IAA – International Motor Show Frankfurt
Last week I was in Frankfurt for the International Motor Show. As I learned (and I learned a lot during that trip) the Motor Show in Frankfurt is one of the biggest car fairs. It was quite cool seeing so many IAA shuttles driving through the city, many people with badges around their necks, mostly press people. It felt like New York during Fashion Week. Well, the people are not dressed as good and Frankfurt is not New York.
Hmm..what can I say? I am not a car guy. I like technology and I like the idea of mobility and independent way of travelling but I don’t care about horse power, or anything like this. But I can tell if a car (or concept of mobility) pleases me or not. The design of a car got more and more important during the last years, not only the visual appearance of the car but more the usability and interface of a car. By now cars are stuffed with more technology than ever before. A car is no longer just mechanical, it’s not just pistons, barrels, and drive shift. When you get into a new car, it feels like you are sitting in a very comfy chair with thousands of buttons and operator controls.
But there are also a bunch of other developments within the concept of mobility right now. First of all the there is the big question of the energy. Oil is running out, that is for sure. And the research and developments in future energy (electric or hydrogen or even something else) is really fascinating. But it is also fascinating to see how far the developments are already. There are cars which run with electricity and cars that basically run with hydrogen. Like Dieter Zetsche, Head of Mercedes-Benz, said during his welcome speech, it is a very exciting time now, there are so many changes going on within the world of mobility.
For example the new concept car of Mercedes-Benz. The F125 runs with hydrogen. The distance it reaches is approximately 1000 km. The design is not really my kind but that is not important. What is important is the fact that this car is a new milestone if you compare it to the last 125 years of car development. It is still a research car but without research cars we would not be at the state where we are now.
I also like the other concept cars, all of them have an electric engine. For example the smart forspeed, smart eScooter, VW Nils, or AUDI Urban. All vehicles for the urban area and driving with electricity.
But there aren’t only visions for the future, at the IAA the car manufacturers also presented some cool new stuff. And not only cars but more new mobility concepts. Like the smart electric bike. A nice design, with the ability to support your cycling with electric energy. A 20k ride to work would not be a problem then. You can control it with your smartphone. And the perfect combination would be a smart Electric Drive cabrio with an eBike on the back. Like the one below but electric!
AUDI presented a navigation system where you could not only search for streets, POIs, but also for certain things, like “Design Hotel” or in my case “Supermarket” and the navigation system searches with google for results and shows them on the map. It worked quite well. I tested it with different terms.
I also liked that almost every car manufacturer offered their newest cars also with an alternative engine. For example VW just launched the Up. At first I thought the car is quite ugly (online it looked like the old Renault Twingo), but when I saw it in real life, the car looked good. It is small, but has a lot of space insight. It is much more attractive than the Lupo. The eUp could be a cool car for the city, especially when you want to drive with more than two people.
My most favorite car though was the Mercedes-Benz ML 350 BlueTEC. It is a huge Benz with lots of power, incredibly comfortable but still very efficient.
I stole the picture from Teymur Madjderey
If you want to see more visual input of the IAA, take a look at Teymur’s photos. And if you are interested in reading what I have to say about mobility and cars in general, take a look at the IAAblog (English by Google Translate). I was interviewed by Thomas Gigold.