German automotive giant Volkswagen has announced its new ‘Moia’ mobility services brand, which aims to be one of the top-three mobility services in 10 years time.
Speaking to industry journal Automotive News Europe, Moia’s CEO, Ole Harms, said: “We are still moving around our cities like we did 20 or 30 years ago”.
“We need to offer new forms of transportation and really improve the traffic situation.”
Above: the Gett ride-sharing service, which Volkswagen recently invested in
Harms said the brand’s focus is to launch a shuttle service operating between scheduled buses and ride-sharing services like Uber, which can be hailed using a smartphone app and shared between users.
In terms of pricing, Harms told the publication he wanted rates to be similar to existing bus services.
Likely to be built on the group’s MEB electric vehicle platform, the Moia EV could be shown in concept form as early as next year – according to Harms – with the project being led by Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles division.
Moia’s electric people carrier will also be autonomous-capable, with driverless vehicles to be a big part of the company’s services as the technology becomes available.
Above: Moia’s electric people move could look something like the Volkswagen Budd-e concept
Harms said the company wants to have autonomous prototypes on trial in Moia fleets by 2019.
“By 2021 definitely see a couple of cities worldwide operating autonomous fleets,” he added.
Moia will leverage Volkswagen’s investment in ride-sharing app Gett from earlier this year, likely to assist in the development in its smartphone app and related services.
The name ‘Moia’ was derived from the Sanskrit (the primary sacred language of Hinduism) word ‘maya’, which means magic.