Mobility 4.0 includes topics as autonomous driving, networked logistics chains, integrated transport systems or unmanned drones. Just as seen in various other industries, the digitalization of business life is hereby progressing to the field of mobility and logistics.

With the Automechanika trade fair and the new Hypermotion fair, which focuses on mobility and digitalization and will take place for the first time from 20th to 22nd November 2017 in Frankfurt, Messe Frankfurt is closely connected to the mobility community and thus also serves as an important platform for these topics. At the end of 2016, Messe Frankfurt took a further step in illuminating this exciting development with its “Mobility and digitalization” study conducted together with the Institute for Supply Chain Management, Cluster and Mobility Management at the International School of Management (ISM), Frankfurt.

We spoke with Messe Frankfurt’s Vice President Mobility & Logistics, Michael Johannes, about the study results.

Mr Johannes, why did you conduct this mobility 4.0 study?

Through our events in the field of mobility & logistics, we are very close to the market developments and future topics related to mobility, transportation and logistics. To actively accompany the rapid digitalization of every aspect of mobility, we wanted to contribute our expertise and provide impetus for the discourse in the community. We achieved this with our study, which demonstrated the ongoing paradigm shift in mobility in detail.

The most exciting aspect of this is that our understanding of mobility is fundamentally changing. Devices like smartphones are becoming more important than the means of transport and the intelligence of mobility is increasingly disconnected from the technical assets (cars). The predictability of the transport chain is at the top of the agenda for respondents. Planning security is therefore a primary factor in mobility decisions. Mobility is also no longer understood to be a simple satisfaction of transport requirements, but as a portfolio consisting of travel, entertainment, shopping and work. Rapidly advancing digitalization is requiring customized mobility services to compete for the customers of tomorrow.


Seven networked topics on the basis of the core elements Infrastructure, Equipment and Services & Applications.

In a nutshell – what are the results of the study?

The results can be summarized in five core theses:

1.) Shifts in mobility toward a sharing economy and new digital services
Digitalization of mobility allows for a variety of new services. The market for a sharing economy is growing steadily and can almost be considered “mature”. More than 15 percent of 500 respondents already use sharing services. This particularly applies to city residents and young people who have a positive attitude towards smart cars, for example. Autonomous vehicles are particularly desired to reduce traffic accidents on long highway routes, for example, by 61 percent of the participants. Only 14 percent of those survey reject autonomous vehicles in general.

2.) Digitalization as a challenge for conventional automotive manufacturers
Traditional companies have to recognise and use the potential of digitalization. Otherwise, they will only assume the role of a physical transport service provider or even become obsolete over time. Young companies driven by digitalization like Uber, Tesla, or Google will attempt to massively expand their shares in the changing market surrounding the mobility of tomorrow. They are causing disruption in a wide range of industries with new ideas generated according to the “fail fast, fail often” mentality. Here too, it is the young generation that is detached from the conventional automobile brands and doesn’t necessarily have “gasoline in their veins” that appears to be more receptive to the new mobility concepts.

3.) Convenience is becoming the deciding factor
Customers want services for their personal mobility from a single source. They expect real-time information and a usage-based billing of these services. When comparing transportation alternatives, time is not the only factor, but also the knowledge of problems along the selected route. The majority of respondents would like a “one stop shop” that offers vendor-neutral, transparent comparisons of different routes, means of transportation and prices. And they want to be able to access this information from anywhere on their personal mobile device.

4.) A low level of awareness and a lack of communication of alternatives
New mobility services must be communicated more clearly and more visibly in the market. Especially older users rarely know about the new mobility offerings. Over 40 percent of the respondents have had no experience with offerings such as car sharing or carpooling. 22 percent indicated a lack of services in their region, although good mobility infrastructures actually exist in some cases.

5.) A lack of comparability due to a lack of performance indicators for mobility offerings
So far there are not enough neutral institutes or apps with performance indicators for mobility services spanning multiple providers, which provide users a valid basis for comparison. Applications like Moovel or Qixxit are still in their infancy and provide no comprehensive functions for planning, booking and payment of various mobility services. Especially individual mobility comparisons in the form of real-time reporting would facilitate the transparent and vendor-neutral planning and billing for customers.

And what will further development result in?

Digitalization and the development toward more autonomous driving will significantly increase the range of mobility services. The convenience of the services and their seamless integration will become key success factors. It remains to be seen which additional core competencies automakers and today’s mobility providers will develop or outsource to suppliers, Silicon Valley companies and start-ups as digitalization progresses. Customer, however, will favour the most convenient solution on the medium term.

Thank you for the interview.

Hypermotion Poster Digitization traffic and Mobility

Background information on Hypermotion

New, networked, integrated, multi-modal systems and solutions across all modes of transport is the topic of Messe Frankfurt’s new event. The Hypermotion trade fair, which will be taking place from November 20th to 22nd, 2017 at the trade fair site in Frankfurt, will be accompanied by three conferences on the subjects of digitalization, Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and intermodality. The event’s partners and sponsors include the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the State of Hessen represented by its Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development (HMWEVL), the German Association for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS Deutschland), the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), die German Association of Transport Sciences (DVWG) and the German Transport Forum (DVF).

For more information about important Digital trends 2017 also read our articles the most important digital trends 2017, Usability test for the new Navigator-App: A good result, and Say yes to Digital, but with caution.

See the full survey report (German language only)