The future of mobility

The future of mobility

As we examined in our mobility trends article here, the automotive market is going through rapid and fundamental changes with autonomous driving, ride and car sharing and vehicle electrification.

New players entering the marketplace are quickly disrupting the established auto value chain. Incumbent value chain players are actively re-positioning themselves to compete and stay relevant in the new mobility age.

As a raw material supplier, we have to act now to stay ahead and differentiate ourselves from competitors. We have to anticipate the future to inform research and development and position ourselves as a collaborative partner and supplier for the automotive industry.

The Future of Mobility (FoM) initiative is a North America (NA) cross-business unit enterprize launched by the NA SMS (Sales, Marketing, Sustainability) Council to capture, synthesize, and act upon long-range industry trends at a company-wide level to guide our position on future mobility.

Yanan Chen, Industrial Marketing – Future of Mobility.

“Our mission is to identify the value drivers for future vehicle material selection and how advanced materials can help solve the challenges ridesharing and automation will bring to the interior and exterior of vehicles in the 2030 timeframe,” says Yanan Chen, Industrial Marketing – Future of Mobility.

To understand the future of mobility in NA, we engaged futurists and our own industry experts to explore mega trends, industry trends and other factors. We then forecast changes in mobility and created scenarios of potential future mobility environments – and the future opportunities these could present.

Next, we collaborated with third parties to look into future customer segmentation as well as ownership and usage models. We created personas for each segment, to inform ideas for future interior designs. This enabled us to anticipate how people may use mobility differently in the future.

“The Covestro interior design concepts show how materials can enable advanced aesthetics and styling, acoustics, comfort, infotainment and sustainability features for autonomous vehicles, while addressing the needs of these personas,” says Yanan.

But how does this all link to our PUR materials? “The autonomous, rideshare vehicle of the 2030s will take people on a completely different type of journey – one that combines design, new non-driving related experiences and smart functionality,” says Nate Goshen, Industrial Marketing – Automotive. “Covestro materials will be instrumental to crafting and realizing this seamless experience.”

Nate Goshen, Industrial Marketing – Automotive.

Our FoM team participated in industry forums and meetings with municipalities, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and Tier suppliers to share insights and engage technical developments. Already, the team has come up with many great ideas. “Covestro has envisioned and designed the interior experience of the 2030s via six design themes,” says Yanan.

Click on the above image to enlarge.

“With these designs, we want to paint pictures and tell stories of what the future of mobility will look like and how Covestro materials can make that happen. To further immerse our stakeholders in that future vision, we are exploring the use of Virtual Reality to experience these six designs.

“By doing this, we want to extend the picture-story enabled by our materials and open up the conversation with our partners on possible collaboration opportunities.”

An ideation session as part of the Future of Mobility initiative.

We are also mindful that the Future of Mobility will have different iterations in the many regions we operate. This is why we are working with our colleagues in APAC and EMEA to extend this iniative in their markets.

More from this issue