Urban Mobility Platform launched
Traffic in German towns and cities is increasing, and with it the associated challenges. Keeping urban mobility efficient, environmentally acceptable and safe in the future will require close cooperation between all players. For this reason, seven German cities and eight companies from the German automotive industry joined forces in May 2016 to set up the “Urban Mobility Platform.” The platform includes the cities of Bremen, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig, Ludwigsburg and Munich, and the companies Audi, BMW, Continental, Daimler, Porsche, Robert Bosch, Schaeffler and VW Commercial Vehicles, along with the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).
“This alliance between cities and the industry demonstrates their great willingness to jointly develop innovative solutions for urban mobility in order to enhance the quality of life for people in our cities,” explained VDA President Matthias Wissmann at today’s launch in Berlin. At the event the partners presented a joint declaration on the future of urban mobility and logistics.
“Technological developments such as digitization, alternative powertrains and automated vehicle systems, and new offers like sharing models, open up huge opportunities for making mobility compatible with urban settings, and creating new logistics solutions,” Wissmann said. Particularly the light-duty commercial vehicles used for deliveries and services will have an indispensable key role in the electrification of inner-city mobility, he explained, and added that the automotive industry wanted to work with the city representatives on modern and sustainable concepts. At present some joint implementation projects are being developed in various specialist workshops on the themes of land use, intermodality and multimodality, and digitization. Wissmann said, “The platform therefore sees itself not only as a think tank, but above all also as a ‘do tank’.”
“Our towns and cities need smart mobility concepts. Urban solutions that address the growing requirements placed on mobility in urban areas. The cities of the future will need better quality of life, better accessibility and lower emissions. We call that a city-friendly mobility concept,” according to Olaf Scholz, First Mayor of Hamburg. He described Hamburg as a laboratory for mobility. “We want to develop the solutions for the transportation of the future here. We are not doing that on our own, but with skilled partners: they are first the municipalities that face similar challenges to ours. Second, we are backing industrial partnerships,” Scholz continued. He explained it was very encouraging “that the VDA for its part has launched the Urban Mobility Platform with its partners. Hamburg welcomes this step. It is an important signal. With the platform, the automotive industry is accepting its responsibility for better air quality in towns and cities.”
Following the keynote speeches by Olaf Scholz and Matthias Wissmann, representatives from AUDI AG, BMW AG, the moovel Group GmbH and Robert Bosch GmbH joined with representatives from the cities of Bremen and Leipzig to discuss the “Future of urban mobility and logistics.”
Dr. Bernhard Blättel, Vice President BMW i Mobility Services, stated: “Digitization offers us the opportunity of resolving sustainably the challenges in urban traffic by connecting new technologies and concepts. With this common platform involving cities and the industry, we are accelerating this process and creating joint solutions. Our cities will remain worth living in and German industry is securing its international competitiveness.”
Dorothee Dubrau, Leipzig’s Deputy Mayor for Construction, said: “For our citizens, living in the city is not only useful or practical – it should be pleasant, healthy and inspiring. Mobility contributes to the liveliness of our cities and not its end. It must therefore be organized so that it fulfills its functions while providing good quality, and on the other hand does not detract from the inhabitants’ space, air, time, sufficient peace and quiet, or health. So it must be more space-saving, more collaborative, cleaner, more electric, quieter, more connected and simpler. Conventional expansion of the infrastructure can no longer be funded, we need local mobility instead of long routes, and we must design public space in consideration of all the needs of our inhabitants and businesses. To achieve this, we will have to find new solutions and new paths to take. The Urban Mobility Platform gives us a completely new opportunity for working with the industry on these new solutions.”
Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Board of Management at Robert Bosch GmbH, stressed, “Traffic in towns and cities is facing enormous challenges. We therefore need solutions that will make urban mobility fit for the future.”
Jörg Lamparter, CEO of the moovel Group GmbH and a member of the management of Daimler Mobility Services, said, “Digitization offers new possibilities for shaping urban mobility to make it simpler and more intelligent, and to improve people’s quality of life. We are developing an operating system for urban mobility that offers access to suitable mobility options and prepares the way to a future with autonomous vehicles. We are delighted that the Urban Mobility Platform draws many forces together to utilize the opportunities from digitization.”
Ekkehart Siering, Bremen’s State Councillor to the Senator of Economic Affairs, Labour and Ports, said: “A close alliance between municipalities and industry will be required to improve the quality of urban life. The Urban Mobility Platform offers a good basis for reaching practicable solutions quickly. This helps the municipalities and our leading industry on the path toward a mobility that is right for the future.”
Dr. Roland Villinger, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Digital Officer at AUDI AG, stated: “In the future the car will continue to be an integral part of urban mobility. However, it can no longer be viewed in isolation, but instead must be seen with its capabilities within the urban context. We want to provide new technologies and services for sustainable mobility in development partnerships with municipalities.”