KEXI, an on-demand transport service based on Via’s technology, launches as the firstphase of the KelRide project underway in the District of Kelheim
July 1, 2021 (Berlin/Kelheim) — Today, the operation of the KelRide project begins with thelaunch of the updated KEXI Kelheim app and service for all riders in the district of Kelheim,Germany. Formally launched earlier this year, the KelRide research project, which is fundedby the German Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport (BMDV), aims toprovide an autonomous, on-demand ridepooling service that is directly integrated into the public transport network and can operate in all weather conditions.
The first major milestone in the implementation of the KelRide project is the conversion ofKEXI to the Via technology platform. Via takes an integrated approach to service design andoperation, enabling the district of Kelheim to provide an on-demand service that meets theneeds of all Kelheim residents and visitors.
In partnership with Via, the leader in TransitTech, the project consortium, led by technologycompany EasyMile, is laying the groundwork for future enhancements to the service.
Over the next few months, interfaces will be developed and integrated into the app to enablethe operation of a mixed fleet consisting of conventional and autonomous vehicles next year.In addition, Via’s technology will also enable an intermodal booking option to be introduced.This will allow passengers to view and book multiple modes of transport across the entirepublic transport network in Kelheim.
The existing KEXI fleet will also be expanded to include another conventional vehicle,offering a wide range of customers the best possible user experience.
District Administrator Martin Neumeyer emphasized: “Today is the visible sign thatinnovations are not just theoretical thought constructs, but are taking concrete shape in thedistrict of Kelheim.” With the use of automated vehicles in public transport from July 1, 2022,the next major milestone is already planned.
“The introduction Via’s technology to power the on-demand service KEXI is the first step in afundamental evolution of public transport for the people of Kelheim,” said Valerie von derTann, Head of Via Germany. “The future of mobility is autonomous – and combiningautonomous technology with efficient, on-demand public transport will be key to creatingconvenient, flexible, and environmentally-friendly mobility solutions for rural areas.”
For KEXI customers, these changes represent an improvement. In the course of the appconversion to Via’s platform, and the introduction of a third conventional vehicle, theoperating hours were able to be extended. In the future, customers will have the opportunityto use KEXI with extended hours, from Monday to Saturday from 06:00 to 23:00. Duringperiods of high demand, including 11:00 to 14:00, the larger fleet will allow for more bookingsto be processed.
Existing customers have been informed in recent weeks that they will need to download thenew KEXI Kelheim app to book KEXI journeys beginning on July 1. Customers alreadyregistered in the KEXI system will receive a credit of three free rides.
The system of on-demand transport in Kelheim remains in place.
Technology partner Via provides the passenger and driver apps, as well as the intelligentrouting and booking system behind the KEXI service. Via’s advanced algorithms allow multiplepassengers to seamlessly and safely share the same vehicle. Passengers will be directed toone of 147 nearby stops within short walking distance to board and disembark, enabling quickand efficient shared rides without lengthy detours. Passengers can track the vehicle’s progressin real-time on the mobile app. Via currently works with more than 500 partners on fivecontinents worldwide, and in German-speaking countries with around 20 partners, includingBerliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG (SSB) or FLEXIBUS.
Founded in 2012, Via is a pioneer in the TransitTech category, deploying new technologies forpublic mobility systems and optimizing networks of dynamic shuttles, buses, wheelchairaccessible vehicles, school buses and autonomous vehicles around the globe. Via is buildingthe world’s most efficient, equitable, and sustainable transportation network for all passengersincludingpeople with limited mobility, people without smartphones, and people without bankaccounts-and working with its partners to lower the cost of public transit and provide accessibleoptions that rival the convenience of owning a car, with significantly less environmental impact.At the intersection of transportation and technology, Via is a visionary leader, combiningsoftware innovation with sophisticated service design and operational expertise tofundamentally improve the way the world moves – with 200 global partners on six continentsand counting.
About the KelRide project:
The KelRide project will run until the end of 2023 and is being funded by the German FederalMinistry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMDV) as part of the “Digitalization and ArtificialIntelligence in Mobility” action plan with a total of around 10.9 million euros. The project is beingmanaged by the Federal Institute for Administrative Tasks (BAV). Together, the consortium,consisting of the technology company EasyMile, the district of Kelheim, the technology providerVia, the management consultancy P3 Group, TÜV Rheinland and the Technical University ofBerlin, is working on improving the weather resistance of autonomous vehicles and efficientlyintegrating ridepooling solutions into public transport.