intelligent Future Track sessions, take part in meditation sessions and participate in TIDAL DJ sets. Mystery Talks by me Convention, held each day at 5.30 p.m., represent a particular highlight where the best SXSW speakers will gather each day for a discussion. The participants will only be announced 30 minutes prior to the start of the session.

The tiny house of smart at Palm Parks proves that there is room for urban life in the tightest of space – exemplified the smart brand. This is where guests can experience that minimalism can offer maximum experience. During the day visitors can enjoy an interactive playground featuring the "smart ready to services" around the venue, and in the evenings there will be concerts and DJ sets on the roof of tiny house of smart.

Each brand will showcase their products at interactive cubes throughout the entire site, where visitors can obtain information about different topics and exhibits. The cubes showcase all kinds of different products: vehicles such as the electrically driven Concept EQ, Mercedes-AMG GT R, S-Class Cabriolet, Mercedes-Benz AMG E 63 S Sedan and Vision Van; the new MBUX infotainment system; the TIDAL music streaming service; and innovations from mobility service providers moovel, car2go, Blacklane and MyTaxi round out the exhibition. Under the umbrella of "On the edge to autonomous mobility", the four mobility providers present their portfolios in the Mobility Cube in Palm Park. Outside the cube, visitors can discover the world through the eyes of an autonomous vehicle. This is made possible by the current moovel Lab project "Who Wants to Be a Self-Driving Car". Equipped with sensors and a 3D camera whose information is visualized in a virtual reality glasses, the visitor steers the unconventional vehicle through the park.

On Saturday March 10 at 9 am running enthusiasts can experience the "Morning Run" with Iron Man and Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador Jan Frodeno.

Hilton Hotel
Address: Hilton Austin, 500 E 4th St, Austin, TX 78701
At the Hilton Hotel smart forms part of the 10th SXSW Accelerator Pitch, taking place as part of the Startup & Tech Sectors Tracks. For years the brand has been committed to fostering start-up companies and has also initiated its own smart urban pioneers contest.

Victorian Houses
Address: Victorian Houses next to Palm Park
606 E 3rd St, Austin, TX 78701ändig.bewachsen.mich
Open between 9 am and 8 pm
Access for accredited journalists only

One of the most important assets during a busy convention is a quiet place with tasty coffee to rest or work. The Mercedes media lounge provides casual workspaces and comforting hospitality for journalists and influencers. The laid-back atmosphere offers an ideal environment for a productive time-out or networking. Our daily sessions will give you thought-provoking impulses and provide you a platform to exchange ideas and start a conversation with experts from our company, as well as other like-minded attendees.

Daimler AG speakers on the official SXSW agenda in chronological order

Wilko Stark
Wilko Stark, Vice President Daimler and Mercedes-Benz Cars Strategy and Product Planning & Head of CASE/EVA (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric/ Electric Vehicle Architecture)
Fairmont Hotel, Intelligent Future Track
Keynote "5 Things You Didn't Know About Self-Driving Cars"
Saturday March 10, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Rasheq Zarif
Senior Manager for Business Innovation at Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America (MBRDNA)
Hilton Hotel, Startup + Tech Sectors Track
Panel "Corporate/Startup Dealmaking: Ending the Wheelspin"
Saturday March 10, 2018 at 12.30 pm

Britta Seeger
Member of the Daimler AG Board of Management,
responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales
Fairmont Hotel, Workplace Track
Keynote "30k Employees & Mother of 3: Pushing Change & Digitization"
Saturday March 10, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Alexander Mankowsky
Daimler AG Futurologist
Panel „Humanizing Autonomy"
Fairmont Hotel, Intelligent Future Track
Saturday March 10, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Andrew Hill
Director, Machine Learning & Predictive UX
Mercedes-Benz Research & Development
Designing the Next Wave of Natural Language and AI
Fairmont Hotel, Intelligent Future Track
Sunday March 11, 2018 at 11:00 am

Lori Heino-Rover
Director, Business Innovation and Strategy and Program Management Office, Daimler Trucks North America
Hilton Hotel, Startup + Tech Sectors Track
Trucking Tech: Regulations, Ridesharing and Robots
Sunday, March 12, 2018 at 2:00 pm

About South by Southwest
SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, TX, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features conference programming, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2018 will take place March 9-18, 2018.

About the me Convention
The me Convention is presented under the claim #createthenew. It provides an open and inspiring platform for creative people from many different industries and has a clear focus on dialogue, interaction, networking and entertainment. The contents of the me Convention cover important topics for shaping the future. Together with SXSW, Mercedes-Benz has identified five relevant topics derived from its CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Service, Electric) future strategy: New Creation, New Urbanism, New Leadership, New Realities and New Velocity.

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