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IAA MOBILITY, back to basics

Last week I had the chance to participate at the first version of IAA MOBILITY, erroneously known as the Munich Auto Show, since it is organized by the Association of the German Automobile Industry (VDA, for its acronym in German) and has been created to replace the traditional Frankfurt Motor Show, held biannually since 1897.

The world is changing, and the VDA has realized it and taken action, achieving this year -still in pandemic- more than 400 thousand participants from 95 countries, 744 exhibitors, especially many young people, about 70% of the visitors were under 40 years of age.

It is no coincidence that they have been able to reach a millennial and GenZ audience. For the first time, this iconic event has ceased to be an activity in a fairground on the outskirts, and has been held both inside and outside the city, with the aim of being within reach of pedestrians, those who sometimes transport in shared cars, electric bicycles, ¨scooters¨, and that are transforming the world of mobility.

It has been interesting to see how luxury brands, which in previous years participated to show off their most ostentatious models, this year have opted for micro mobility, convenience, compact cars and electric motorcycles.

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The event also had a relevant presence of autonomous vehicles, such as the Hyundai robotaxi. Another novelty was the presence of 3D printing with a new model of electric bicycle made with this technology.

In addition to noticing an unquestionable presence of Chinese brands, I was struck by finding an entire pavilion with more than 75 brands of bicycles and scooters, as well as technology companies and mobility start-ups.

“Back to basics” in urban mobility

We are going back to basics, giving the cities back to those who travel by foot, scooters, bicycles -but this time they are electric and with a large drawer for the transport of last mile packages-. Clearly, we are aiming for cities with fewer cars, giving priority to slower vehicles. We are seeing it in Madrid, for example, where the maximum speed on one-way streets is 30km/h. Paris has also done it more drastically imposing this speed limit practically in the entire city.

Finally, just as the electric vehicle is establishing itself as the sustainable solution for cities, at this fair it has been seen how hydrogen is positioning itself as the alternative for heavier vehicles, with brands such as Quantron.

In short, IAA MOBILITY has achieved its mission of going from being an automotive fair to a mobility platform, bringing together important players in the future of mobility, in which luxury no longer prevails as the key element. Functionality, practicality, sustainability, and, above all, people, are becoming the center in this new mobility era.

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