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Artificial intelligence (AI) is taking mobility and logistics by storm. Pioneering traffic management systems are using machine learning algorithms and analyzing traffic data in real time to control transport hubs and vehicles effectively thereby improving the flow of traffic. Autonomous lorries and drones can deliver goods more efficiently and cost-effectively. AI systems optimize delivery routes and cut fuel consumption by taking into account traffic conditions, weather and delivery slots. Maintenance deadlines are kept thanks to AI and it also tracks any materials ordered and knows when certain products or materials are needed. Used in combination with blockchain technology, AI can also make a supply chain more transparent. Such futuristic scenarios have long since become reality in Hamburg.

©Mediaserver Hamburg / Christian Brandes
©Mediaserver Hamburg / Christian Brandes

AI in mobility: Hamburg open to future-oriented solutions

Around 1.9 million inhabitants and some 7.6 million visitors a year make Hamburg an ideal testing ground for trialing innovative mobility concepts successfully. The German government has named the city a "metropolitan model region of mobility". Now, Hamburg is gearing up to host the world's largest public transport congress "UITP Global Public Transport Summit" in 2025 and 2027 after the city held the ITS World Congress 2021 to great acclaim and marking a milestone in the mobility transition. After autonomous ride pooling launched last autumn, the ALIKE project is aiming to put 10,000 autonomous shuttles on Hamburg's roads by 2030 to supplement public transport.

More than 500 member companies and institutions in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region and beyond make the Logistics Initiative Hamburg the largest European industrial network. One of its members is the Digital Hub Logistics co-working space in the Speicherstadt warehouse district. There, established logistics companies work alongside startups, investors and research institutions in partnership with. Shell, Volkswagen Group Logistics, Tchibo, HHLA Next, Otto Group and Lufthansa Industry Solutions. The network also collaborates with the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), the Artificial Intelligence Centre Hamburg (ARIC) and universities and colleges throughout the city.

© Mathias Jäger/Hamburg Startups: at the Digital Hub Logistics Hamburg
© Mathias Jäger/Hamburg Startups: at the Digital Hub Logistics Hamburg

The AI.STARTUP.HUB Hamburg boosts cross-industry talks and links up startups and stakeholders in AI with research and businesses. Two comprehensive funding schemes called "AI Accelerator" and "AI Ideation" address the needs of AI teams and startups in every development phase. The AI.GROUP consisting of AI.HAMBURG, AI.FUND and AI.IMPACT is a joint founder of the hub and provides targeted support for companies and startups’ AI projects. All kinds of information is provided in addition to events and opportunities to network with Silicon Valley in the United States.

Meanwhile, "The New Hanse" project is experimenting with pioneering models of urban data management. Companies can avail of the data collected to come up with new micro mobility solutions. Kühne Logistics University (KLU) places intercultural students and graduates to give Hamburg’s logistics startup ecosystem a cutting edge. Potential founders are advised and gain access to KLU’s network of experts with an eye to a collaboration.

Petra Vorsteher and Ragnar Kruse, Founders of the AI.Group
"Artificial intelligence will profoundly change every technology in the mobility and logistics sectors in the next few years. Startups that implement AI will become more competitive and efficient, which will have a positive impact on our society and environment!"
Petra Vorsteher & Ragnar Kruse, Founders of the AI.GROUP

The city of Hamburg is home to many companies that are shaping the mobility and logistics of tomorrow with their innovative AI-supported technologies. Wunder Mobility is just one example. Founded in 2014, this global company provides software and hardware for scooters, bicycles, mopeds and car sharing. In 2022, the startup raised EUR 12 million in a financing round. The company offers AI-controlled software solution, which is supplemented by a vehicle sharing scheme. The software is already used in over 200 cities on five continents and facilitates the sharing business of brands such as felyx, emmy and GreenMobility.

Meanwhile, the KONVOI startup is aiming to put a spanner in the works of lorry-jackers who frequently attack lorry drivers to steal the vehicle. To do so, it uses a network of sensors that automatically detects someone approaching the lorry suspiciously and then sounds the alarm. The CO2OPT startup has come up with an idea for more fuel-efficient and environment-friendly lorry driving. It uses AI-backed data analysis to determine the ideal tires for a vehicle by taking into account the different loads on the axles and road conditions.

©Unsplash, MD Duran
©Unsplash, MD Duran

Events and trade fairs

The "LogisticsTech Talks" is the latest logistics tech event series in Hamburg. Every three months, bits and bytes experts meet truck and container specialists. The "Mobility Festival", which is also held in in Hamburg, brings together movers and shakers in business and politics. The annual "Digital Hub Day", organized by the Digital Hub Logistics Hamburg, holds on-stage events, masterclasses, match-making sessions, a startup fair and a big party on just one day in addition to the "Urban Mobility" conference on the campus of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg). Then, companies, ministries, universities and interested parties come together to discuss urban mobility of the future.

AI will definitely shape mobility and logistics in future. The city of Hamburg is ideally positioned for this challenge and supports all startups with suitable ideas and a keen interest in collaborating with established companies and global initiatives.

Here you will find all further information on founding a company in Hamburg and news on the topic of artificial intelligence from the Hamburg start-up scene. Want to get started right away? Then book a free start-up consultation with the AI.Group's start-up unit.

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