The International Motor Show Germany, more commonly known as IAA Mobility 2023, represents one of the largest industry gatherings in Europe. Held biennially in Munich, OEMs, suppliers, and start-ups from across the region and beyond congregate to showcase their latest mobility innovations, and announce their plans for the future, under a relevant industry focus.
This year, a key theme of the event was sustainable manufacturing – encompassing a broad range of practices such as circular economies and environmentally-friendly production methods. Its full scope, however, extended to showcasing a range of innovations spanning new and notable industry trends. We sent a team of our industry experts to the event to explore the mobility innovations on the show floor and understand the impact they will have on consumers, their vehicles, and the broader automotive industry in the near- and far-future. This Insight highlights their findings while detailing some of the 2023 show’s most exciting trends and reveals.
The key theme of IAA Mobility 2023 was embraced by exhibitors across the board – from some of Europe’s largest manufacturers to the region’s more local suppliers. The Volkswagen Group, for example, shared new details on its dedicated e-fuel production facility in Chile, which will produce the environmentally friendly fuel alternative for use in its future vehicles. The plant produces e-fuel through a mix of technologies and processes that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere before combining it with water. In addition to producing sustainable resources, the facility itself is powered by renewables – utilizing wind energy to run its key systems. In committing to its future sustainability goals, the Volkswagen Group confirmed that it is looking to open another plant at the same location in 2027.
At the event’s Open Spaces area, Audi similarly highlighted its own commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices – with a specific focus on creating and maintaining a more sustainable vehicle lifecycle. Here, the OEM showcased its plans to incorporate new recycling practices towards the end of the lifecycle – where select materials and components would be extracted from end-of-life vehicles and re-used in the development and production of new vehicles. Audi’s process will, for example, enable the vehicle battery and glass to be recycled and help the OEM contribute to a circular economy by developing a continuous loop of materials.
The event’s core theme extended further to suppliers, with Ascorium Industries showcasing its spray-on material. Intended for use on the vehicle dashboard, it is applied by robots to keep wastage to a minimum in a production process that is already being utilized by Polestar and Porsche.
Generative AI, inside and outside the vehicle
Alongside its theme of sustainable manufacturing, a similarly strong trend that emerged from the event concerned the present uses, and future potential, of generative AI across automotive. This trend was most notably represented by Continental, who used its IAA 2023 press conference to announce a new AI-focused partnership with Google Cloud. Through the partnership, Continental will begin to integrate AI into its products and allow it to access key vehicle information. The AI will, in turn, use this data to inform the user on a broad range of parameters – helping them achieve the correct tire pressure or locate their nearest charging station.
Interestingly, the event’s focus on AI went beyond the vehicle – with Reply showcasing an AI service designed to help streamline organizational processes. Enabled through a partnership with AWS, and already being utilized by Audi, this service helps industry workers access the information they need more quickly by requesting it from the AI using voice commands. The AI model itself draws on information from corporate files and documents to help it respond to these requests in a clear, comprehensive, manner. Currently, Reply’s AI system is being used to support the flow of internal documents, though the company expects that its scope could be extended to incorporate data from additional sources – such as external websites and meeting transcripts.
Today’s trends for tomorrow’s vehicles
As demonstrated through this article, the 2023 IAA Mobility show provided attendees with great insight into how the industry landscape is evolving from both a technological and environmental standpoint. In securing their commitments to new sustainability practices and innovative technologies for the vehicle, OEMs and suppliers are now looking to deepen these commitments by integrating them into their core business and production activities – accelerating organizational processes through AI and strengthening the vehicle lifecycle through more sustainable methods. The trends discussed in this Insight, however, are just two of many explored in our dedicated research report covering IAA Mobility 2023.
Available as a complimentary report for anyone to download and read, it sees our industry experts break down the event’s key trends and analyze its most important announcements. While providing deep analysis on areas such as OEM trends, new research updates, novel products and more, the report also takes a deep dive into the innovative technologies showcased throughout the event, and the key takeaways from its most informative panels. Among these are advanced driving monitoring and battery management solutions, and the exploration of exciting new concepts such as the vehicle transitioning to become a habitat on wheels. Our IAA report similarly offers a hype-free roundup of all the models launched by domestic and international OEMs at the event and their key capabilities, before concluding with insights from our experts on the event’s most essential takeaways, and how OEMs should react to its announcements.