Hochbahn and Holon to co-operate on driverless public transport

Hamburg to deploy driverless shuttles from 2024 and increase intervals with on-demand systems
21 November 2022
Der autonome Kleinbus von Holon

Hamburger Hochbahn AG has signed a memorandum of understanding with Holon, a subsidiary of the Benteler Group, to use its driverless on-demand systems in Hamburg's public transport system (ÖPNV) from 2024,  a press release said Wednesday (November 16, 2022).  The autonomous vehicles will be tested in a pilot area to highlight the new technology and create acceptance. Holon's vehicles will be presented at the CES technology trade fair in Las Vegas in January and could hit roads across Hamburg a year later. 

Driverless shuttles to boost Hamburg interval

Henrik Falk, CEO of Hochbahn, noted: "Driverless, on-demand services will help shape the mobility of the future and play an important role in the Hamburg Takt." Marco Kollmeier, CEO of Holon, remarked: "Our common goal is to make urban mobility more sustainable, safer and more inclusive by using autonomous movers." The plans are part of the so-called the Hamburg interval under which all residents of Hamburg should be able to access public transport every five minutes by 2030. Holon and Hochbahn now hope to make driverless vehicles an integral part of public transport when they start co-operating next year.

Technical know-how and practical experience

Holon and its partners are now working on fully electric, driverless vehicles that are approved for use on roads. The vehicles will be barrier-free thanks to automated ramps, wheelchair spaces as well as auditory and visual supports. Hochbahn gained experience with autonomous driving as part of the Hamburg Electric Autonomous Transport (HEAT) research project which ran from 2019 to 2021 in HafenCity.