It is MOIA’s aim to make individual, convenient transport possible for everyone. And to democratize mobility in cities. The Co-Creation Day in Hanover showed just how serious the company is: customers can participate in shaping the service with their own ideas.
The mother who says she can finally have her children taken to their sports training without having to worry about them. The man who can now get to the stadium and then back home safely in the evening – even if he has had one or two beers. The business woman who loves being able to get to appointments quickly during the day. MOIA test users and their feedback are very varied. This was evident from the Co-Creation Day in Hanover.
MOIA, the new mobility service provider within the Volkswagen Group, would like to offer so-called ride pooling in German cities. Users specify their destination and where they would like to be picked up on an individual basis – as with a taxi. However, they travel together instead of alone. The MOIA algorithm combines similar routes. This reduces exhaust gases, frees up parking spaces and reduces traffic. Professional drivers guarantee comfort and safety at all times. The principle behind MOIA: everyone should be able to reach their destination quickly without having their own car and without having to change a number of times. This is the democratization of mobility that MOIA has in mind.
Democratizing mobility in cities
However, there is a lack of experience of ride pooling in Germany. Because of this, MOIA itself is testing demand for the service, functionality and the clever algorithms for route calculation in the Hanover urban area. After four weeks’ operation and over 15,000 journeys on the roads of the state capital, MOIA invited around 30 of the almost 2,000 testers to the Schwanenburg to give their feedback: what is it like when traveling? How do passengers cope with the app? And what could make the journey even more comfortable?
In the second half of 2018, MOIA would like to begin operations in Hamburg. “Feedback from the co-creation process is essential for this and will be taken into account,” said Michael Fischer, the company press spokesman. It is already the third Co-Creation Day – but the first during which testers who have actually traveled in the cars have been able to describe their experiences.
What is it like when traveling? How do passengers cope with the app? And what could make the journey even more comfortable?
In the discussion regarding service, a user described her first impressions of the journeys. She had already used the service 120 times in just one month: “It is a feeling of real luxury. The journey is pleasant and safe and you get from A to B quickly. And there is plenty of space because you have your own seat.” The other MOIA users nodded in agreement. Fischer made notes busily. He would like to know exactly who uses the service, how they use it, and what users think of it.
“It is a feeling of real luxury. The journey is pleasant and safe and you get from A to B quickly. And there is plenty of space because you have your own seat.”
However, there is one no-go for the MOIA user: the journey to work. Opinions like this are exactly what Fischer wants to hear – he wants to know where there are still problems. “Naturally, we like to hear what we are doing well. But better still, we like to hear criticism which shows us where we need to improve,” he said. “Unlike other providers, we do not want to confront the market with a finished product which we then develop without taking into account the needs of customers. We want to involve people early on when setting up the service.
”During the discussion, the MOIA users quickly agreed on a possible solution for the planning problem: a pre-booking service where passengers can specify the arrival time. The idea was well received by everyone. At the moment, the app does not offer this facility – cars must be ordered in real time.
“We want to involve people early on when setting up the service.”
The service is also very popular with younger users. Sarah von Hören, a media management student, was therefore more than happy to devote an entire evening to co-creation: “I am very interested in design thinking and I find it really exciting to be involved in the design process at such an early stage.
”She finds the service safer than the bus and train or a taxi. However, she would like to see some sort of emergency stop button in case something should happen. She also suggested having more USB sockets, ideally at each seat, in order to charge mobile phones.
“I find it really exciting to be involved in the design process at such an early stage.”
Fischer, the MOIA spokesman, is happy with how the evening went: “I was particularly interested to hear that a lot of parents use MOIA together with their children. We previously thought that we would need to do a lot more to convince them. Naturally, we are really pleased that the service is so popular with this group of customers.”