The VDA has developed a completely new concept for the IAA. In the future, as well as showcasing achievements in exhibition halls it will bring innovations and worlds of experience into the city and to the people
The IAA is to change from a motor show into a mobility platform. In the future the German vehicle makers will continue to focus on developing and building the world’s most technologically advanced vehicles. What is more, they themselves are evolving into mobility providers. New technologies are becoming established, and new players are appearing on the market. The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), as the organizer of the IAA, is taking account of all this with a fundamentally new concept for the IAA, which has been developed in collaboration with the member companies.
The IAA 2021 will still showcase the latest vehicles and innovations from the passenger car makers and suppliers. At the same time, it will become even more of a dialog and topic platform and develop into a place for sharing knowledge – involving the automotive industry and other sectors, plus the city that will host the new IAA in 2021.
“Our concept for the IAA envisages something completely new. The IAA will no longer be just a motor show, but a mobility platform. It will also come out of the exhibition halls and reach into the towns and cities,” said VDA President Bernhard Mattes. “It will come right to the people, who will be able to experience and try out the latest vehicles, the latest technology and mobility concepts – away from the exhibition halls and show grounds.”
The cities that have already indicated an interest in hosting the IAA have received the necessary documents including the catalog of requirements, schedule and explanatory information. The VDA welcomes approaches from other municipalities that wish to participate in the current application procedure.
“Of course we still see the automobile as the main focus. But we will also seek contacts with other modes of transport for the next IAA – and engage in dialog with people on what we want transport to be like in the future,” Mattes declared.
The new concept for the IAA will have three main pillars: vehicle makers, suppliers and mobility service providers will present their latest vehicles and developments at premieres, press conferences and branding events, and discuss current topics – including critical views – at the IAA Conference. This IAA core will be supplemented with two worlds of experience.
For example, attractive areas should accommodate generous test routes for test drives and circuits on roads and other sites that are closed off to public traffic. On these areas visitors should be able to experience the latest technology, such as self-driving cars with alternative powertrains, the latest models or new mobility offers in practical tests. In connection with events, visitors should be able to experience the exhibitors’ brands directly in an urban setting. Furthermore, the sector is seeking dialog with citizens and groups critical of automobiles in the form of dialog events.
The link between the core of the IAA on a central site and the urban area is the third pillar: an experience axis. Here the exhibitors’ concept, test and series vehicles will shuttle back and forth, allowing visitors to experience the latest technology, all the way to automated driving, right up close in practical tests. Municipal transportation, including local public transport, will merge into a new IAA mobility concept that can include new urban infrastructure such as hydrogen filling stations, charging pillars and mobility hubs.
“We want the next IAA to exert its influence even after the event itself has ended. When the stands are dismantled, that does not mean that it is all over – it should create something sustainable. In the best case, it will trigger the establishment of new concepts and testing fields for a new mobility mix in the host city. We are currently discussing this concept with several cities,” said Bernhard Mattes.
The IAA’s transformation from a display of achievements into a concept for a new mobility mix in the right city will only be successful in close coordination with the host municipality. So the city itself should also make an active contribution to the success of the venture. This will demand the willingness to develop an organizational concept and the provision of areas for experiences, including a cost/revenue model. Finally, success will depend on organizational capacities in the municipal administration and also the willingness to make investments, for instance in expanding the charging infrastructure, hydrogen filling stations and test routes for self-driving cars.
This means that the host city will not only be the venue for the most famous mobility platform in the world, but will also have an opportunity to participate in investing in the mobility industry. It can thus position itself at the head of a global movement and utilize the IAA as a key driving force for its own sustainable mobility agenda.