Urban mobility solution based on a service platform and emission-free autonomous PeopleMover


Motivation and approach

The core of the research project UrbanMove is the hypothesis that in the near future cities will have to reorganize themselves for a low-emission future with innovative mobility services. Previous approaches are not sufficient to meet the requirements of emission-free mobility and mobility requirements at the same time and at a reasonable cost. Achieving this combination has been an unsolved challenge so far and is therefore a challenge that needs to be addressed with new approaches.
Therefore UrbanMove's approach is the conception and piloting of a novel intelligent urban mobility solution. A collaboration of innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from Aachen is trying to implement this by developing a customer-centered service platform for autonomous electric shuttle, so-called "PeopleMover", with an integrative approach for inner-city passenger transport.

Research goal

The aim of the UrbanMove research project is to create three components within the scope of this flagship project for smart, low-emission, autonomous electromobility: networking of autonomous PeopleMover, an app for users and a platform as a central anchor point and core component that links the two above-mentioned and other provided services. These are developed on the basis of user acceptance studies and requirement surveys among the stakeholders, while a solid business model is developed for this purpose. In order to achieve the outlined goal, research activities must be initiated that include the following concrete fields of action:

  • Development of an infrastructure of emission-free shuttle buses as a basis for public transport
  • Build city hubs to park conventional vehicles to make users switch to people movers
  • Development of a service platform as an integrative information base, which collects all information flows
  • Develop an app for users to comment on their mobility needs
  • Connecting PeopleMover, the city infrastructure, and user behavior, including user adoption, to the service platform to connect the three building blocks together
  • Development of a business model that includes an operator model and ensures the economic operation of the project results

Above all, this solution will enable emission-free and simple, user-centered mobility in an extended environmental zone. In addition, the developed solution will create a simple, individual transport of people in the city. The possibility that PeopleMover can bring users directly to their destination between two variable points in the city area can be of great benefit here. At the same time, basic requirements for the introduction of autonomous PeopleMover are created in this project. This new technology will certainly, at first, meet with rejection in parts of the population. Therefore, it is even more important that the concept is developed in a way that fears and ambiguities are taken from the start by conducting user studies, keeping the booking, waiting, travel and payment process as simple and supportive as possible, and the collected data are securely transmitted. But not only for the user the project will bring advantages, also for the economy new possibilities are created. The platform being developed in UrbanMove will be designed as an open platform. This means that in addition to initially defined services such as the booking or payment of journeys, they also provide opportunities for trade (e.g. assumption of transport costs when purchased by a retailer), for the advertising industry (eg target group oriented advertising based on people currently in a PeopleMover or the current location) or other mobility providers (e.g. linking UrbanMove services with Deutsche Bahn services).

Research and project partner

  • FIR e.V. of RWTH Aachen
  • MOQO
  • Dialego AG
  • Stadt Aachen


01.01.2018 – 31.12.2020

Project number


Project sponsor

DLR Projektträger



Max Busch

E-Mail: max.busch@e-go-mobile.com