The future holds both opportunities and challenges. New business models are emerging and the traditional transportation ecosystem is under pressure. To handle what is to come, Smart Engineering Lab, a brand new part of R&D Digital Office, has been launched. “We want to keep our world-class employees and also look for new skills. To succeed, we need to challenge how we work today in order to optimize for speed. We can only do that with competence that traditionally wouldn’t see Scania as their employer. That needs to change, and that's why we started Smart Engineering Lab,” says Magnus Lidström, Digital Officer at R&D.
Karl Ingerstam is team leader for the lab. “We develop software, but as short-term projects. We receive suggestions from all over Scania and choose what we think is the most interesting and beneficial for the company. Then we put all our effort into it for a maximum of 12 weeks to build as much as possible.”
First project: VR collaboration environment
The lab is a way to improve innovation but also to explore new ways of doing things: to take ideas and make them proof of concept. Lately, the department has been working on a VR environment that will help employees meet and work together without needing to travel. A place where you can decide to meet in a workshop, look at an engine, and see if suggested changes will work. Ingerstam says it was a dream to start the lab, and that it is mostly about product development and finding new IT tools. “It’s really inspiring!”
Connected and smarter surroundings
Because it’s such a new department at Scania, the focus has been on getting started rather than creating an environment that suits their name. But they are working on it. “We should be connected. It’s not all about having work tasks that are fun, but also about improving, and making our surroundings smarter.”
Of the people working at the lab, no two share the same background. “We're not looking only at engineers—we have all kinds of skills, like experience from graphics design and game developers.”
Ingerstam is proud of how far they’ve come in such a short time. “Smart engineering lab is a part of the future. This is a new and exciting way to work with technology. It gives great people possibilities within innovation.”