IAA, Innotrans and BVL: mobility of the future

Urbanization, mobility, sustainability – these three megatrends need to be harmonized to ensure that goods and people can continue to be transported reliably and quickly in the coming years. Logistics experts, urban planners, politicians and vehicle manufacturers are currently discussing how this can be achieved.

The motto for the 2018 IAA Commercial Vehicles will be “Driving tomorrow”. Urban logistics and mobility are key issues for the industry. Digitization, networking, automated driving, alternative drives and electromobility: these are the topics at the heart of the show, which will be held in Hanover from September 12th to the 27th.

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Much has changed, especially in the area of alternative drive systems. Commercial vehicles with sustainable and electric drives dominate the stands. Many battery-powered transporters are now going into series production or are already available. Concept studies from two years ago have turned into series models that run emission-free and quietly. Their batteries can be recharged in a short time and offer a range between 120 and 200 kilometers.

Automation is also making progress: platooning organizations, for example, are now technically feasible. The networking of vehicles with each other and with the intelligent traffic infrastructure is increasing. Artificial intelligence also ensures that the systems are interlinked and continuously improved.

In the meantime, safety in urban centers has also become an issue. The goal of automobile manufacturers is “Vision Zero” – zero deaths on the roads. The sensors are decisive here: cameras, radar and LiDAR systems are already operational today.

However, not only have the manufacturers been long in demand, but also the logisticians, who apply the concepts and ideas in practice. Pilot projects in platooning, such as on the A9 motorway between Munich and Nuremberg, offer the cooperating partners enormous added value. Autonomous vehicles such as the “Wiesel” are also important stages on the road to automation.

Influence of technology on people

“I believe that the greatest challenge for logistics companies when it comes to mobility in the future is not solely of a technical nature,” says Erik Wirsing, Vice President of Global Innovation at Schenker AG. For many years, Wirsing has been working intensively on the digital change that is driving the logistics industry. He knows that “it is very important to take the employees with you and to change well-established processes in such a way that the technical possibilities can fully unfold”. And of course, it’s also about familiarizing people in the cities with the new technical possibilities.

The influence of these technical achievements on people is therefore not only the subject of many forums at the IAA Commercial Vehicles. Innotrans in Berlin, which will take place at the same time, will also deal with how increasing digitalization can make logistics more efficient. And finally, the BVL Logistics Congress, which will soon start in Berlin, will deal with the topic “Digitalization meets Reality”. There, experts will discuss whether and how digital technologies can solve the pressing problems of the industry in the short and medium term.

“#iaa18 and #InnoTrans2018: Politicians and businesses are looking for solutions for sustainable mobility in our cities.“

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The European Commission is working at the political and conceptual level. On September 16th, it launched the 17th European Mobility Week. This campaign aims to improve the quality of life in cities through clean mobility and sustainable urban transport. More than 2,400 cities and municipalities from 50 countries – including Munich and Stuttgart, Strasbourg and Glasgow, Basel and Helsinki – will organize special celebrations this year. After all, it is the local people who use the new techniques and procedures – and experience it first-hand.