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Beyond Cars: IAA Mobility - Revolutionary & Eco-Friendly – that’s the Future of Sustainable Mobility

posted on 9/6/2023
IAA Mobility 2023 - Experience Connected Mobility

When leaving home, we no longer simply jump in the car. Perhaps our journey starts by taking the kids to kindergarten with the cargo bike. Then we swap to car sharing, picking up a colleague from the airport for a meeting. Finally, an e-scooter trip back to pick up the kids and bike, stopping for an ice cream on the way home. Mobility is no longer single choice – it’s about selecting from many mobility choices.

Reflecting this new world is IAA Mobility. Before moving to Munich in 2021, the show – still under the name IAA – was held in Frankfurt (Main) for almost 70 years. In the Bavarian city, it was easier to make the show more accessible to a wider audience, including a younger target group, since it could be moved to the city centre in addition to the exhibition halls. The new title “IAA Mobility” also demonstrates the expanded concept that mobility encompasses much more than just automobiles. Today it reflects the plethora of mobility choices at our front doors and the variety of businesses and technologies making them possible. Driving this change is the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enabling us to meet our global net-zero targets. After all, 68 percent of the world’s population will live in urban centres by 2050, up from around 55 percent today (United Nations), and it’s clear our cities already need new mobility approaches.

One element of this change lies with traditional mobility manufacturers transitioning their existing offerings to clean energy sources. But this alone is not enough. Society is changing with consumers looking to use vehicles when needed, not necessarily owning them, and corporate fleet managers aligning transport needs with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals.

Technology – Powering the Change in Mobility

Enabling these changes involves semiconductors, battery technology, new materials, clean energy generation, and software. Climb into any of today’s vehicles, and the digital revolution is evident. The instrument panel is now a screen offering dials in various styles and colours, with intuitive touch interfaces greeting us like our smartphones. Everything is electronic. Underpinning this change is software, offering total flexibility. Thus, every vehicle produced can be a passenger car, a carshare, or managed as part of a corporate fleet.

Mobility options can also be integrated into an app. Carsharing sits alongside e-scooters and e-bikes, interlinked via 5G cellular networks to our smartphones. We know where our mobility choices are, their available range, and the optimal route to our destination. On the ‘backend,’ artificial intelligence (AI) scrapes the data to determine how we can better serve the mobility needs of users and extend the working life of these transportation solutions.

There’s No Eco Without an Ecosystem

That’s why IAA Mobility attracts such a diverse range of exhibitors. Alongside vehicles are software providers, semiconductor vendors, autonomous driving experts, bicycle manufacturers, and connectivity providers: a complete ecosystem of people and businesses that deliver innovations and technologies to bring about the low-carbon changes we demand.

Startups have their own platform, receiving the chance to highlight their cutting-edge approaches. At this exciting inflection point in mobility transformation, each is exploring its niche to offer something to improve personal transport or logistics.

For example, there are those developing solar-powered EVs for last-mile deliveries, responding to the growth in online shopping. Others are optimising the electronics, ensuring that battery life and range are extended. Hydrogen is another important topic, with exhibitors demonstrating fuel cells that can power vehicles and generate clean energy to charge e-mobility batteries.

Cars appear to be driving through a smartphone on a road in the forest

A Clear Path to Decarbonisation

Businesses can have a considerable impact on decarbonisation, with large mobility fleets operating in multiple countries. In fact, according to Alphabet’s European Fleet Emissions Monitor (EFEM), 64 percent of fleet managers highlight the importance of emission reduction for their businesses and future fleet choices. But it’s challenging to know if the choices are making the impact intended. In addition, regulators are expecting them to be clear on reporting the results of their ESG activities.

The EFEM also shows that companies lack a holistic monitoring tool for this purpose. To combat this, Alphabet, in collaboration with Plan A, has launched a carbon accounting, monitoring, and emissions reduction tool, the Alphabet Carbon Manager. This software-as-a-service (SaaS) hub enables targets to be set, data collection and emissions calculations, decarbonisation planning, and compliant reporting.

Mobility – Much More Than Cars

Road transport makes up a quarter of the EU’s total carbon emissions, offering significant potential for tackling our path to net zero by 2030. But it’s not all about improving cars. As IAA Mobility demonstrates, it’s about innovation across the entire mobility ecosystem. Individuals can act locally to contribute to this change. However, the choices businesses make will have the most significant impact through their approaches to leasing and broadening their vision of what mobility means. Sustainability and digitalization by everyone, from established players to agile startups, will all contribute to tomorrow’s improved mobility landscape.

IAA Mobility is more than a trade fair. It’s a space to explore sustainable mobility and formulate visionary ideas. Join the fair from the 5th to the 10th of September in the Open Space in downtown Munich or at the Summit (Messe München).

Portrait of Claudia Bauer, International Marketing Communications Manager

Claudia Bauer

International Marketing, Communications Manager

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