This was 2018!

Dec 20, 2018

In terms of mobility, 2018 was a year action-packed with new developments that are set to leave a lasting impact on how we move around in the world.

Short Overview

We’ve reported on the influx of scooters in the sharing economy, the existing infrastructure for alternative powertrains, and what solutions are being worked on the solve the problem of the last mile, amongst a myriad of other topics that aimed to provide the best and broadest insight into what is currently happening in the world of mobility for our readers. 

Here is an overview of where the NMW team was in 2018, what we learnt, and what we have to look forward to in 2019! We wish you a very happy festive season with your loved ones!

Dirk O. Evenson at SXSW 2018.

SXSW 2018

Our director Dirk O. Evenson headed to Austin, Texas, for the annual SXSW conference. Here he moderated a panel with Daniel Mieves (German Autolabs), Stuti Pandey (MOIA), Helmut Scherer (Futurice), and Marcel Thiemann (Xapix) on in-car assistants and autonomous driving, as well as co-hosting a networking lunch on the future of mobility. 

Knotel CEO Amol Sarva on the TOA18 stage.

Tech Open Air 2018

The NMW team headed to the Funkhaus in Berlin for Europe’s largest interdisciplinary festival, the Tech Open Air. While the focus is on the intersections of various sectors, such as culture, arts, tech, and the sciences, mobility talks included Mytaxi’s Torben Bursinski speaking about how the service is using new technologies to improve customer journeys and define future mobility by transforming a traditional business; Blockchain in cars – the Porsche – Xain Vehicle Network; and Joseph Constanty of NIU eScooters Joseph providing insights to how NIU disrupted the mobility world in China, and how it wants to create an ecosystem of collaboration in Europe. (More here)

Norbert Richard Meinike, director of Marketing at Blacklane, a portal for chauffeur services, took to the stage to offer up his view in his talk “New Mobility: How far along are we?” and presented his vision of what future mobility might look like. 

NMW Digitaltage
The panel at the NMW Digitaltage.

NMW Digitaltage

The VDA hosted the NMW Digitaltage in Berlin in July on digitalisation and its impact on how our mobility solutions are having to adapt to changes in legislation, public awareness, and the needs of the customer. 

The roundtable “Race Boat vs Tanker – Changes in Cultural Structure of Corporates”, with Jürgen Bilo (MD, co-pace), Daniel Heidrich (EBK Krüger & Leitart), Tom Kirschbaum (MD, door2door), Dr. Jonas Moßler (CEO, Susi & James), and Felix von Nathusius (Shareholder, IFA) especially looked at where different forms and different offers in mobility are changing the market by forcing OEMs, manufacturers, and suppliers to adapt much quicker and invest in new innovations.

Little did we know that our first CEBIT would also be our last after it was announced that the European tech trade show cancelled any future events. The CEBIT took place in Hanover on the enormous exhibition grounds, so we did not manage to discover every talk and session relating to mobility.

But we managed to catch heise online‘s forum on autonomous cars, electric vehicles, and electromobility. Here Jürgen Kuri of c’t Magazin interviewed Detlef Grell and Axel Kossel on their future predictions for autonomous driving. The speakers debated how current new mobility concepts have adhered to the structure of old-school car manufacturers either buying or founding startups that are able to test out certain concepts at an accelerated speed.

The conclusion at the time: Autonomous cars are further away from what is the average user is reading about in the media, and will need a lot more time and investment before being a completely viable solution to mobility issues. Also, for autonomous vehicles to be successful, more needs to be done in the area of intelligent environments.

Olaf Schilgen of Volkswagen also presented the company’s strategy for e-mobility, which is interesting in light of the recent news that VW would be phasing out the internal combustion engine by 2026

Panelist at the NMW Forum

NMW 2018

Now for the main event! For the NMW 18 we headed to Hanover at the end of September to take a deep dive into the world of commercial vehicles. During the first late-summer days visitors could enjoy the NMW Live, as they got to experience numerous demonstrations of autonomous driving, assistance systems, intelligent trailer solutions and much more. 

There were also different Guided Tours that took visitors around the exhibition halls. These tours were specially tailored to the key tracks at the expo: Connected Vehicle, Automated Driving, Alternative Powertrain, Urban Logistics and Transport Services.

The exhibition area, the NMW Expo, showcased brands, new products and new services form the likes of Aptiv, E-FORCE ONE, smapOne and Graphmasters. World of Heroes even had a free tattooing station!

The highlight of the week was the NMW Forum as it hosted 70 top class speakers who debated with their fellow decision-makers, innovators and visionaries from business, academia and society. Special highlights included the opening talk by VDA President Bernhard Mattes, as well as the panel discussion Political Dialogue: Reducing CO2 Emissions – Challenges and Opportunities which was very topical as the European Commission recently announced its plans for a CO2 regulation for the commercial vehicle industry. 

The NMW Lab 18 winners Blickfeld with the jury

NMW Lab 18

Last but not least was the NMW’s startup pitch competition, the NMW Lab. The jury of experts were treated to quick-fire presentations by  Blickfeld, Enway, Bleenco, and Foresight Automotive, where they were able to ask the startups a few questions to better choose the winner.

While the jury was left to deliberate, t3n’s editor-in-chief moderated a fireside chat entitled Dangerous Liaisons: Who Wins When Startups and Corporates Collaborate? with Philip Gneiting of Daimler, Ashley Cashion of what3words and Gerrit Dumstorff of HELLA Fast Forward.

Ultimately, Blickfeld won the NMW Lab18 prize, with Foresight Automotive picking up a separate prize by TechCode where they would be joining a team on the Future Mobility Startup Trip to China.

What’s next? NMW 19!

The NMW 19 in Frankfurt will again focus on cars and their changing impact on how mobility (especially in urban areas) is rapidly having to adapt. 

The IAA Conference Beyond Mobility is the leading forum for the future of mobility. From September 11–13, 2019, you will be able to meet the companies that are in the driver’s seat of what the future of mobility will bring.

This year, the main topics are: 
– Automation
– Connectivity
– Clean and Sustainable Mobility
– Urban Mobility
– MaaS

Each category looks into various sub-categories to cover all the bases when it comes to new developments in mobility.

Call for Papers: IAA Conference

The IAA Conference builds on the success of the NMW FORUM and previous IAA expert events to tackle the megatrends of tomorrow. Because access to mobility also influences how we live, work and interact, the IAA Conference’s scope reaches significantly beyond mobility. We invite you to debate these and more topics to come in panels, develop joint solutions in workshops, and present innovations to fellow trailblazers, unconventional minds, and people who are simply keen to expand their knowledge.

If you want to be a speaker, you can apply online from November 26, 2018 – March 11, 2019 by visiting the following link and filling out the application form

Below you’ll also find more detailed information on the IAA Conference: IAA Conference Speaker Details

From March until May there will be a stringent selection process, after which the final program will be published on May 6, 2019.

Photo by louis magnotti on Unsplash