Portland Becomes a Testing Ground for App Based Transportation

German multinational Daimler is investing heavily in how people will get around in the future and using Portland, Oregon as a test bed for its plans

1 minute read

January 13, 2017, 10:00 AM PST

By jwilliams @jwillia22

Portland Transit

TFoxFoto / Shutterstock

Automotive company Daimler is looking towards a future with less individual car ownership and a greater reliance on app based car sharing services integrated with existing mass transit. Mike Rogoway of The Oregonianreports that Daimler's Moovel Group, a developer of mobility apps, is shifting operations from Austin, Texas to Portland, where it sees the future of multi-modal transportation, including bike shares and self-driving cars, taking shape. Moovel's new office in Portland will number around 120 employees once the move is complete. It's a move the company says will allow it to use Portland as test bed for its new products before they go country-wide.

When Daimler imagines this future, [Jorg Lamparter, chief executive of Moovel Group] says, it thinks about apps, about self-driving cars, about electric vehicles. And it thinks about Portland.

"It's a place where we can perfectly test and develop our products," Lamparter said by phone from Moovel's main office in Germany.

The reliance on apps to reserve, ticket, or call transportation will also provide Daimler with a wealth of data on non-drivers, Lamparter notes. "They all give us access to customers and users who do not use their own cars," he said. "They all provide us information about people living in urban areas."

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