German technology company ioki has launched up two autonomous on-demand transport successes within 12 months. Since September 2021, ioki has been a software-as-a-service partner of the EU-funded project “Autonomous Vehicles to Evolve to a New Urban Experience” (AVENUE for short). The project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement no 769033, has expired at the end of October.
According to Michael Barillère-Scholz, founder and CEO of ioki, “Autonomous public transport is an important milestone on the road to decarbonising mobility in Europe. Flexible, sustainable mobility has been the focus of our company since its inception, and we are delighted that our pioneering work in autonomous driving is now bearing fruit.” Europe’s leading company for autonomous driving in public transport is part of the Deutsche Bahn Group.
Georges Hilbert, General Director of Sales-Lentz is proud that, “for four years we were not only able to accompany the development of autonomous mobility in Luxembourg and Europe, but also to help shape it. This not only requires vehicles and infrastructure, but also options that make it easier for users to access this new form of mobility. ioki manages this in an excellent way with its range.” Sales-Lentz is Luxembourg’s only operator of autonomous shuttles.
Geneva: Greater mobility courtesy of autonomous on-demand shuttles
In May 2022, a fully autonomous pilot transport took place in the Swiss canton of Geneva as part of the large-scale EU project AVENUE. A specially developed interface enables communication between the software of the self-driving shuttle manufactured by Navya and the ioki booking platform. Once a booking is made via the app, the ioki system sends the pick-up and destination information to the self-driving shuttles. The vehicles move independently and flexibly in accordance with the passenger instructions, without a set route or set journey times. If multiple passengers within the local area give a similar destination and/or pick-up location, the ioki algorithm pools these journeys, resulting in several passengers sharing one vehicle. The shuttles on site at the Belle-Idée hospital complex are operated by the transport company Transports publics genevois (tpg).
Luxembourg: Highly automated mobility in the European Capital of Culture 2022
Another autonomous on-demand service launched as part of the AVENUE project got off the ground in September 2022 in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg. ioki supplied the digital operating system for this project, too. Thanks to the smart API integration approach, the existing interface can also be reused in other projects. This allows passengers to book the autonomous vehicles simply via an app. Anyone visiting the European Capital of Culture 2022 will thus benefit from better connections to the existing public transport lines. Restaurant visitors, residents and guests can conveniently call a shuttle at any time in the evening and hop on and off along the longest shopping street in the country. Transport and mobility company Sales-Lentz is operating the self-driving shuttle.
More digital and automated transport services on the horizon
The efficient routes, passenger pooling and arrival time calculations are all managed by ioki’s operating system. This enables a seamless public transport experience on next-generation, highly automated vehicles from manufacturers Navya and EasyMile. By the end of the year, ioki will have made its on-demand software available to two more EU-funded autonomous transport initiatives in Italy and Germany. And in 2023, the world’s largest autonomous on-demand fleet in public transport is set to enter service, in cooperation with the Rhine-Main transport association. Intel subsidiary Mobileye is supplying the software for controlling the autonomous vehicles, while the ioki interface will enable passengers to get from A to B in a flexible, highly automated manner.
Through ioki, DB’s company for sustainable mobility on demand, Deutsche Bahn is offering a successful industry solution for the European market and expanding its portfolio of local transport services beyond rail with needs-based, on-demand software and data-driven mobility analyses.
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