IAA: How the future rolls

The IAA - the 2017 International Motor Show - is not only a must for car fans! We as event professionals also have the opportunity there to go in search of trends and the event topics of tomorrow. And there are some of them this year.

E-Mobility made in China

This year the car brands from China were very present. Around 30 companies came to Frankfurt. They want to take off worldwide with electrically powered cars. The necessary motivation comes from their own country: sooner rather than later internal combustion engines will be phased out in China. A current draft law envisages that as early as next year eight per cent of all vehicles produced in the country will be powered by electricity or hybrid technology. Automobile associations around the world are concerned about this plan and possible fines. At the same time, numerous new Chinese car manufacturers are developing electric vehicles. They see their chance in this segment, because even established producers still have to push ahead with the development of the necessary technologies.

So far, most Chinese products are still on the domestic market, but in less than five years' time, Europe and the USA could be taking their turn. The luxury brand Wey from Great Wall is daring to the next step and plans to sell 70,000 electric and hybrid vehicles this year. Some buyers are also expected in Germany by 2018 at the latest. But Wey was not launched worldwide until April. One of the biggest issues in e-mobility remains reach. Here, too, there is always progress: for example, plans the Chinese start-up Thunder Power for 2020, the market launch of an SUV with a range of 700 kilometres and a charging time of a few hours.

Electrical change is everywhere

It is not only Chinese car manufacturers who are focusing on e-mobility. From the concept drawing to the finished model, we have also discovered the well-known brands. The technological shift towards e-mobility can no longer be stopped. Peter Hartung from automotive supplier Rheinmetall knows this too
Automotive: "Our industry is preparing for this. Diesel engines, for example, will only make sense in the future from certain cubic capacities upwards, which are installed in larger vehicles such as SUVs. Hybrids and e-vehicles will increase massively in the smaller vehicle classes. But since we have already booked orders in this segment for over 500 million euros, this does not worry us", he told us at the fair.

In addition to vehicle propulsion, networking is also one of the major themes of the IAA, in line with the motto "Experience the future". BMW is an example of this with its claim: "The future is now". With its electric models, the car manufacturer is clearly represented on Germany's roads in purely visual terms and intends to 25 other such vehicles on the market. At an evening event with Thomas Gottschalk, it also became clear how important autonomous driving is for the company.

The future rolls towards us by itself

Much is already possible in the field of autonomous driving. We were able to find this out with Velodyne LiDAR. The company from Silicon Valley offers laser technology with which Google, among others, equips its test cars. At the IAA, the possible applications of the devices were demonstrated using a bus from the company NAVYA. The ARMA model drives without driver area. For this purpose, several sensors are attached to the car, which communicate with each other and can thus safely navigate the bus through cities, factory sites or hospitals. The latest generation of the technology is more compact and less expensive. The possible applications and the interest are thus increasing further.

Our young talents can be happy

Not only under the bonnet, but also behind the wheel the next generation will be exciting. Microcar is also represented at the IAA. With these small cars, young people from the age of 16 (in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Brandenburg even from the age of 15) and with an AM moped driving licence are on the road - at a maximum speed of 45 km/h. The vehicles are therefore suitable for rural areas and training companies.

The Me Convention enriches the IAA

Mercedes also looked to the future last weekend. At the Me Convention, IAA visitors (with additional tickets) could take part in workshops, discussions and lectures. The aim: inspiration for new ideas. The organiser Mercedes almost seemed to be on the sidelines. The event was positively received by Facebook boss Sherly Sandberg and astronaut Buzz Aldrin with its casual manner, swings and appearances. This could soon lead to more trade fairs being designed.

There's something missing, isn't there?!

During our visit to the IAA, we missed some car brands that are usually to be found at the IAA: Volvo, Nissan, Peugeot, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Mitsubishi, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Opel, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Abarth, Jeep and Tesla had already announced in advance that they would be in not participating this year. Many of the manufacturers consider other fairs to be more suitable or have given other strategic reasons for their cancellation. Tesla does not see itself as a classic car manufacturer with its electric cars. Nissan also wants to focus even more on electric mobility and was already represented at this year's CeBit. More exclusive formats are planned for further model presentations. This is to prevent an event from being lost at a major trade fair. The same applies to Volvo, which decided to do so years ago, per continent only at one fair to exhibit.

Our conclusion

The market has developed. "Electric mobility for everyone" has become tangible. Work on the previous shortcomings in range, infrastructure and speed is in full swing. Demand is apparently there and a future with a disproportionately high number of electric vehicles on the road is noticeably close.

What does this mean for an event agency like Full Moon Event? We are excited and are ready for launches and vehicle productions. Further training in the aforementioned sector is being considered and a close observation of the market is important in order to be able to react accordingly. We never run out of creativity. A full moon electric fleet is also conceivable in the future.

A trip with an electronic chauffeur from Stuttgart to Frankfurt still feels like the future. And this is not just because of the daily rush hour traffic on the motorways, but much more because of a feeling of trust in a computer and the security it provides. We are still letting time pass here. Until then we say: We prefer to drive ourselves!





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