IAA Mobility 2023 – Joining forces for a more sustainable future of mobility

Authors: Sanja Božičević, Michel Nouguier

Video IAA Mobility 2023

After a successful opening of the IBM Auto Lab, the Code to Road initiative took the IAA Mobility 2023 in München, a step further along the ride to a future-ready automotive industry. The initiative is designed to drive the mobility industry, which is undergoing fundamental change through the increased use of software. At the Executive Lounge at IAA, presented by IBM and TikTok, and at the IBM booth, clients, ecosystem partners and colleagues came together to exchange latest trends, project references and experiences.

From 5 – 10 September, Munich became the centre of the future of mobility, attracting half a million visitors from around the world to the IAA Open Space in the city centre and the Summit exhibition at Messe Munich.

The Summit was the next stop for Code to Road, our initiative designed to improve knowledge sharing and ecosystem partnerships in the mobility industry, focusing on mastering three transformational journeys around software-defined-vehicles, more direct customer relationships and new business models. We all face the same challenges, and it’s not just about adapting – it’s about thriving in this new reality.

How did we do it? We created a space within the IAA Summit for exclusive meetings and a networking area. The Executive Lounge presented by IBM and TikTok was an invitation to all industry players to join the frank dialogue, encouraging collaboration and the application of these fundamental principles in these transformational times and the response was thrilling.


Industry Insights from IAA

The future is electric

New players from China like BYD stepped on the stage at the IAA Summit grounds displaying an impressive range of electric vehicles from volume to luxury segment, entering Europe’s market with high ambitions and consumers are interested.

Established European premium OEMs Mercedes-Benz and BMW presented their future electric-first vehicle platforms aiming for more battery range, faster charging, better connectivity, and more sustainability along the vehicle lifecycle.

Volkswagen announced plans to launch affordable electric cars, betting on falling battery costs and an enhanced MEB+ platform licensed to Ford & Mahindra for more economies of scale. Other volume brands Renault and Opel presented their vision for affordable, high-tech EVs highlighting environmental, safety and social aspects.

Noticeably, the market leading EV brand Tesla confirmed its global aspirations by introducing the refreshed Model 3 with improved quality of materials and unmatched software capabilities at a very competitive starting price.

Ecosystem partnerships increase pace of innovation

Suppliers like Continental and ZF are trying to pivot their business towards electromobility & autonomous driving and partner with big tech on AI development. And chip manufacturers like Mobileye and Qualcomm increase their footprint in the vehicle showcasing that more and more innovation comes from semiconductors.

Other exhibitors showed digital transformation is in full swing, and companies like JPMorgan, 4screen or Valtech Mobility are trying to get a piece of the future automotive business by establishing themselves in the partner ecosystem.

Charging experience as an opportunity for differentiation

While charging is still not reliable, convenient, accessible and interoperable, OEMs like Mercedes-Benz invest in proprietary charging lounges to convince customers. Reassurance came from Chancellor Scholz as well who opened the IAA Summit, and stated charging must become as easy as refuelling – or even easier. New law will be introduced in Germany, making it the first country in Europe to require operators of 80 percent of all petrol stations to provide fast-charging facilities with at least 150 kilowatts for electric cars.

Three days full of insights and expertise

Throughout the most highly attended days of the Summit, we hosted Masterclasses with clients and partners sharing the latest technology breakthroughs and consumer insights in the industry.

Our client NIO showed how they developed their in-car assistant NOMI to enable human-like interaction and drive customer relationship beyond driving. Our partners Adobe, SAP and Commercetools presented their industry point of view and client cases around AI and MarTech. Finally, our industry experts, showcased how IBM can help leverage GenAI, the Metaverse and Customer Data Platforms to co-create meaningful customer experiences.

The Executive Lounge co-hosts and the official entertainment partner of the IAA – TikTok, shared their insights on how automotive brands can use the social media platform to reach specific niches in the more than one billion active users that consume an hour and a half of content per day.

AI Accelerates Mobility

For us, it was great to have clients like Porsche AG, ABB, smart Europe GmbH, Mercedes-Benz AG and Volkswagen Group at our Executive Lounge and IBM booth for in-depth conversations about how:

  • Generative AI can be leveraged across their organizations to increase employee productivity and customer experiences.
  • Open-source and a solid tech stack are needed for Software-Defined-Vehicles to bring differentiating customer features faster to the road.
  • Customer data platforms and AI can be used across marketing, sales, and services to create personalized experiences at scale.
  • Sustainability ambition can be turned into action with technology and data.

We also invited the IAA audience to our panel discussions with representatives from the industry, which focused on how a well thought-out, strategic approach for the automotive industry looks like and really exploit the potential of generative AI – giving an inside look at our recently announced IBM watsonx AI and data platform.

We are all in the same car

In another crowded panel discussion our colleague Jens Sulek, co-lead of IBM iX DACH interviewed Björn Schick, CXO at smart Europe GmbH and David Roland, Sales Leader DACH at TikTok about how smart used TikTok to launch their new model and renew their brand. They discussed how automotive brands can embrace this new platform to build lasting relationships and authentic connections for future success.

IAA Mobility 2023 gave us a look into the automotive world’s current state and upcoming challenges. Every player will need to develop the right set of partnerships to increase the pace of innovation and uncover new business opportunities. Mobility visionaries and industry leaders are ready to join forces, exchange knowledge and lead us into a more sustainable and purely electric mobility world.

The Code to Road initiative has been leading this movement and is ready to break down even more barriers for new partnerships that will drive the automotive industry into the future.

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