Automated and connected driving take the lead at Frankfurt Auto Show

The world’s largest auto show recently held in Frankfurt, Germany, did not fail to dazzle its nearly million visitors. With 219 world premieres and 22 electric series models, this year’s event was the place to be for automotive industry leaders and car enthusiasts. Automated and connected driving dominated the show. In case you missed it, we were walking the show floors and noticed these trends.

Personalized style

Personalization of vehicle interiors and exteriors is a growing trend, particularly in the premium and lifestyle car segment. Opel Adam featured seemingly unlimited design and styling options, as detailed in its wall display (pictured), which customers can configure online. Midsize cars are becoming more customizable, too. One of the contributing factors is the increased use of polycarbonates and blends for versatile applications.

Connected and on-the-go

Automobile makers are incorporating larger and more detailed interior display areas that feature connectivity to smartphones and tablets, making these devices an integral part of the experience. The connectivity to online services enables drivers to be plugged-in even when they’re on-the-go. Numerous models displayed the fusion of technology with interior style and comfort, such as the Tesla S (pictured). Polycarbonate and polycarbonate blends help automakers and suppliers achieve these desirable colors and premium surfaces without interfering with the signals needed for connectivity.

Lighting for stylish safety

LED lighting has grown in popularity over the years with a presence stronger now than ever. Halogen and Xenon lighting will soon be gone, and LED lighting is the most popular replacement. Several vehicles have incorporated LED lighting with unique design. The BMW 7 series features the first full laser high beam in a mass produced car for superior road safety. EDAG (pictured) is the first demonstrator of a 3D printed headlamp set made for special edition cars. Also, the Audi A4 uses an innovative Matrix LED in a medium-size car.

New mobility concepts

Concept vehicles, some with only two wheels, were also an eye-catching trend at Frankfurt. With future-looking designs and enhanced performance based on improved, powerful battery technology, INU’s two-wheeled model (pictured) features an innovative wheel-based drive train. For car concepts, the EDAG Light Cocoon (pictured) stretches the boundaries of possibilities. It features a 3D printed design that integrates lighting and body structure and features an innovative fabric surface, ultimately enabling an extremely lightweight vehicle.

Future roof concepts

Another interesting design idea was the Multi Optional Roof (MOR) concept by Webasto enabling multiple roof and styling options for customers with less complexity for automakers. Within the framework of the MOR, Webasto delivers a broad range of roof versions including large, openable panorama roofs, roofs with safety glazing, panorama roofs of impact-resistant, lightweight polycarbonate, lightweight roof elements made of polyurethane composites, folding tops and solar roofs with the option of on-board power generation.

You’ll find Covestro material technologies utilized in vehicles around the world …. in futuristic headlamps, durable interiors, futuristic roof concepts and much more. We'll continue to develop materials and applications that help tiers suppliers and automakers design and produce the next generation of awe-inspiring vehicles.

For more information, email plastics@covestro.com.

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