Mercedes-Benz official partner of the Wheelchair Basketball World Championships: Experiencing inclusion with Mercedes-Benz

19.
July 2018
Stuttgart/Hamburg

Stuttgart/Hamburg. Mercedes-Benz is supporting the Wheelchair Basketball World Championships (WBWC) as an official partner and will be presenting its comprehensive range of driving assistance systems and ex-factory driving aids.

After the championships, as we all know, is before the championships. And so the northern German city of Hamburg is now getting ready for the second-biggest event in disability sport. As the host city for the Wheelchair Basketball World Championships, which will be held from 16 to 26 August at the Inselpark arena, the city state will be drawing the crowds to a global tournament that will be fully accessible to wheelchair athletes as well as their fans.

Mercedes-Benz has been supporting the World Championships as an official partner right from the start. The Stuttgart-based car manufacturer's innovation hub 'Lab1886' has been focusing for many years on the issue of inclusion and the project "Ex-factory driving aids" is one of those that has been taken through to series implementation. The issue of inclusion at the World Championships in the company's home country will relying on the innovative appeal of the Mercedes-Benz brand. Mobility throughout the World Championships will be ensured by Mercedes-Benz Hamburg's More Mobility Center, with a fleet of five V-Class vehicles providing VIP shuttle services. The V-Class is the most spacious member of the Mercedes-Benz passenger car line-up, with places for up to eight people. A further 28 Sprinter panel vans will take care of transporting the wheelchairs.

The extensive Mercedes-Benz outdoor display area, just outside the event venue, will allow interested parties to examine in detail the ex-factory driving aids that are available from Mercedes-Benz. Instructors will use the V-Class people mover and the brand-new A-Class to showcase the many ex-factory driving aids available (www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz/ex-factory-driving-aids/) and to talk about the company's wide range of driving assistance systems.

"We are working every day in our Lab1886 innovation hub to develop new and multi-faceted solutions for the mobility of tomorrow.Daimler AG's ambition with these "ex-factory driving aids" is to enable people with physical disabilities to enjoy more individual freedom and more independence in their day-to-day lives. The driving aids are just one of many projects to have come out of our Lab1886 and we are really looking forward to being able to present our solutions for people with restricted physical ability at the Wheelchair Basketball World Championships", explains Susanne Hahn, Head of Lab1886 Global at Daimler AG.

World-class sport, trying out disability sport and finding out about Mercedes-Benz special vehicles off the court go hand in hand. Visitors may be tempted to linger longer by art events on the subject of "The car of the future", the offer of light refreshments or a chance to meet wheelchair basketball professional and Mercedes-Benz Brand Ambassador Sebastian Magenheim.

"We are fully motivated and really looking forward to the World Championships coming up soon, here in our home country. Our fans have so far always managed to get a fantastic atmosphere going in the halls and that's one of the things I'm looking forward to most. It's great that Mercedes-Benz is here as an official partner. As a Brand Ambassador and driver of a GLA optimally geared to my requirements, I enjoy the benefits of these vehicles on a day-to-day basis", reveals Germany national team member Sebastian Magenheim.

Although the focus will of course be on the 96 matches, one of the declared objectives is to increase awareness of disability sport and to demonstrate inclusion. The Stuttgart manufacturer's intention is to give people with physical disabilities more individual freedom and to help enhance their enjoyment of life. So it's understandable that mobility during the tournament will also be ensured by a fleet of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Around the world, some 86,000 people in 106 countries are actively involved in playing wheelchair basketball, making it the most well-known and at the same time most attractive disability sport. The entertainment value is high, with even spectators with no prior experience of the sport enjoying the fascination of screeching wheels as the wheelchairs undertake spectacular high-speed manoeuvres.

About ex-factory driving aids

The Mercedes-Benz range of ex-factory driving aids offer many people the chance of independent mobility. The successful model sprang from Daimler AG's ideas lab – Lab1886 – and is geared towards the individual requirements and wishes of people with restricted physical ability. From steering aids and power steering systems through hand control units to entry and exit aids or pedal adaptations, numerous Mercedes-Benz models are modified to suit the specific customer at the Car Modification Center at the Sindelfingen plant. This makes it possible to offer individual driving aids on an ex-factory basis, without the need for time-consuming retrofit processes.

Ex-factory driving aids can be ordered together with the new vehicle from any Mercedes-Benz company-owned sales and service outlet or any Mercedes-Benz authorised agent. Germany has 24 More Mobility Centers with specially trained sales staff able to advise prospective buyers with disabilities.

About Lab1886

Lab1886 is the innovation laboratory of Daimler AG, with its own incubator. As well as state-of-the-art hardware and software, it provides expert staff who can support the Daimler employees through the process of implementation. The aim is to get from the idea to the product or business model more rapidly. Lab1886 operates at four locations on three continents: Stuttgart and Berlin in Germany, Beijing in China, and Atlanta in the USA. Under working conditions similar to those at a start-up, Daimler is placing its faith in swarm intelligence at Lab1886. The goal is to get the ideas of individual employees, teams and business units off the ground quickly. To this end, Lab1886 has all necessary infrastructures and skills as well as ten years of experience in the implementation of new business models. This freedom allows employees to work in shallow hierarchies and a creative atmosphere.

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