Moia, Volkswagen’s mobility service provider, the City of Hamburg and Hochbahn presented Wednesday (January 9, 2019) brand new all-electric vehicles. The black and yellow vehicles hit roads in Hamburg as part of a test phase during which Moia will carry out technical tests and train several hundred drivers. Public operations are due to start in April on completion of the test phase.
Supplementing Hamburg’s mobility mix
“Innovations are crucial to making mobility in Hamburg more environment-friendly, quieter and safer. Ride sharing services close the gap between taxis and local public transport. Individual journeys are reduced and urban traffic is relieved overall. In 2021, we will host the ITS World Congress. We want to seize this opportunity to further advance digitalisation and efficiency on our roads,” said Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics, Transport and Innovation. Robert Henrich, COO of Moia, added: “From Hamburg into the world. Design and development come from the Hanseatic city.” Moia developed most of the service in Hamburg. Around 100 employees are already working on the system, which will be exported to other cities, if it proves a success in the Hanseatic city. The service in Hamburg is the world’s largest test for a mobility-on-demand system amid comes rising demand in view of traffic jams, air pollution and noise. Hamburg is increasingly becoming Germany’s capital of intelligent mobility, Henrich added.
Ride sharing reduces private transport by improving mobility and promoting efficient use of roads. Residents of Hamburg can book trips per app to use this new type of inner-city mobility. Public operations foresee a fleet of 100 vehicles. By April, several hundred people will be working for Moia. Over the next year, the fleet will be gradually expanded to 500 vehicles. Moia plans to expand the fleet to up to 1,000 vehicles later. Then, Moia is likely to have a workforce of several thousand. Moia expects an average fare of EUR 6 to 7 with prices likely to be between HVV’s rate and the cost of a taxi. The service will gradually be increased from the initial area and cover the entire city later.
Speaking during presentation in Hamburg’s City Hall, Westhagemann said: “Digitalization is building a bridge to mobility.” Accompanying scientific research will document the service’s impact on public transport and the taxi industry. If all goes well, plans will be laid to expand the fleet to 1,000 buses in time for the ITS Congress in 2021 and underline Hamburg’s claim to be the capital of innovative mobility, Westhagemann added.
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Test track for automated driving
The “Automated and Networked Driving Test Track” project in Hamburg is also making progress. In recent weeks, the fourth of 37 traffic lights on another street was equipped to send information to vehicles via WLAN. As part of the city’s Intelligent transport systems (ITS strategy) strategy, Hamburg plans to build a nine-kilometre test track in the city centre by 2021 when it hosts the ITS World Congress. This is just one of several ITS projects.