PwC report says Hamburg is Germany’s most ‘digitally mobile’ city


A new study conducted by professional service consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), with assistance from the Institute of Transport Research at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), says Hamburg is Germany’s most advanced city in terms of ‘digital mobility’.

The 25 most-populated German cities were examined and ranked in terms of how far they have come with respect to digital mobility. A total of 29 individual indicators in four categories were assessed. The experts awarded up to 25 points for each category, giving a potential 100 maximum. Scoring 76.7, Hamburg took first place, with Stuttgart following at 71.9 points and Berlin at 67.1. Overall, there was a pronounced spread between the top and bottom scorers, with the 10 lowest-scoring cities only awarded between 30.4 and 41.9 points.

Hamburg scored particularly well in the category ‘digitalization of infrastructure’, receiving explicit praise from the experts for its ‘Transport 4.0’ strategy for intelligent transport systems. Under this project, specialized sensors track all traffic in the area encompassing the Hamburg harbor and analyze it using innovative methods. Users can access current and forecasted data through their tablet or smartphone, and the risk of traffic jams is reduced.

Stuttgart has its positive performance in the ‘e-mobility’ category to thank for its second-place finish in the overall ranking. The experts acknowledged not only the network of charging stations, which is relatively close-knit compared with other German cities, but also that the users of e-cars can use an interactive online map to find the nearest charger. By contrast, while Berlin does not lead in any category it does appear near the top of the rankings in ‘digitalization of infrastructure’, ‘e-mobility’, and ‘sharing’.

The top score in the ‘sharing’ category went to Munich, which has above-average ride-sharing and ride-selling services; inhabitants have not only CleverShuttle, but also Uber at their disposal. The study also gave positive marks to smaller, neighborhood-based initiatives, such as exclusive car-sharing parking spaces in some areas. Leipzig took first place in the category ‘public transport’, earning high marks for its user-friendly ‘Leipzig mobil’ app, which provides real-time traffic and mobile payment information, as well as offering comprehensive, door-to-door mobility by integrating bikesharing and carsharing.

“As far as carsharing, e-mobility, digital infrastructure and mobility apps are concerned, a lot has happened in Germany in recent years. However, this conclusion should not obscure the fact that internationally, we are still far behind,” said Felix Hasse, PwC partner and digitization expert.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).