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Bürgermeister Olaf Scholz, Vorstandsvorsitzender Richard Lutz, Senator Frank Horch und Vorstand Infrastruktur der Deutschen Bahn, Ronald Pofalla, unterzeichnen "Memorandum of Understanding". © Jan-Niklas Pries / Senatskanzlei Hamburg

Deutsche Bahn and Hamburg agree "smart city" partnership

"Memorandum of Understanding" seals expanded urban transport including electric buses

Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg signed Monday (July 10, 2017) a Memorandum of Understanding sealing integrated mobility projects such as attractive railway stations, intelligent urban logistics and a digital network as part of a three-year “smart city” partnership. The plans also foresee on-demand shuttles that can be booked digitally, setting up a testing area for self-driving electric buses as well as a feasibility study on gradually automating part of Hamburg’s fast-train or S-Bahn network.

“Urban mobility in future is digital, networked and sustainable. We in Hamburg are relying on co-operations with strong partners to improve the standard of living, comfort and strengthening innovations. Deutsche Bahn is a partner with whom we can push urban mobility ahead using digital solutions and making our city even more liveable,” said Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg.

Support for ITS 2021 application

DB is also backing Hamburg’s application to host the 2021 Intelligent Transport Systems as reflected by measures to improve quality at the city’s long-distance railway stations. The plans foresee digital directions systems, powerful Wi-Fi and co-working spaces. DB is also planning to turn unused spaces into city depots to dispatch parcels on bicycles, setting up an extensive network of “intelligent lockers” at up to 50 Hamburger Hochbahn AG stations to allow customers to collect goods ordered online. Dr. Richard Lutz, Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Bahn AG, said: “Together with Hamburg, we are further developing mobility and logistics. Our networked rail and road offers will ensure simpler, comfortable, more affordable and environment-friendly transport solutions which will make the Hamburg Metropolitan Region a pioneer of smart city developments.”

Start-ups and “Hammerbrooklyn“

Both DB and Hamburg aim to establish an open data pool for developers to boost digital innovations and to include stronger industrial partners and start-ups. Last year, DB set up DB Digital Ventures GmbH for strategic partnerships and as the holding company for start-ups. The inclusion of DB in plans to set up a digital, forward-looking laboratory, as home to digital and creative companies in Hammerbrook will also be examined.

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