Ludger Fretzen, Head of Group Strategy for New Business at the Volkswagen Group, says: “Together with cities, industrial partners, public institutions and associations, we will make the mobility of people and goods in cities even more efficient and more sustainable. To us, it is key to put the needs of cities and citizens at the heart of our activities and to intensify them in the development of Intelligent Transport Systems. They are a core pillar to implement at our ‘TOGETHER – Strategy 2025’ successfully and to enable us to transform ourself from a pure OEM to a globally leading provider of sustainable mobility. As a sponsor and strategic partner, we are significantly expanding our commitment to the ITS industry.”
By the end of 2022, the Volkswagen Group will have invested more than 34 billion euros in core future technologies like e-mobility, autonomous driving, connectivity and new mobility services. By 2025, 80 new electrified models, out of it 50 fully electric vehicles; will be launched in the market as part of the “Roadmap E” initiative. This summer, MOIA – the “Mobility as a Service” company of Volkswagen AG – has introduced an app-based, on-demand ridesharing service in Hannover. Next year, this service will be operated for the first time in Hamburg with MOIA+6 fully electric vehicle . Other vehicle-on-demand services will
be launched in 2019 – for example the 100%-electric car sharing system-offer “We Share” from Volkswagen subsidiary UMI Urban Mobility International. Other new and innovative urban vehicle concepts and micromobility solutions will also be introduced beginning of next year, like the Cityskater that will transport people noiseless and locally emission-free on their last mile in the city.
The Volkswagen Group is also active in pioneering infrastructure and energy solutions. With IONITY, the Group commits to expand charging infrastructure. The joint venture plans to set up around 400 fast-charge stations along European motorways by 2020. At the Wolfsburg site, the Volkswagen Group is currently working on implementing energy management systems (micro grids) able to steer electricity smartly and to stabilise city grids. The Group collaborates with the automation specialist Kuka to develop the first mobile charging robots for e-automobiles. In future, “CarLa” will charge parked e-vehicles easily quickly and autonomously in public spaces. By featuring its Group volume models with WLANp technology from 2019 onwards , the Group makes its vehicles communicate directly with each other and with their surrounding environment, which creates a nationwide improvement in traffic safety and traffic flow as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions. Volkswagen Financial Services is also engaging and set up an own Mobility Unit to offer solutions like smart parking, fuel and charge-cards, as well as toll services, and rental and car-sharing models. With Scania Sustainable City Solutions, the Swedish subsidiary strives to drive the shift towards sustainable city mobility. Scania develops solutions to enhance the flow of people, goods and waste for clean, quiet and safe cities like for example autonomous seamless shared transport systems and Scania Go! – a multimodal cloud-based mobility service for commuters.
Another core topic is autonomous driving. The Volkswagen Group is demonstrating the potential benefits of fully autonomous driving with innovative vehicle concepts such as SEDRIC (SElf-DRIving Car), AUDI AICON and the Volkswagen I.D.VIZZION. In the future, the aim of the self-driving system is to give people back living time and life quality, as well to reduce stress in traffic. At Hamburg Airport, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have demonstrated an app-based integrated autonomous parking concept with all-round services – an important step on the way to autonomous driving. The project is part of the most comprehensive strategic mobility partnership with the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The collaboration started in 2016 with the aim to plan joint cooperation projects, carry out concrete implementation tests and develop Hamburg as a model city for future, sustainable and integrated urban mobility. A milestone in the partnership will be the support of the Group to Hamburg as main partner in hosting the ITS World Congress in 2021.
Mobility of the future as a joint task
On its way to becoming a globally leading provider of sustainable mobility , shaping urban mobility has been defined an integrative part of Volkswagen Group “TOGETHER – Strategy 2025”. The future of mobility will first and foremost be implemented in cities. According to assessments by the UNO, almost 70 percent of the world’s population will live in big metropolises by 2050. This is where the problems are most urgent, and yet at the same time where the potential for change is the greatest. The Volkswagen Group therefore seeks to being a strong partner for cities. A very wide range of projects is already being developed, tested and implemented across the world in several of its city partnerships:
- In collaboration with the City of Hannover, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWN) is leading and coordinating the project initiative “Urban Logistics”. The objective is to develop and test clean, quiet, effective and hence future-proof logistics concepts for cities. An analysis of the urban commercial traffic will be firstly led to identify potentials for optimisation and to assess the impact of new concepts before implementation.
- In Somerville, a town in the middle of Boston’s urban sprawl, the Group brand Audi is simulating the impact of autonomous and shared mobility services on traffic flow and urban development.
- In Barcelona, the city authorities and the Group brand SEAT are working together on an Urban Mobility Plan with the four objectives of promoting mobility that is safe, efficient, sustainable and well-balanced. The SEAT Metropolis:Lab Barcelona has developed the “About it” app in the area of efficient mobility. Alongside other functions, the app displays the locations of charging stations for electric vehicles, stations of the Bicing bicycle rental system and accident black spots in the city.
- A focus of the city partnership with Dresden is the expansion of the charging infrastructure for e-cars in the public space. By 2022, both partners are striving to expand the charging infrastructure to as many as 250 charging stations and quick-charging stations. Aim of the partnership is to develop Dresden into a model city for e-mobility, digitalisation and innovative fleet management (car sharing).