Volkswagen Wants Its Moia Mobility Unit To Rival Uber And Lyft

Volkswagen believes its Moia mobility unit can ultimately rival Uber and Lyft, despite being years behind the pack and still in its infancy.

Moia chief executive Ole Harms says the company will leverage VW’s manufacturing capacity to deliver advanced self-driving vehicles to serve in its fleet which will include ride-hailing, ride pooling and car sharing. Speaking to Bloomberg, Harms said Moia will return a profit by 2025.

“Our clear goal is to open up mobility as a service for VW group. Establishing a profitable business model and optimizing what we do is key before a global roll-out. We don’t want to scale up mistakes,” he said.

A world where VW electric mini buses ferry passengers around with Level 5 autonomy?

Moia was established in late 2016 and not only is that well behind ride-hailing leaders Uber and Lyft, it is also behind Daimler’s Car2Go and BMW’s DriveNow which were established in 2008 and 2011 respectively.

According to Harms, Moia will develop cars with VW that work seamlessly with ride-sharing applications. Additionally, Moia’s position with the VW Group will allow it to produce self-driving vehicles at a large scale with minimal effort. By comparison, some dedicated ride-hailing companies don’t have things so easy.

Moia’s first focus is on ride-pooling and it’s currently running a test service in the German city of Hanover with 35 vehicles. Within the next two years, this program will swell to include 500 vehicles. The company says that it is also in talks with 50 cities across the globe with the intention of launching similar projects.

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