EUR 26 million for autonomous ride-pooling in Hamburg

26 October 2023
German government and Hamburg roll out ALIKE project - automated shuttles to hit roads in 2025

The German Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport has earmarked EUR 26 million in funds for the ALIKE driverless ride-pooling service, which will supplement public transport in Hamburg from 2025. The shuttles will be scalable across regions and in rural areas and can be booked on an app. The measure is part of an effort to put some 10,000 driverless shuttles  on roads across Hamburg by 2030.

Bridge between public and private means of transport

"This broad alliance for autonomous driving allows us to implement yet another part of the agreement with the German government to turn Hamburg into a model mobility region," said Dr Anjes Tjarks, Senator for Transport. The consortium, led by Hamburger Hochbahn, also includes the on-demand service MOIA, the Holon and Volkswagen commercial vehicles, as well as the Institute of Technology (KIT) in Karlsruhe as research partner. The ALIKE project should help establish a booking system for up to 20 driverless vehicles in Hamburg's public transport. The autonomous ride-pooling service is the missing piece of the puzzle between public and individual transport, Tjarks remarked, adding: "We are creating an entirely new pillar of public transport as an attractive alternative to the private car."

Volker Wissing (r.) hands over funding approval to Anjes Tjarks (centre) and Henrik Falk (l.)

Basis of commercial provision and scaling of ride-pooling services

"Autonomous driving can be key to relieving roads in large cities and ensuring mobility right to your doorstep," said Volker Wissing, Germany's Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport. "The autonomous on-demand shuttle comes exactly when I need it, and it takes me straight to my destination." The fully digital booking system is easy to order and trips can be combined thereby saving costs. The results of the ALIKE project will form the basis of commercial provision and scaling of ride-pooling services and expansion to other cities and rural areas. Two driverless, fully-electrical shuttles are to be launched namely the Holon Mover by Benteler's subsidiary Holon and the ID. Buzz AD by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The project benefits from experience gained with Hamburger Hochbahn and MOIA autonomous transport solutions i.e., the HVV Switch app and the MOIA app. Operating and ride-pooling software will be provided by MOIA.

Social acceptance of autonomous driving to be examined 

Research into social acceptance and the effects of traffic will be undertaken by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), which seeks more efficient and sustainable transport based on an interdisciplinary concept. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) automation level 4 (highly automated driving) is to be reached and implemented as part of ALIKE. SAE has outlined five levels of automated or autonomous driving. 


Sources and further information

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