Innovative concepts such as ridesharing require a sound legal framework – German automotive industry is a leading provider of new mobility services – Joint VDA and BVDS event in Berlin on June 17
“The German automotive industry has developed into one of the leading providers of carsharing, ridesharing and multimodal platforms for information, reservations and bookings. So manufacturers and suppliers are evolving into mobility service providers as well,” stressed Bernhard Mattes, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). “The industry’s new mobility concepts demonstrate that it is ideally prepared for the traffic of the future, which will be both multimodal and diverse. Offering the largest possible choice of connected forms of mobility is the only way we can ensure needs-based traffic organization in line with social and environmental considerations,” Mattes said.
“One advantage of the new, connected diversity will be better options for managing commuter flows. And transport hubs outside cities can help to ease the burdens on the transportation system,” Mattes underscored. “Using one’s own vehicle up to the city limits and then taking local public transport or a sharing service to get to work – multimodality and the appropriate infrastructure can make the mobility of the future efficient and successful in urban and rural areas.”
The VDA president emphasized, “However, regulatory hurdles must be removed and the legal framework must be adjusted to enable innovative concepts such as ridesharing, carsharing, and not least bike and e-scooter sharing to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of road traffic in the future.”
In particular the German Passenger Transport Act (PBefG) had to be adapted to the mobility of tomorrow, Mattes said, adding: “Today the PBefG is still too heavily oriented to the old world of ‘analog’ traffic and hasn’t arrived in the digital age yet. Today journeys are shared and ordered by smartphone. The stops are not necessarily structures erected at the roadside.” For this reason, Mattes said, it was right and necessary that the German Government intends to revise the PBefG. For example, “virtual stops” that are shown to customers on their smartphones would have to be recognized as legal stopping places.
“One useful approach would be to categorize ridesharing offers as public transport services. This option should be open to all providers of ridesharing services. The bundling function of ridesharing suggests this kind of categorization.” That would allow both cooperation and competition, Mattes explained, and continued: “In any case, ridesharing would need to be authorized. So after a reform of the PBefG, municipalities would still be able to determine the type and scope of official authorization for their own area, and would therefore retain control.”
The German Startups Association (BVDS) and the VDA are organizing the event “Mobility apps, private and public transport – what will move us tomorrow?” in Berlin on June 17, 2019. Further information is available online. The VDA will use this opportunity to present its position paper “The role of cars in the transport system of the future – political action for strengthening new mobility concepts.” The paper will soon be available on the VDA website