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Hamburg wants to be a test center for innovative passenger and freight transport

“Made in Germany — tested in Hamburg.” That’s Hamburg, Germany’s new slogan, according to Mayor Olaf Scholz. Volkswagen and the city of Hamburg have agreed to work together for three years developing urban mobility solutions, according to a VW Group news release.

Just as the state of Michigan wants to be a center for driverless car testing in the United States, Hamburg is seeking partnerships with innovative passenger and freight transportation companies. The city’s goals include protecting mobility for all of its citizens and sees the opportunity to improve the overall quality of urban life.

Related: Michigan takes the lead in the race to support driverless cars on public roads

Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller sees the agreement with Hamburg as a way to be sure that the automotive industry in general, and certainly VW, is involved with urban planning around the issues of mobility and sustainability in urban life.

“Mobility remains a basic human need — even in the digital age,” Müller said. “Constant calls for doing without or banning mobility are not the answer. What is needed is intelligent concepts that make the automobile part of the solution and no longer part of the problem. This is about overcoming old ways of thinking, jointly driving innovation forward, and taking the initiative ourselves rather than waiting for others to go first.”

Mayor Scholz said, “Here in Hamburg, we want to safeguard mobility for all citizens. At the same time, it is our aim to make traffic in our city cleaner, quieter, and safer. Technological progress is the only way to achieve that.”

“We are reaching out to anyone wishing to collaborate with us on modern mobility solutions in both passenger and freight transport,” Scholz continued. “Anyone looking to test innovative mobility concepts and digital technologies to improve the urban quality of life will find a reliable partner in the City of Hamburg. There is a particularly innovation-friendly climate in our city, and the cooperation with Volkswagen will add to that. My standpoint is: what is invented here must be tested here, too. Made in Germany — tested in Hamburg.”

Together VW and Hamburg successfully applied to be part of the European Union “mySMARTlife” project. Under this program, they will pilot mobility sharing projects in Hamburg. The city and the company have also applied to be part of an autonomous and connected driving field test project in Germany.