By T Murrali
The recently-concluded 67th IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018 had more exhibitors and world premieres with focus on digitisation, connectivity, automation and electric mobility. The number of exhibitors increased from about 2,000 from 52 countries in 2016 to 2,174 from 48 countries. Even then electric mobility and digitisation were the central topics. But now there is a crucial difference: in 2016 it was mostly concept vehicles and studies that were on display. In 2018 large numbers of new e-vehicles, ready for series production, were on display; a perceptible progress from ambitious concepts to tangible reality.
Bernhard Mattes, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), indicated this at the opening ceremony. He said: “This IAA show has more than discussions and, more than anything, it delivers.” It was also in the theme of the current edition: `Driving Tomorrow’, concretising the future challenges of digitisation, connectivity, automated driving, electric mobility and alternative powertrains the sector has to take on. The industry is also undergoing rapid changes in urban logistics and mobility which are becoming more digital and in turn becoming more efficient, safer, more flexible, faster, and more environment and climate-friendly. More people across the world will be benefitted.
A sense of being ‘valuable contributors’ was discernible among the expo participants, and the commercial vehicle industry, proud to play a role in shaping the future mobility, seemed to be taking the perceived challenges proactively.
New Mobility World
In order to accommodate the large number of innovations in the areas of digitisation, connectivity, automated driving, electric mobility, and for services the increased number of premieres, IAA administrators had provided more space for them at the `New Mobility World’ (NMW), part of which they are. NMW was a common platform for the technology firms, the automotive industry, mobility providers, start-ups, digital businesses and decision-makers from politics and academia, and the general public to discuss the present innovations, and to experience the mobility of tomorrow.
(Detailed report of the event will be published in October 2018 issue of AutoParts Asia)