A blog by George Coates, Technical Director, WorldAutoSteel

We are approaching a critical milestone in automotive history when what we know as normal is about to change significantly. The future mobility revolution is underway and the steel and automotive industries are being challenged to rethink transportation and how we move people and goods.

By 2030, we expect to a see a dramatic shift from vehicle ownership to vehicle pay per use as the mainstream in densely populated regions. The different business models of OEMs, vehicle owners and fleet owners are shifting as they seek efficient, durable and affordable solutions that enable lower total cost of ownership (TCO). Future vehicle requirements will no longer be designed around the driver. Instead, we’re reimagining vehicle designs that enhance the comfort and functionality of the users, which will disrupt vehicle engineering and manufacturing as we know it today.

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) will accelerate the shift to autonomous vehicles, and passenger safety remains paramount. As new vehicle designs are introduced, there is a balance to strike between occupant safety and occupant freedom, further challenged by passengers in a range of diverse seating configurations. New designs will introduce new load cases, and steel is the proven and trusted material for engineering crash structures that provide comfort and security for passengers, as well as flexible, structural design options.

Steel delivers the most cost-effective solutions for manufacturing vehicles in the world today. Through constant innovation, steel products coupled with advanced processing technologies achieve tremendous capability for lightweighting, crash management and battery protection. The steel industry continues to develop products, reflected in our growing portfolio of Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS), to meet both mass reduction and safety targets.

Steel’s characteristics of strength, durability, and repairability align dynamically with the needs of these next generation vehicles. It delivers lighter yet stronger designs, while minimizing total cost of ownership to deliver sustainable mobility solutions today and in the future.