The Level 4 autonomous shuttles will launch in the German cities of Darmstadt and Offenbach and will be completely integrated into regular public transport operations.
The German cities of Darmstadt and Offenbach in the Rhine-Main area plan to launch an autonomous shuttle service which will be completely integrated into regular public transport operations. The test phase of the autonomous Level 4 vehicles is due to begin in 2023.
The Deutsche Bahn (DB) digital mobility technology company, Ioki, is providing the intelligent software for the autonomous on-demand transport service.
A specially developed application programming interface (API) enables the smooth integration of the software of the autonomous vehicles with the Ioki on-demand platform.
Ioki claims it is the European leader in connecting driver-based and autonomous fleets of different providers to its mobility platform.
The Intel subsidiary Mobileye is to contribute the vehicle software for the project in the Rhine-Main region and as a result will be the third provider to be integrated into Ioki’s platform after Navya and Easy Mile.
“Completely integrated into the public transport system, on-demand autonomous shuttles make a decisive contribution to climate protection and a nationwide public transport system of the future”
CleverShuttle, also a DB subsidiary, will be responsible for the local operation of the service together with local partners Heag mobilo and kvgOF.
“Ioki and the Rhine-Main region are (once again) pioneers for on-demand mobility in Germany,” said Michael Barillère-Scholz, CEO of Ioki.
“Completely integrated into the public transport system, on-demand autonomous shuttles make a decisive contribution to climate protection and a nationwide public transport system of the future.”
According to Frankfurt Rhine-Main area transport association Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV), for passengers in its service areas, it means more flexible mobility with less traffic. Passengers can continue to book the shuttles (whether with or without drivers) via the central RMV on-demand app.
Ioki reports the flexible and digital service with its software is already in use in the Offenbach district, in Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Taunusstein, Limburg and Hofheim.
In the coming months, further service areas will follow in the districts of Groß-Gerau, Darmstadt-Dieburg district and Hanau. Up to 1.8 million people in the region will benefit from the service.
Ioki claims it has established itself as a pioneer in the field of autonomous driving and has set milestones for the German market. This includes from test operations on closed terrain to the first autonomous vehicle in road-bound public transport and the first linking of an on-demand booking system with autonomous vehicles.