Thursday, 11 May 2017

New ‘Automobile Barcelona’ fair kicks off, focused on innovation


Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona’s car show, which has brought the main novelties of the automotive sector to the Catalan capital for nearly a century, has reinvented itself. The new Automobile Barcelona fair opened its doors this Thursday focused on innovation, said the fair’s president, Enric Lacalle. During the next ten days, more than 90 companies, 30 car brands, and 108 speakers are expected at Fira de Barcelona, including Tesla and other new technologies companies like Google and  Facebook. Volkswagen is a notable exception. Catalan President, Carles Pugidemont, welcomed the partnership between connectivity and the car industry but insisted that the main challenge is that everyone be able to enjoy this combination, and not just a select few.

The organization of ‘Connected hub’, due to take place during the first two days of the fair, has greatly expanded the presence of IT companies, social media, and new technologies which had never participated in the event before. Thus, Google will be present at Automobile Barcelona through Waze, its subsidiary, as well as IBM, Facebook, Ericsson, Orange, Oracle or Hewlet Packard, amongst others.

‘Connected hub’ is set to gather and become the meeting point for the key players around the Connected Car, based on the idea that technological innovation and connectivity are key factors for both the present and future of the automobile industry.

The event is organized around the following three areas; ‘Inspiration Arena’, ‘Innovation Square’, and ‘Connected Street’. The first is based on talks by leading figures in the industry, interactive workshops, and unique networking opportunities. ‘Innovation Square’ is the place where products and the latest developments related to the connected car will be showcased to the professional audience and the key players in the sector. Finally, ‘Connected Street’ is a large demo area where companies will display the most advanced technologies applied to vehicles.

Reinventing the Automobile fair

Automobile Barcelona’s President, Enric Lacalle, praised the idea of “reinventing” Barcelona’s Automobile fair by adding the synergies that came out of the Mobile World Congress and Barcelona’s designation as the Mobile World Capital. According to Lacalle, focusing on innovation and new technologies will not only boost the fair but “guarantee the event’s future” and consolidate it “as an international reference”.

In a similar vein, Catalan President, Carles Pugidemont, welcomed the “partnership” between connectivity and the car industry, which represents a step forward for Barcelona and its status as a congress capital. However, he insisted that the main challenge is that everyone benefit from this new collaboration between the car industry and new technologies and not just a select few.

  • Automobile

  • Puigdemont_automobile

  • Visitor at 'Automobile Barcelona' testing the connectivity of a Tesla's prototype (by ACN)
  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, during the inauguration of 'Automobile Barcelona' at Fira de Barcelona (by ACN)