Debates around Brexit and air quality get a lot of column inches, and understandably so, but in addition to these crucial issues of today, the automotive sector must also look further ahead. The way we live and travel is changing, and the technology helping us do so at an even faster pace. Revolutions in electrification, connectivity, automation and artificial intelligence have already begun. The question now is, how do we harness these shifts to redefine mobility for millions?
Collaboration will be key, especially between the tech community and established vehicle manufacturers, so this week we launched an exciting new initiative – the SMMT Future Mobility Challenge – to help foster relationships and drive innovation.
Five leading automotive brands, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Bosch, Ford and Toyota, have partnered with SMMT to challenge innovative technology start-ups and SMEs to create solutions to seven crucial mobility challenges. Those with the most innovative ideas will be invited to pitch them live to potential brand partners and investors this October. I encourage you to share details of the challenge within your networks and, for more information, visit: http://www.smmt.co.uk/events/future-mobility-challenge/
Automotive is changing fast, and it is the traditional brands that are leading the charge. They have already invested billions in some of the most technologically advanced and lowest emission vehicles ever produced. Yet we must continue to develop and innovate, improving performance and lowering cost, investing in electrification, efficiency and safety improvements. But a lot more needs to be done – and no one can do it alone. We need to engage across all sectors, including tech, but also with energy companies, infrastructure providers, financial institutions and, above all, with policy makers. We need a joined up plan supported by government with the right policy framework, incentives, infrastructure and timescale to ensure consumes buy into the next generation of innovative mobility solutions.
To get involved in this debate, there is still time to register for SMMT Open Forum on 5 June. This week new speakers, Tony Walker, Managing Director, Toyota Motor Europe (London) and Ben Salama, Managing Director, Accenture Digital, have been announced. They join other leaders from the automotive and technology communities for a morning of expert presentations, discussion and networking taking place on the first day at Automechanika Birmingham – for more information and to get your ticket visit: https://www.smmt.co.uk/events/open-forum/
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive