Germany: RMV to test Holon’s autonomous electric shuttles from 2026

The German public transport operator Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV) wants to integrate autonomous electric shuttles. From 2026, several Holon shuttles will be made available for testing. The deal is still subject to funding and contract award.

Image: Benteler

To this end, representatives from both sides recently signed a joint memorandum of understanding. In it, RMV and Holon state that their future cooperation will focus on the regular exchange of knowledge between the companies in order to jointly master the challenges of autonomous vehicle use.” The goal is to supplement existing transport services with autonomous vehicles. In this context, the companies want to develop new standards and technologies for the connectivity of vehicles and infrastructure and drive forward solutions for accessing and paying for mobility services.

This is not Holon’s first collaboration with a major German public transport network. The company had already announced in autumn 2023 that it would start a test operation in northern Germany – in cooperation with Hamburger Hochbahn.

Holon CEO Dr Henning von Watzdorf emphasises that the joint goal with RMV is to fully exploit the potential of autonomous vehicles in local public transport. “This is important to us as a vehicle manufacturer, and RMV as one of the largest transport associations in Germany. We both want to offer passengers an efficient, safe and sustainable autonomous transport solution. That’s why we will identify and use the synergies between our organisations in the future.”

RMV Managing Director Prof Knut Ringat says that his company has been testing autonomous mobility in local public transport in various projects since 2019. “Together with HOLON, we are aiming for the next milestone, the integration of autonomous vehicles in regular operations. Adding autonomous mobility to the transport mix will make travel services more dependable in times of an ongoing shortage of skilled workers. It will also enable us to offer our passengers even more flexible and frequent services in future.”

Holon is a subsidiary of the Benteler Group. At the beginning of February, the parent company announced that it was about to receive millions in funding to expand its business with autonomous electric shuttles. Tasaru Mobility Investments intends to acquire a minority stake in the Benteler subsidiary Holon for a three-digit million amount, it said. There is no new status on this.

Benteler founded the Holon brand for its autonomous e-shuttles in November 2022, and the first Holon shuttle was unveiled at CES in early 2023. The Paderborn-based supplier has been working on autonomous e-shuttles for much longer. Initially, it was just an internal project, but in 2021, the Benteler EV Systems division was spun off – and later renamed Holon.


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