Press release

MOIA study: Ride-pooling promotes modal shift, public transport benefits

  • Research by KIT and TUM with MOIA simulates traffic effects with a unique scientific model
  • Future scenario shows: Ride-pooling and public transport can substitute approx. 15 million vehicle kilometres per week in Hamburg
  • Autonomous driving is key technology for scaling the offering

Hamburg, 8 December 2021 – The cooperation of cities with mobility providers can decisively advance the mobility turnaround. This is shown by the now published study results of the MOIA research project by the Institute of Transportation at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Chair of Transportation Engineering at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Since 2019, the researchers have independently collected insights into the use of MOIA as well as modelled and analysed the impact of ride-pooling on an urban transportation system using Hamburg as an example – today and for the future.

"The results of the MOIA research project clearly show, using Hamburg as an example, how the joint commitment of mobility providers and cities can relieve traffic congestion," says Dr. Eva Fraedrich, Lead Researcher at MOIA. "The comprehensive expansion of on-demand and climate-friendly mobility services in addition to strong public transport is an essential prerequisite for a successful mobility change in cities. Initial concerns that ride-pooling would undermine public transport are not borne out. On the contrary, the studies show that environmental transport, and public transport in particular, would benefit from the expansion of ride-pooling services."  

Dr. Martin Kagerbauer from the Institute of Transportation at KIT says: "First cities and municipalities like Hamburg are using ride-pooling as a component to achieve their urban and transportation planning goals, thereby making clear that a modern, sustainable mobility system needs changes on the supply side. Our research results show that the combination of pull measures, such as the creation and promotion of attractive alternative offers to the car, and suitable push measures, i.e. restrictions on car traffic, have the greatest traffic effects."

Unique model simulates mobility of the entire Hamburg population

The mobility model developed as part of the study is unique: It maps the mobility of Hamburg's entire population as well as business travellers and tourists over the course of a week. The daily journeys are determined on the basis of daily plans and activities such as work, shopping or leisure for an entire week. The additional implementation of empirical findings on the use of offers such as ride-pooling, car and bike sharing or e-scooter sharing as well as the combination of demand modelling across all modes of transport with a fleet simulation of MOIA vehicles makes the modelling tool unique worldwide.

Furthermore, with regard to MOIA usage, the empirical results of the study, based on approximately 10,000 respondents, show that MOIA customers are heterogeneous:

  • With a share of 45 percent, women and men are almost equally represented among Hamburg users.
  • MOIA is a service for young and old: One in four users is over 50 years old.
  • MOIA users are above average multimodal and very mobile. Three out of four users use at least two different modes of transportation each week.
  • This flexibility is also reflected in a high availability of different mobility tools (bicycle, public transport season ticket, car, etc.) and numerous memberships with other mobility service providers such as bike and car sharing.

With the help of the model and the extensive empirical database, the researchers developed four scenarios for the future of mobility in Hamburg. Based on existing and upcoming urban planning and transport policy measures, such as the planned expansion of the public transport network, the closure of the Jungfernstieg, new road and housing infrastructure, the expected expansion of digital-based shared mobility services or improvements in cycling, these scenarios were developed. Subsequently, the parameters and results were discussed and validated in expert workshops with stakeholders in urban mobility planning. Of central importance for the future scenarios is the automation of ride-pooling. As a result, ride-pooling can be offered at significantly lower prices in the future. The maximum scenario of the simulation shows what the traffic turnaround could look like using Hamburg as an example: With a large autonomous fleet of 5,000 vehicles in the entire city area, a well-developed public transport system and additional regulations for motorised private transport, public transport and ride-pooling can cover 32 percent of all trips. This potentially saves about 15 million vehicle kilometres per week compared to today.

"Like many cities around the world, Hamburg has set itself ambitious goals to make transport more efficient and climate-friendly. Our MOIA ride-pooling service can make an important contribution to the targeted modal shifts. This is confirmed by the results of the research project," says Robert Henrich, CEO of MOIA." The simulations show that significantly larger ride-pooling fleets will be required in the future. The key is autonomous driving. Together with our partners Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Argo AI, we are driving forward work on Europe's first autonomous ride-pooling project in a pilot project. In the long term, we expect this to lead to a significant increase in the quality of services while at the same time reducing prices for customers."

The Hamburg pilot project for autonomous ride-pooling was launched last September: MOIA, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Argo AI are working together to develop all the necessary components and processes to implement driverless ride-pooling from 2025.

For further information and the complete results of the study (in German only) see here.

More information about MOIA and photos can be found at www.moia.io/en/news-center.

Press photo

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About MOIA
MOIA is a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. The company develops mobility services in Berlin and Hamburg and works in partnership with cities and local public transport operators. MOIA is currently developing and implementing a ridesharing system to avoid individual car traffic and use the road infrastructure more efficiently. Cities are relieved of congestion, noise and emissions. MOIA started its ridesharing in Hanover in summer 2018, followed by Hamburg on April 15, 2019, the first city with over a million inhabitants. Together with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Argo AI, MOIA is currently developing and testing autonomous ridepooling in a pilot project in Hamburg. The goal is to develop an autonomous, internationally scalable ridepooling system by 2025.