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Hometown heroes – mobility visionaries from Munich

The IAA MOBILITY Visionary Club is back in Munich! Following the exciting trip to the metropolis of future mobility in Abu Dhabi, our presenter Sarah Harman is showing inspiring developments by pioneers in mobility based in the Bavarian capital. That’s because this is where visionaries from all over the world are coming together in 2023 at the IAA MOBILITY and exhibiting their innovations for the mobility of tomorrow. So that we do not all have to wait until September 2023, Sarah is already meeting up with interesting personalities from the sector and trying out their innovations. And we are right there too – whether that’s racing on the recyclable polymer bike, or in the e-car with a VR headset.

Young Chinese startup: Affordable electric SUV from Aiways, with plenty of space in the interior

Only founded in 2017 in Shanghai, Aiways already showcased its first car in 2019 at the Geneva Car Show, and it has had a presence in Germany since then too, via its registered office in Munich. In the IAA MOBILITY Visionary Club, Sarah meets up with Aiways’ Pierre-Adrien Ducarre, Director Business Development and Sales Europe – and rides with him in the current U5. What is the truly special feature of this SUV, she wants to know. Ducarre answers without missing a beat: “Space!”– meaning the roomy interior. Why is the SUV electric and not hydrogen-powered, Sarah also asks. “Interesting question”, says Ducarre. For him, the choice between electromobility and hydrogen is very easy. The arguments for an electric powertrain are: “The technology is mature, and the costs have come down to a price that is socially acceptable.”

More professional, specially-adapted e-bikes in future?

Equally a fan of electromobility is Dimitrios Bachadakis, founder and Managing Director of the e-bike manufacturer Mocci, who has brought along two bikes. “What does the future of e-bikes look like?” Sarah wants to know, as she rides a number of laps with him.  “E-bikes are increasingly becoming vehicles used by professionals for commercial applications,” is Bachadakis’s prediction. The drive unit is “a groundbreaking innovation”. 

In the case of Mocci, that means bikes that are called smart pedal vehicles, with no chains and belts. The pedals power a generator that produces energy for the e-motor on the rear wheel. Naturally, a swap-out battery also assists with the ride. The frames of the futuristic designer bikes are made from polymer. Polymer is 100% recyclable, but it offers more than that too: Because it can be molded, the bikes are practically made as a single part. Mocci is aiming to reduce parts and components and to offer a safe, low-maintenance bike as a result. Sarah is very taken with it, and has a race-off with Dimitrios in the underground car park. 

Every trip an adventure – with virtual reality as in-car entertainment

The fact that the car is gradually transforming itself into a supercomputer on wheels is creating wholly new possibilities for in-car entertainment and the user experience. Nils Wollny, co-founder and CEO of holoride, extends an invitation to a trip with a virtual reality headset – on the back seat of the car, of course. As you look out of the window with the headset on, a computer game launches which integrates the car’s maneuvers as it is driven along. Sarah flies around as a small, brown creature that has to dodge projectiles – and she loves it. For Wollny, the objective is clear: “For most people, traveling time feels like lost time.” 

In order that things don’t stay that way, he outlines a future of in-car entertainment with increasing merging of personal devices (such as a mobile phone) and the car’s entertainment system. Since people always have their own devices on them, “it is our philosophy to make the car into an extension of that personal device.” As such, car journeys are certainly no longer boring, even when you are in the back seats.

Customized information for the individual driver

The car as an extension of your private space, or even of your home – that is definitely something that Fabian Beste, co-founder and CEO of 4.screen, envisages in the future. 4.screen has developed an app aimed at further enriching the “existing in-car experience”. He shows Sarah how on-top information is displayed live as 

dynamic content in the navigation system: Supermarkets, for instance. The information is personalized and geared to the driver’s behavior. “Someone driving a luxury sedan gets different dynamic content from someone driving an SUV.” It makes things easier for anyone who wants to make a short stop while out and about to shop for something or go for a meal.

So if you are looking for groundbreaking innovations, you don’t need to travel too far! You will find plenty to discover in the Bavarian capital – the ideal venue for the IAA MOBILITY in September 2023. Munich, we are looking forward to you!