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Frankfurt Motorshow On Now, ISAL Around the Corner
Monday, 18 September 2017

This year's IAA (Frankfurt Motor Show) is now under way, with the very apt theme "Future Now". This year there's a never-before-seen prevalence of advanced technology, all the way from high-tech lighting through ADAS to EVs and AVs. We've walked the entirety of the enormous show, and we're now busily sorting through over 2,000 photographs to assemble our thorough lighting- and ADAS-centred report to go live next month. This week's in-depth report gives an overview of five salient points we retain from our visit; in other articles this week you'll find more glimpses and industry views on the technology shown at IAA. It's now clearer than ever that the vast, fast changes we're seeing in driver and machine vision are a microcosm of what's happening in the automotive world at large.

And we're soon to have an update on what's doing in our microcosm; ISAL is almost upon us—just six days until the opening dinner. Many DVN readers will be there, and we look forward to seeing you. For those who cannot attend, have no fear; we'll be carefully taking notes to bring you a comprehensive DVN Report with full coverage and analysis of the lectures, posters, discussions, and expo-booths.

Mark also the dates of our 2018 DVN workshops : January 30-31 in Munich and June 5-6 in Tokyo.

So we're on duty, as always, to bring you the latest news and views that let you efficiently keep up with what's happening in our dynamic field.

Sincerely yours,

Daniel Stern, DVN Chief Editor

In depth...

2017 IAA: Frankfurt Still Automotive Mecca
Monday, 18 September 2017

IAA, the Frankfurt motor show, is immense. It takes up eleven show halls at the Messe Frankfurt grounds, which has 367,000 m² of hall area and more than 96,000 m² of free space. This year's theme, "Future Now", seems especially well chosen; the emphasis on new automotive technology is stronger than ever before. This emphasis presents in everything from high-tech lighting and the advanced driver assistance functions (quickly coming to join tires and brakes as basic equipment) clear on up through increasingly plausible AV prototypes. This year's show brought a great deal of show-and-tell from suppliers like ZF, Valeo, Bosch, and many others who displayed their intelligent-car technologies. Also notable, with European and Asian countries seriously considering a ban on new petroleum-fuelled vehicles within the foreseeable future, is the remarkable increase in electric vehicles. Five main points we retain from our DVN walk-through of the show:

  • As discussed in the recently published DVN Study (The Impact of a Changing Automotive Industry on Exterior Lighting) three trends transforming the automotive world are electrification, connectivity, and advanced assisted driving. They require new sytems architectures, skills, and competencies. Tier 1 suppliers like Delphi, Bosch, Continental, ZF, Valeo, Denso, and Magna brought extensive show-and-tell to the show.
  • Lighting functions are strongly influenced by these trends as can be seen in presentations by Hella, Valeo, and ZKW: high definition LED projection lights on the road to warn, inform, bring additional comfort to the driver, completely new interior and exterior lighting to welcome the driver and help them through the different levels of automomous driving, new exterior and interior light designs with the disappearance of the front grill on e-cars and the introduction of large OLED surfaces on the rear faces.
  • Electric cars open a new paradise for designers: city cars, for example, with flat floors, shortened hoods, dashboards reduced to a single screen. From that perspective, SUVs appear like dinosaurs with their large wheels, big engines, and chunky shapes.
  • Korean and Chinese car maker presence is quite remarkable. Hyundai and Kia had their usual large booths, but Chery and Wey (Great Wall's brand) put forth an unusually strong Chinese showing. In contrast, the absence of Fiat, Peugeot, Rolls-Royce, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Volvo and Tesla raises eyebrows.
  • Impressive showfloors of Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and VW, amongst many others, demonstrate that progress is happening fast. It is reasonable to predict that all car models will soon offer an electric powered version, whether hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or full electric.

Here is just a small sample of what was on display at this Frankfurt 2017 IAA, an hors d'œuvre to whet your appetite while waiting for the complete DVN report to be published next month on October 17th :

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