First Mayor Olaf Scholz said: "Here in Hamburg, we want to safeguard mobility for all citizens. At the same time, it is our aim to make traffic in our city cleaner, quieter and safer. Technological progress is the only way to achieve that. What is needed is the resourcefulness and inventive spirit of German industry, and we are seeking to cooperate with leading companies such as Volkswagen. We are reaching out to anyone wishing to collaborate with us on modern mobility solutions in both passenger and freight transport. Anyone looking to test innovative mobility concepts and digital technologies to improve the urban quality of life will find a reliable partner in the City of Hamburg. There is a particularly innovation-friendly climate in our city, and the cooperation with Volkswagen will add to that. My standpoint is: what is invented here must be tested here, too. Made in Germany – tested in Hamburg."
CEO of Volkswagen AG Matthias Müller commented: "Mobility remains a basic human need – even in the digital age. Constant calls for doing without or banning mobility are not the answer. What is needed is intelligent concepts that make the automobile part of the solution and no longer part of the problem. This is about overcoming old ways of thinking, jointly driving innovation forward, and taking the initiative ourselves rather than waiting for others to go first. As a hub of innovation, Hamburg is already a pioneer when it comes to forward-looking themes such as digitalization or the intelligent transport systems (ITS) strategy. With our ideas and our expertise, we want to contribute to making Hamburg a model city for intelligent transport."
The memorandum of understanding signed today is the outcome of a dialog between the Senate and the Volkswagen Group which began a year ago, and the German government's February auto summit on e-mobility. In the age of digitalization and the sharing economy, lifestyles, consumer behavior and people's mobility needs are in transition. This places new demands not only on carmakers, traffic and transport companies, but also on the urban infrastructure and traffic planning. The two partners want to adopt intelligent and tailor-made mobility solutions for both personal mobility and freight transport by taking an integrated approach. The partnership focuses on core issues of future urban mobility to enable sustained individual mobility in an urban context. Forward-looking innovations together with a raft of customer-oriented mobility services will create new opportunities for mobility and are core elements for improving mobility options for city dwellers. As a leading mobility provider and competent partner, the Volkswagen Group wishes to contribute to the success of the city's key strategic initiatives such as air pollution control and the implementation of the ITS (intelligent transport systems) strategy developed by Hamburg's Senate. This strategy is designed to promote the use of information and communication technology and innovative technologies in the transport sector, increase road safety and transport reliability and efficiency as well as reducing traffic-related emissions.
In the efforts to improve air quality and achieve emissions-free mobility solutions, the urban transport companies Hamburg-Holstein GmbH and Hamburger Hochbahn AG last month reached agreement with the Volkswagen subsidiary MAN on an intensive exchange in the field of electric bus development.
The Volkswagen Group and Hamburg also submitted a successful joint application for the "mySMARTlife" project funded by the EU. Under this project, the Volkswagen Group will among other things initiate various pilot projects for mobility sharing concepts, such as micromobility applications, community car, and innovative urban logistics concepts in Hamburg's Bergedorf district.
The German government sees Hamburg as a possible test field for autonomous driving and has launched a funded program for automated and connected driving on digital test fields in Germany. Hamburg and the Volkswagen Group are endeavoring to implement a joint project under this mobility partnership.
Other joint projects will be developed over the coming months. Today's memorandum of understanding does not bind the parties to an exclusive partnership, nor does it contain any financial commitments.
The memorandum of understanding is available for download from www.hamburg.de