MOIA, the mobility startup from the Volkswagen Group, introduces its comprehensive ride pooling concept just one year after its inception. The MOIA concept provides new mobility options that will significantly reduce traffic in major cities. The startup will present its ride pooling ecosystem with the mission “One Million Cars off the Road” at TechCrunch in Berlin, where the self-designed MOIA car, that is fully electric and optimized for ride pooling services, will make its debut.
MOIA wants to remove one million cars from cities
“We started one year ago at TechCrunch in London with the vision of partnering with cities to improve the efficiency on their streets. We want to create a solution for the typical transport problems that cities face, such as traffic, air and noise pollution, and lack of space, while simultaneously helping them reach their sustainability goals. In a short time, we’ve laid the groundwork to add a new mobility component to the urban mix. In 2018, we’ll be ready to launch our ride pooling concept internationally and take the first steps toward our goal of reducing the number of cars in major cities by one million in Europe and the USA by 2025,” says Ole Harms, MOIA CEO.
As a first project, the entire ecosystem including the newly designed car will launch in Hamburg at the end of 2018. “We’ll be able to offer the complete ride pooling value chain – as needed or just individual pieces,” says Harms. Various operator models will be possible and can be developed together with cities and partners.
The last missing piece that of the complete pooling system is the MOIA car, which will be presented to the public for the first time at TechCrunch. In addition to the car, the system consists of a customer app, which passengers use to book and pay for a MOIA. The app shows which cars are available and how much the ride will cost before a customer books a trip. A pooling algorithm groups passengers with similar destinations together in order to increase the capacity for each car and to avoid detours. A driver app and comprehensive fleet management complete the system.
The only worldwide electric ride pooling six-seater
The MOIA car is a fully electric car that provides space for up to six passengers to fit comfortably. The interior was designed to be spacious, with standalone seats, plenty of legroom, and enough space to move around and reach each seat with ease. The car was developed and designed exclusively for ride pooling services – every ride should be comfortable. Even those passengers who wish to have no contact with other passengers should feel comfortable onboard. The seats are equipped with convenience features such as dimmable reading lights and USB ports. Each car also offers fast WiFi for passengers. The optimized automatic door and handlebar make getting in and out of the car easy. And luggage can be stored in a spacious area next to the driver.
“The car represents total comfort and is a crucial piece of our consistent service experience. We developed it using our co-creation process, which involved multiple rounds of potential users of various age groups testing cars and providing feedback. Many of the ideas from this process went directly into the development of the car. We’re also working on other future versions as well,” says Robert Henrich, MOIA COO.
Record manufacturing time thanks to agile processes
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volkswagen Osnabrück planned, developed and built the MOIA car in record time: ten months. The car has a range of more than
300 kilometers according to WLTP-standard and can be charged up to 80 percent in about 30 minutes. “Together with MOIA and VW Osnabrück, we are redefining car manufacturing;” says Eckhard Scholz from the Executive Board of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. “We are very proud of the fact that we were able to build a new car specifically tailored to the needs of ride pooling in just ten months.” This accomplishment was made possible through the use of agile processes in the Osnabrück plant. The car will make its debut on the streets of Hamburg next year.
MOIA has been testing its service in Hannover since October 2017 and continuously developing its components in real time. The “MOIA co-creation process” is an integral part of this test, which consists of a fleet of 20 Volkswagen T6 Multivans.
Amsterdam creative agency KRFL created the name, visual identity, branding, VR experience, tagline and the launch campaign for MOIA’s electric ride sharing car. KRFL also explained a bit about the naming process on their website:
“The name MOIA is a wordplay derived from Maya, which means ‘magic’ in Sanskrit, the classical language of Hinduism.”