Ioki helps EU explore urban autonomous vehicles

  • September 13, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Deutsche Bahn subsidiary Ioki has joined the EU-funded Avenue project exploring the use of autonomous vehicles in smart cities.

Ioki specialises in research and operation of autonomous transport for demand responsive transport in German-speaking countries. It is the new technology partner of the Avenue project.

Avenue is an acronym of “autonomous vehicles to evolve to a new urban experience”. The project will initially test the automation of urban transport in four European cities, with more cities to follow.

Ioki will provide its technical interface for the project. The interface creates the prerequisite for combining autonomous driving and on-demand booking. In addition, the software enables deep integration into the existing public transport system and MaaS apps.

Ioki has experience in high-volume fleet orchestration and simultaneous navigation of autonomous shuttles in real time.

“Ioki’s vision is smart, integrated transport, whether driver-based or autonomous,” said Michael Barillère-Scholz, managing director of Ioki. “We are pleased that we can contribute our know-how in the field of autonomous driving to this future-oriented EU project. With the findings from the Avenue project, we are setting the course for autonomous and connected mobility in Europe.”

Ioki has been pioneering autonomous driving in public spaces since its founding. The first autonomous vehicle on German roads has been on the road since 2017 using the company’s technology. In 2019, another autonomous milestone was reached with the connection of the autonomous vehicle to rail transport.

Ioki’s smart platform also enabled the first on-demand autonomous connection in Europe: in Karlsruhe, passenger operations for self-driving shuttles on demand started in May 2021.

Ioki is entering a crucial phase in the Avenue project. In winter, the first project shuttle will go into operation in Geneva. Within the framework of the project, further autonomous shuttles on the streets of the participating European cities will provide insights for autonomous regular operation.

“With Ioki, we gain an experienced partner and come a big step closer to our goal of making Europe a global thought and technology leader in the use of connected and autonomous mobility,” said Dimitri Konstantas, Avenue project coordinator at the University of Geneva, who is responsible for managing the €22m EU project. “We are looking forward to working with Ioki and to launch the first autonomous shuttles in Geneva.”