Automaker Attendance at Mobile World Congress to Increase

Automakers are attending more and more tech shows.

Timothy Healey
    Mar 04, 2017 10:30 AM  PT
Automaker Attendance at Mobile World Congress to Increase
author: Timothy Healey    

Automakers are stepping out of the auto-show zone and moving into the tech space.

This doesn't mean automakers are likely to become less involved in major auto shows, but rather, that they're going to increase their presence at tech shows.

For example, major automakers have already been busy appearing at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which takes place in Las Vegas in January each year, for years. The show has become so important to auto manufacturers that the North American International Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, which is also held every January is changing its dates next year, including the dates of the media preview.

An NAIAS official told The Detroit News the date change was a coincidence, but whether that's true or not, now automaker execs and media members won't be forced to choose which to cover. More to the point, the growing automaker presence at CES shows that tech shows mean as much to manufacturers as auto shows do.

Enter the Mobile World Congress. Held in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this week, it featured into the plans of several major automakers.

BMW, Daimler, Ford, and Peugeot all had a presence at the show, and more automakers could follow in the coming years.

Peugeot showed off its Instinct concept at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) – and that marked the Instinct's global debut. The Instinct is a showcase for Peugeot's partnership with Samsung on the Artik Cloud IoT tech platform. The platform aggregates data from smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches, and a third corporate partner, data-science company Sentiance, uses that data to create a user profile for drivers.

Mercedes-Benz, which is part of Daimler, showed off its CASE strategy. CASE stands for Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Service, and Electric Drive. Various products at the company's both showed off different variations on the strategy. Daimler/Mercedes-Benz also showed off a car-sharing and direct-to-car package-delivery service.

Ford, meanwhile, kept a quieter presence and BMW talked connected car. Officials from racing series such as Formula E and Roborace had keynote speaking slots and there were discussion sessions involving autonomous vehicles and the use of the cars as a service.

It's no surprise that automakers are getting more and more involved in tech shows. Not only is tech becoming more and more part of the modern automotive experience, it will only continue to do so, especially with autonomous cars reaching at least some level of public adoption in the coming years.