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This article is the very first in a series of publications that will systematically appear here, on the Impact Blog. We hope to show you that the innovation and disruption ecosystem is, in fact, a “communicating vessels” situation, where every new breakthrough heavily influences the whole system. Every article or commentary will be an in-depth analysis of an individual branch, adding yet another piece of the puzzle to the big picture.
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Rethinking Auto Mobility – a random selection of the future trends presented at IAA 2017
Towards Change. This year’s Frankfurt motor show (IAA) has made Angela Merkel’s view on the German automotive industry crystal clear: it is high time to clean up, electrify, and make it easier for consumers to make the switch. This year’s theme, “Future now,” has been clearly dedicated to automotive transformation.
Electrification – IAA’s Primus inter pares. Electric cars could be seen virtually anywhere. The most eye-catching ones were surely the concept cars – Audi’s mammoth ‘no pedals, no steering wheel’ Aicon, an Electric Mini Concept, EQA by Mercedes-Benz or the refreshed BMW i3S. Volkswagen’s new ID Buzz, an electric version of the world’s best-loved hippiemobile, plucked at our nostalgic heartstrings. Additionally, each car producer promised they would have at least one electrified version of every model by the mid-2020s.
Hi there, hydrogen. Mercedes-Benz family is doubly electrifying: it is set to combine innovative fuel-cell and battery technology in the form of a plug-in hybrid GLC F‑CELL. Between now and 2022, Daimler intends to bring out ten battery-electric vehicles. It will also offer a comprehensive e-mobility ecosystem under the EQ brand.
Boschisation at its best. Bosch has developed eAxle – an electric axle-drive system which can be fitted into small cars, SUVs, and even light commercial vehicles. This solution will save car manufacturers having to develop their own – and generate sales worth billions for Bosch. Series production is planned for 2019.
Additionally, Bosch has joined forces with Daimler to make automated valet parking a reality. Using a smartphone function, drivers can now automatically park their cars in their assigned spots.
Infrastructure. Siemens exhibited an impressive array of solutions surrounding the topics of charging technology for electric vehicles, intelligent roads, smart parking, and networking on freeways.
US tech giant Qualcomm wooed Frankfurt Motor Show attendees with a presentation on dynamic electric vehicle charging (DEVC). With DEVC, charging pads are embedded beneath road surfaces and energized by power stations on the roadside. This way, electric cars will be charged while driving along the road. Qualcomm expects such technology to roll out in 10 to 15 years.
Empowering movement. Navigation technology company, TomTom (TOM2) officially launched and presented its real-time EV charging service. It helps EV drivers to make informed decisions about when and where to charge their vehicles, reducing range anxiety.
New Mobility World. This official event of the IAA represents the broad diversity of future mobility and explores mobility’s newest horizons including real-time mapping, augmented reality or advanced materials. On 30,000 square meters, more than 180 exhibitors presented their innovations and discussed future issues in over 200 events and conferences. The participants included CEOs and board members from automobile manufacturers, as well as the G7 transport ministers and founders of successful new mobility startups.
Air Taxis, Flying Cars & Manned Drones. AeroMobil – the leading flying car designer – exhibited their latest product: a breath-taking, high-technology luxury vehicle. The commercial team officially started pre-orders at the show; first deliveries are expected by 2020.
Facebook’s offensive. “I come with very good news. We are the only company in Silicon Valley that’s not building a car,” said Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg jokingly. Still, she announced that Facebook will join an urban mobility test project in Munich, as well as sponsor a new university in Berlin focused on digital product development.
The end of Motor Shows and the birth of Auto Tech Shows. Motor shows seem to be losing a lot of traction with manufacturers globally. Tesla, Volvo, and Aston Martin’s non-appearance was nothing new, but Nissan, Peugeot, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Mitsubishi and Infiniti’s no-shows must have shocked the organizers. Ford was the only American manufacturer present in Frankfurt.
As Facebook’s Sandberg pointed out, no company on its own can tackle all challenges that come with digitalization. The new normal will focus heavily on connectivity, user interfaces, and end-to-end computing platforms that enable autonomous driving to make it safe, enjoyable, and productive.
Source: Impact Research Hub (click here to read the full article)