The 2022 Daegu International Future Auto & Mobility Expo (henceforth referred to as 2022 DIFA) opened in the East Hall (halls 4~6) of EXCO in Daegu from October 27th (Thurs) until the 29th (Sat).
The opening ceremony had the attendance of local congressmen including Joon-pyo Hong, the Mayor of Daegu, overseas government officials, and business people from Korea and abroad, like Young-sang Yoo, the CEO of SKT, Sun-chul Eoh, the CEO of Hanwha System, and Jin-mo Yang, the Vice President of Hyundai Motor.
After the inauguration of Joon-pyo Hong as mayor after the 8th popular election, expectations have been growing for Daegu’s future mobility industry. If DIFA had been confined to the future automobile industry last year, they have expanded this year to cover the whole range of mobility which are really revving up this year, like UAM (urban air mobility).
New mobility services, like autonomous driving and UAM, need a new approach that goes beyond existing traffic and city planning. This is why Daegu, which is preparing urban planning of the future with projects like the construction of the Daegu Gyeongbuk Integrated New Airport and the development of the former site of K2, has an advantage in fostering the future mobility industry. As automobiles are in the midst of rapidly evolving as an integrated industry to the point of being called ‘electronic products on wheels’ recently, the Ministry of Science and ICT’s promise to make Daegu into the 2nd Pangyo has raised expectations for ‘Daegu, a Mobility-Centered City’.
In this vein, this year’s DIFA is both Korea’s biggest place to experience the present and future of mobility, and also was meaningful as the setting of the official launching ceremony of the reorganization of the region’s future mobility industry, connecting with the ambitious core projects pursued by Daegu.
At the new UAM Forum Session first held this year, leading Korean corporations, like Hanwha System and SKT, and other prominent overseas companies, like the UK’s Skyports and USA’s Bell Textron, were in attendance. AtoZ, a domestic autonomous driving solution company from the region, revealed the scale model of the ‘Made in Daegu’ electronic autonomous vehicle, which is set to release a test car next year, at the expo for the first time.
A business meeting was also held for the ‘EV Motor Specialized Complex Creation’, which the city of Daegu is focusing on as a presidential region pledged project. Motors are a core component of all moving mobility, including EVs, autonomous driving, and robots, and focusing on developing technology for small and medium-sized motors as well as for large motors, which have a low ratio of localization, the potential for future growth is limitless. Around 20 local and non-local companies have already expressed their intent to participate.
The invited overseas buyer consultations, that have slowed down due to COVID-19, have been massively strengthened, and 50 companies from 15 countries, including China, USA, Japan, and Germany were in attendance. Additional events for citizens had been prepared abundantly as well. From the 27th (Thurs) to the 29th (Sat), people could ride KIA’s EV6 GT-Line, which boasts a 1 to 100 time of 3.5 seconds, through an online and on-site application, as well as other cars like the GM Bolt EUV and Polestar 2.
On the last day of the expo on the 29th (Sat, 10 AM), the ‘Daegu Model Electric Autonomous Vehicle Contest’, aimed at local university students, was held at the exhibition site in the East Hall, and provided a good opportunity for students interested in future mobility to have an indirect experience. In addition, UAM (Urban Air Mobility), which is drawing attention as transportation of the future, was able to be experienced via VR in the Hyundai Motor exhibition booth. The Korea Electric Motorcycle Society provided purchasing discount events for electric motorcycle during the event period, and ran a shuttle bus from Dongdaegu Station to EXCO for the convenient transportation of visitors from other regions.
Joon-pyo Hong, the Mayor of Daegu, said that, “Connecting with urban development plans for the future 50 years, with projects like the construction of the Daegu Gyeongbuk Integrated Airport or the development of the former site of K2, the potential of the development of the region’s future mobility industry is limitless,” and went on to say, “Using this year’s DIFA as a catalyst, we will try our best to make Daegu rise as the center of future mobility in Korea.”
Having its 6th iteration this year, DIFA reflected the rapidly changing environment of the automobile industry and changed the name of the event from Daegu International Future Auto Expo to Daegu International Future Auto & Mobility Expo, and expanded the fields covered from electric and autonomous cars to mobility overall, which includes motor and battery parts, chargers, and UAM. Exhibitions that covered autonomous mobility, connected mobility, eco-friendly mobility, and future tuning mobility, and an experts’ forum were also held.