What will the future of mobility look like from the perspective of the European supplier community? People and goods need to move from A to B in a safe, clean and affordable manner. People’s habits will change, but even 10, 20, 30 or more years from now personal mobility will be one of the foundations of well-functioning societies and vibrant economies. And there will be many more options for individual mobility than today, whether they be car ownership, car sharing, ride hailing or a whole new range of public transportation offerings. Multi-modal and technologically diversified will be the defining characteristics of tomorrow’s mobility ecosystem.
Automotive companies, including the European automotive supplier community, are adapting to help bring about the biggest transformation of the industry in more than a hundred years. Mobility will become more electric and suppliers will adjust and provide more of the technology required for the new powertrains. Vehicles will become more highly automated and suppliers will make sensor- and artificial-intelligence-powered safety and assistance systems that are up to the challenge. And, as the auto industry moves toward new, shared business models, the supplier community will play a leading role in the development of novel concepts for this exciting new field.
The leadership position long held by European automotive suppliers in key areas of technology and innovation will help the industry capitalise on the opportunities that exist today. These opportunities will arise as society looks for innovative solutions to deal with air pollution, urbanisation, traffic congestion and new customer requirements. These challenges are driving changes that are redefining the automotive supply chain as well as the traditional business of automakers and suppliers worldwide.
Like with all new trends, the transformation of the auto industry poses a threat to existing business processes and revenue streams. But it also presents huge opportunities for the automotive industry. Working closely with policy makers, auto manufacturers and high-tech partners, suppliers will be in a position to forge a vibrant new industry that will benefit companies, their work forces, the overall economy and consumers.
Together, they will serve a global community and marketplace with highly diverse requirements. Realising this vision will require a joint effort by all stakeholders in the mobility revolution and traditional cooperation will be broadened by new players and new alliances. Vehicle manufacturers and automotive suppliers won’t be able to realise their goals on their own. They will rely on national, European and global policy makers to assure a rules-based international trade framework that allows fair competition for all and helps build an environment that enables the innovation needed to meet the requirements of the new mobility world.
Supported by new technologies, increasingly sophisticated software and much needed infrastructure improvements tomorrow’s mobility will be:
because advanced driver assistance systems and, further down the road, autonomous vehicles will facilitate near-accident-free driving.
with a much-reduced environmental impact from new and improved powertrains that will emit fewer pollutants. Improvements in manufacturing technologies and re-use of materials are set to make the auto industry a model of sustainability.
Smarter and more diverse
with new business models centering around increased multimodal mobility choices and more efficient, shared travel.
“Technology will be key to the evolution of current modes of mobility”
Suppliers, vehicle manufacturers and policymakers will have to work closely together to achieve the objective of zero road casualties by 2050. In the end, a combination of technology, industry- led initiatives and targeted regulatory action will contribute to making the vision reality.
Because demanding targets have been set to limit the environmental impact of personal mobility and transportation, the auto industry needs to respond decisively. Battery-electric vehicles will play a key role in the near- to medium- term, but other propulsion technologies such as hybrid-electric or fuel-cell will also have their place. Additionally, further improvements to the internal combustion engine as well as low and zero-carbon fuels will ensure that conventionally powered vehicles will continue to be manufactured and sold for years to come. A collaborative approach, involving industry, policy makers and society will be crucial for achieving a climate-neutral, circular economy. Work on this is being carried out on many fronts. Great progress is, for example, already being made in the eco-design of components, the remanufacturing of parts, the integration of recycled materials and the recyclability of our solutions.
Connectivity is already providing a broad range of opportunities for companies to drive progress and give consumers more choice. Vehicles that are becoming part of the Internet of Things (IoT) will allow for the development of new business models. Connected cars are one megatrend that will define the coming decades. Highly automated and autonomous driving is another, which will in the mid- to longer-term offer even more opportunities. Policies are needed that will in coming years allow automotive technology providers to offer seamless mobility solutions that may not even be imaginable today to achieve sustainability, enhance safety and lower mobility costs.
The European automotive supplier community will continue to lead the technology-driven transformation of mobility. Yet, this transformation will require a bold industrial policy ensuring a functioning, reliable legal framework across European borders; updated trade and competition rules; access to raw materials; a concerted effort to build an agile workforce that has the proper skills for the 21st century auto industry; and a flexible and adaptable business environment that helps foster the innovation that will assure Europe’s leading role.