New HEY/HAMBURG event focusing on future of mobility

22 June 2021
Autonomous driving, e-mobility and cable cars to supplement present transport means

The HEY/HAMBURG festival on June 17 and 18, 2021 focused on all aspects of mobility in future during impulse talks, round tables, panel discussions and live broadcasts from Germany and abroad. Topics on the agenda included technical innovations, sustainability and urban planning that takes account of modern mobility concepts from the very start.

Living laboratory

Hamburg is ideal for this new event as the city could become a real laboratory for mobility, according to Norbert Aust, President of the Chamber of Commerce, which initiated HEY/HAMBURG in co-operation with Shift Mobility. Aust noted: "All the relevant modes of transport are prominent here." Ideas and solutions for sustainable mobility on roads, rail, water and in the air can be found jointly.

Fun and sustainable

Advocates of drone technology, which uses airspace for transporting medical samples and surveying, as well as Professor Jörg Niemann, Life Cycle Excellence (FLiX) research centre at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf, came out in favour of increased focus on mobility in the third dimension and presented the results of his study on the ecological footprint of various means of transport. Neumann concluded: "Cableways integrated into existing transport systems, can be fun, sustainable and sensible."  People must be open to new ways of thinking.

Autonomous driving becoming reality

This appeal for openness proved a common thread during the event where optimism prevailed about shaping a positive future together. Tobias Wessels, Chief Corporate Development Officer at the U.S. start-up UDELV, for instance, termed himself a techno-optimist and believes the future belongs to autonomously-driven lorries. Such vehicles are symbols of intelligent delivery management, operate cost-effectively and drive sustainably as they are electrically powered. However, the lorries are not fully autonomous and staff at the Udelv tele-operation centre continue to monitor them. Yet, autonomous driving is becoming a reality, according to delegates at HEY/Hamburg.

Mobility for everyone

A variety of use cases can be found in ports e.g., in Tanjung Pelepas (Malaysia), the Port of Rotterdam (Netherlands) or in Hamburg. “Autonomously operating systems” was the buzzword during a panel discussion among CEOs on the "Port of the Future Plan" Jens Meier, Managing Director of HPA, said: "Autonomous operating systems are certainly the future whether driving, floating or flying. However, we have to ensure that they are safe," he stressed. 

Yet, the technology is definitely making strides with noticeable advantages for society. Driving time could be used productively and for recreation. The expected cost savings may better integrate rural areas and autonomous vehicles can open up new means of transport for the elderly and disabled people.

Marco Neelsen, CEO Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Ori Marom, Head Autonomous Transport Centre, Port of Rotterdam & Jens Meier, CEO Hamburg Port Authority (right)

Mobility as a human right

Sascha Pallenberg, a digital evangelist, who joined the conference from Taipei, termed mobility a “human right", meaning uncomplicated and affordable access to a wide range of convenient mobility services. Alain Visser, CEO of Lynk & Co, said privately-owned cars are literally taking a “back seat” and said a deviation from materialism is becoming a global trend: "Experience is more important than owning (the vehicle)," he noted. For this reason, Lynk & Co, a brand of the Chinese Geely Group, offers its compact SUV 01 as a monthly subscription. Connectivity and sustainability are other trends, according to Visser. Subscribers or “club members” can share a car. The textile interior is made of recycled fishing nets and other waste materials, and the car is available as either a mild or plug-in hybrid. Lynk & Co does not offer pure combustion vehicles.


Sascha Pallenberg, Digital Evangelist

Future of e-mobility

"The e-mobile market is on the verge of a major breakthrough this year," according to Oliver Heyden, Chief Strategy Officer at Press Relations, which provides a digital media monitoring service and qualitative media analysis with emphasis on megatrends in mobility and new urbanism. Solid batteries would solve the range problem in a few years. However, the lack of wall boxes in cities is proving a new, major obstacle to e-mobility, he noted. Stefan Görgen, Product and Proposition Manager Emobility Germany at Vattenfall, said this will not remain a problem, if Vattenfall has its way. "Every property will be equipped for e-mobility in future," he promised. Stefan Wulff, owner of the Otto Wulff Group, said: "E and hydrogen-fuelling stations, 5G reception as well as sufficient space for various sharing and mobility offers must be considered in new urban development projects from the very start." Politicians have a duty to take action.

ITS World Congress

Anjes Tjarks, Senator for Transport and Mobility Transition, said: "Hamburg is a model of innovative, digital and environment-friendly transport in Germany. We want to consolidate and expand this goal.” Around 200 projects for turning the transport sector digital are underway as Hamburg gears up to host the ITS World Congress in October. "We will continue to pursue the transport digitalisation strategy even after the ITS Congress in Hamburg,” Tjarks added. 


Anjes Tjarks, Senator für Verkehr und Mobilitätswende, Handelskammer Präses Norbert Aust und Malte Heyne, Geschäftsführer Handelskammer

Sources and further information

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