On December 8, we wrapped up 2017 at the Autotech Council by looking forward to 2018, and beyond. Our meeting was called "The New Mobility" and the theme was how human transport and mobility will change in 2018, but also in the next 5 years. All ideas were on the table, and figured in the discussions, the presentations, and the pitches. Our meeting was hosted by Nvidia in their brand new head office facility, which was impressive in its own right.
Our meeting kicked off with Gary Silberg, Partner and Head of Automotive at KPMG. Gary discussed and presented the findings of KPMG's latest analysis of the future of the auto industry, Islands of Autonomy. Gary discussed how autonomous cars will shift the nature of mobility, commutes, and travel, but also how the changes will impact different metropolitan areas differently because of the nature of each's city center-subdivision daily drive dynamic. Shared cars and autonomy will first spring up in islands around metro areas, spreading slowly from there. Overall, the nature of car ownership is changing, and will mean flat sales curves, with an increased share of sales into car-share alternatives as opposed to private car ownership.
Next up was our Double-Triple-A panel featuring Arne Stoschek of Airbus, Amer Akhtar of XPT Global, and Art Baker of the AAA. The panel discussed blue sky thinking about mobility in the medium term of 3-12 years out. When discussing the full utilization of many roads, and in light of KPMG's prediction of autonomy driving MORE vehicle-miles, Airbus proposed taking advantage of all three dimensions of our space, and using the z axis for personal transportation.
Airbus' vision relies on increased performance of electric motors, batteries, but also on progress in autonomy which can be leveraged to deliver safe, fast, reliable individual air transport to suitably equipped homes and buildings. Art from AAA helped us build a list of the factors pulling self-driving, including:
• storage and memory
• data and analytics
• networks and connectivity
• electrification and battery storage
Amer from XPT added some ideas on "where" we'll see the future of mobility first. He speculated that China would be an early mover based on government enthusiasm, and futher proposed that autonomy would start in controlled campuses and industrial zones, then grow outwards. Amer also said that we should look to new entrants to push the boundaries, not just the established OEMs.
From that point, the meeting went into the high-paced Rapid Fire Fastpitch sessions which was moderated by Steven Atneosen, Vice President, Corporate Development at XPT. We saw companies offering technology that supports connected and autonomous vehicles, car/ride sharing, LEV, closed circuit transportation, and drones.
At the end of the meeting, I, myself, presented a quick Debrief review of the biggest news out of the LA Auto Show. The biggest trend? No surprise, the electrification of mobility.
Thanks everyone, for a sold-out room full of great professionals, and a great close to 2017.