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What did the Geneva Motor Show tell us about the state of the industry?

The Geneva Motor Show has long been one of the most important events in the automotive calendar, with something of a bun fight between manufacturers to gain attention for their latest innovations. So what did the 2017 show tell us about the future of the industry?

Some things never change
If you were a ten year old boy or ex Top Gear presenter, you’d no doubt have been enthralled by the eye catching supercars on show. The Ferrari 812 Superfast (yes, that is its real name) McLaren 720S and Lamborghini Huracan Performante certainly gained their fair share of attention. But whilst some of the drivetrain technology may have changed over recent years, the traditional formula of poster-style looks, huge horsepower and general impracticality remains almost unchanged since the 1970s.

Electric dreams
Electric cars are becoming more and more ingrained in everyday life. But aside from the BMW i8 and Tesla, the current crop are not what you’d call ‘dynamic’. With that in mind, Toyota, the pioneers of hybrid and hydrogen technology in recent years have now turned their attention to EVs.

Their new i-TRIL concept in a small city car that leans like a motorcycle and is aiming to bring some driving pleasure to the EV. Weighing just 600kg it features a hinge between the rear axle and the cabin that allows the body and front tyres to lean. Combined with a target range of 185 miles between charges thanks to battery and motor wizardry, this could be a great leap forward for green motoring.

And the tech doesn’t stop there, steering, acceleration and braking are all controlled by drive-by-wire technology. Operation is by left and right-hand control nodes that work like computer mice or games controllers. 

Buttons are sooo last century
The theme of “less is more” is continued with the impressive Range Rover Velar SUV. It features one of the most advanced and beautiful interiors we’ve ever seen. It’s taken a highly minimalist approach to interior design. The myriad of buttons that accompany most modern vehicles have all been replaced by hidden touch-sensitive panels that give the cabin a uniquely uncluttered feel. The result is a simply beautiful cabin and surely shows the way for other manufacturers.

Why drive when you could fly?
Ironically it wasn’t an automotive company causing the biggest stir at the show, instead that honour went to aviation company Airbus.
They revealed their concept that involves a capsule that can be quickly and easily connected to a set of wheel or rotors. The interactive module allows users to choose their destination, scan social media and choose the perfect music playlist for their journey. 

Of course flying cars are nothing new, but the Pop Up is a fully electric, autonomous, zero emission concept designed for city use. In fact, Airbus say the main barrier is not technological but the rather the regulations to allow autonomous passengers vehicles to fly above busy urban environments.

So don’t expect to see them buzzing around London for a few years yet, but the fact that one of the world’s largest aviation companies was even exhibiting at Geneva speaks volumes.  Airbus say that as various companies move towards autonomy and connectivity, collaborations between the automotive and aviation industries will become more common.

Innovation was everywhere you looked at Geneva, and not just minor facelifts or uprated horsepower, but really meaningful advances. Manufacturers are pushing themselves and each other to improve on the motor car which has remained fundamentally unchanged for over 100 years. That level of innovation and creativity can only be a good thing for the industry going forward.  

Has your business got an innovation you want to tell the world about? Do you need to get a manufacturer to take notice of your product? Then talk to Clear B2B.

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