An updated roadmap released will help automakers and their suppliers invent mobility solutions that can meet the demands of the revolution underway in personal mobility.
The new roadmap, Automotive Plastics and Polymer Composites: A Roadmap for Future Mobility , calls for a series of industry-wide, collaborative activities to capture opportunities in each area of the ACCESS framework—Autonomy, Connectivity, Circularity, Electrification, Shared Mobility, and Sustainability. These pre-competitive, cooperative efforts will help automakers unleash the full potential of the advanced plastic and composites essential to enabling future mobility needs.
“The future of personal mobility is not possible without plastics and polymer composites,” said Gina Oliver, senior director of ACC’s Automotive Team, which developed the roadmap. “This roadmap provides our industry with a guide for coordinated, cross-sector action that will ensure automakers can create the breakthrough innovations needed to achieve safe, modern mobility solutions.”
Plastics and polymer composites offer an unparalleled combination of properties that are essential to the mobility solutions of the future. For example, plastics and polymer composites have the flexibility to enable sensors, electronics, and batteries to be integrated safely and seamlessly into vehicles without adding extra weight. Lightweight plastics are essential to increase fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Plastics can also improve the ability of interiors to stand up to wear and tear of use in shared vehicles and enable the more modular and multi-configurable interior components desired in autonomous vehicles. And they can help offset added weight from additional features—in fact, using composites for mixed-material designs could reduce the weight of some automotive components by 50 to75 percent.
To develop the roadmap, ACC’s Plastics Division, which represents America’s Plastic Makers®, worked closely with the automotive industry and research community. The roadmap reflects the transformative technological, cultural, and economic megatrends that are converging to shape personal mobility. It also, for the first time, identifies the industry’s commitment to capturing the opportunities involved in achieving a more circular economy—that is, recovering materials at the end of their usable life, refurbishing and repairing materials to extend product lifecycles, and remanufacturing and reusing them in new products.
“Automotive plastics and polymer composites providers are excited to tackle the activities outlined in this roadmap,” said Oliver. “We look forward to working with automotive OEMs and suppliers, academic and national laboratory researchers, and government agencies to realize more affordable, accessible, sustainable, and environmentally responsible mobility solutions for all.”
View the new roadmap: Automotive Plastics and Polymer Composites: A Roadmap for Future Mobility