Incidentally, it is not without irony that it was an Austrian, a native of a country known for a slower pace of life, who refined a method of mobility enabling movement at more or less the speed of light without having to move from the spot. Alexander Mankowsky is the „knowledge engineer” at Mercedes‑Benz Group AG, where he is in charge of research on the future. His job is to turn technological utopias into realities. „Ultimately, we are already living in the future,” he says. In addition to the visions that have yet to come to fruition („Where’s my jetpack?”, he chuckles) and those in which there is still much progress to be made (video chat, maglev technology, artificial intelligence), there is one category that he finds particularly exciting: when fantastical ideas come ever closer to materialising – such as autonomous driving. In recent times, it’s scientific reality which has been providing creative minds with futuristic material to work with.