Photo: Jennifer Moyes
Ever been to MOVE? If you haven’t, it’s quite an eye opener. Autonomous vehicles crawling round the expo floor as investors thrash it out with tech bros to find the next biggest thing. On stage, energy and payments giants implore the audience to step into the future with them. And, as you reach for a business card, another e-scooter whizzes past. Seems an eclectic mix, right? Well, that seems to be the point of MOVE, an event designed to connect the dots on all things mobility.
The brochure of the event and coverage leading up to it detailed what to expect; a vibrant gathering of thousands of attendees, speakers and start-ups from across the mobility spectrum. And that’s what you get!
As soon as you walk through the doors of the event, you’re met with a red lit and wooden floored stand from AON, with an attendee trying out their race driver simulation that is whirring away with excitement. To the right is a huge Level 4 autonomous shuttle bus from ZF in all its glory, boasting a sleek shiny-grey exterior and absolutely no driver seat – which felt a bit weird at first.
Walking down through the conference, every stand exhibited its own respective aesthetic met with an impressive array of the latest mobility products. The floor was saturated with EV charging stations, electric mini car racetracks, test tracks, screen displays and so much more. A HGV, micro-car, electric motorcycle, e-scooter and e-bike are among the many real vehicle displays that were dotted all around the event.
MOVE boasts itself as the premier mobility event to meet all of the industry’s best experts. In light of this, there were some pretty impressive names that stood out in the crowd of booths: WAE, Mastercard, Hogan Lovells, AON and Dassault Systémes.
With an impressive 17 stages, the event claimed to host a total of 700 talks, all presented by industry experts who respectively delved into their own unique mobility-related discussions on trending topics like smart cities, battery tech, electric vehicles, fleet management and even mining. The engaging talks and panel discussions allowed speakers to share their insights and expertise on concerns, issues, excitements and anticipations for the mobility world. Angela Strand gave some insightful opinions on the state of the world’s clean energy transition, as well as providing a fascinating conversation on the Inflation Reduction Act.
Other inspiring talks made me question my pre-determined perceptions of urban mobility, including Dott’s discussion on the 15-minute city concept, Rod King’s 20s Plenty Campaign and Ryd’s conversation with Mastercard about the acceleration of frictionless payments in urban mobility.
But it was not all just a parade of mobility companies talking about their products and success, there was a poignant message that rose above all the brightly lit branding and buzzing ambience. The event stayed true to its word on keeping the issue of sustainability key to the heart of the event. There was not a single attendee that I encountered who didn’t demonstrate their love and appreciation for using mobility to keep the planet green. The event provided an invaluable platform for attendees to grasp and elaborate on the evolution of the mobility ecosystem. MOVE provided a space for learning as well as teaching, and helped its attendees to acknowledge all of the collective efforts of the industry in combatting the climate emergency.
Another touching moment occurred on Day Two of the event, when Nicoletta Gennaro, Group Head of Marketing at Ascendal Group, was awarded the Women in Mobility Award 2023. Her heartfelt acceptance speech emphasised her love for the positive impact of her work in the mobility industry. Gennaro secured victory with a narrow 25-vote margin over the runner-up, highlighting her significant contributions and inspiring influence. The award ceremony was a powerful tribute to the hard-working women in mobility and their major contributions to the industry’s acceleration.
In the later hours of Day Two at MOVE, Cormac Cronin Martin, the Project Director of the event, expressed the exhilaration that he experienced from the two-day conference, stating: “MOVE 2023 was the best MOVE yet – more attendees, speakers, start-ups and exhibitors than ever before. And the feedback we’re getting is that this is a unique and valuable community that’s only going to grow.”
MOVE sponsors and speakers were also interviewed at the interview booth, offering additional insights and perspectives on the event’s innovations and advancements. I spoke to John Wall, who kindly explained to me how exactly BlackBerry QNX fit into the space of mobility. Using the analogy of a plumber, he elaborated that their software helps to provide the foundation for software-defined vehicles, which automakers can then build the car on top of. As someone who is not quite yet an expert in mobility terminology, I valued his passionate yet patient nature in explaining his product.
Every interviewee willingly highlighted their MOVE pledges for the upcoming year and gave a personal or company-governed pledge towards creating increased sustainability in the mobility industry through their products, services and daily lifestyle choices. But only time will tell if they can live up to their promises.
In conclusion, MOVE 2023 proved to be an unparalleled platform for the mobility industry to converge, collaborate and innovate. With its focus on sustainability and specialised platform for businesses to showcase their products, the event served as a catalyst for driving positive change in the world of mobility. As the event continues to grow and evolve, it promises to remain at the forefront of shaping the future of transportation and mobility worldwide.
As the world continues to grapple with environmental challenges and the need for more efficient and eco-friendly transportation solutions, my expectations for MOVE 2024 remain high, as the future event will likely play a big role in showcasing cutting-edge technologies and strategies that address these pressing issues.
MOVE will return in 2024, from 19 June 2024 to 20 June 2024 at ExCel London. To find out more, click here.