PARIS -- Volkswagen Group is considering launching a fleet of robo-taxis for ride-hailing in the future as part of plans to expand its mobility services business, which will become the 13th brand for the group.
"We could imagine operating our own self-driving shuttle fleets," said CEO Matthias Mueller, adding this would first happen once autonomous driving capability in cities is ready for series production.
"In the future individuals will long since have ceased owning a car, but everyone can be a customer of Volkswagen one way or the other because we will provide mobility in a much more comprehensive sense than is the case today."
Volkswagen said it will officially unveil in November the name of the 13th brand under which it will pool these activities.
"That shows how essential we consider this issue," said Mueller. "By 2025 our new group brand will belong to the leading providers of mobility services and market leader in Europe," he said.
France's PSA Group similarly announced on Wednesday that it would launch a brand it will call "Free2Move2 that will unite the group’s entire mobility and smart services offerings.
In June Volkswagen announced new plans under its "Together – Strategy 2025" under which it plans to generate sales revenue from mobility services in the "multi-billion-euro range" by 2025.
To achieve that it announced in May that it formed a strategic partnership with Gett, an on-demand mobility company, in which it will invest 300 million U.S. dollars.
On Wednesday, Volkswagen said the first joint initiative in the partnership was reached after choosing to launch a Volkswagen fleet of cars in Moscow operated by Gett.
Russia is one of the fastest-growing ride hailing markets and has one of the highest rates of ordering transportation via smartphone apps, according to Volkswagen.