Volkswagen Is Making A Significant Bet On Future Mobility Services With MOIA
Volkswagen AG announced a newly formed company that focusing on ride-hailing, autonomous driving and electric cars, aiming to compete with Uber Technologies Inc. and other tech rivals. The German car giant says that it hopes to generate ‘a significant share’ of its sale revenue from these new services by 2025.
The move marks the latest step by the Wolfsburg, Germany-based auto maker to get past an emissions-cheating scandal that has cost the company about $20 billion. The scandal has threatened to slow Volkswagen’s efforts to catch up with rival car makers as they move into new technology services that are transforming the auto industry.
The standalone company, MOIA, will be headquartered in Berlin, where it will likely test out many of its new services before expanding them to other cities. It is the latest move by a major car manufacturer to embrace so-called “mobility solutions’. It also expects to be one of the world’s three biggest mobility providers as well as to generate ‘a couple of billion’ euros in a few years, according to MOIA Chief Executive Ole Harms.
To do this, MOIA will be focused first on setting up on-demand shuttle services, using original designs for small, and multi-passenger shuttles that are intended to operate with electric drivetrains for maximum efficiency with minimum impact.
But MOIA – which means ‘magic’ in Sanskrit – has bigger aims than simply being a competitor to popular ride-hailing company Uber. It’ll also produce its own vehicles, with the first purpose-built MOIA possibly arriving ‘late next year,’ that featuring electric and eventually autonomous technology.
MOIA will introduce its services in ‘two European cities’ in 2017. It aims to ‘work closely with existing public transport sys’, hoping to avoid the animosity companies like Uber have experienced when going up against local businesses.