The two companies want to achieve closer networking of trains, cars and energy systems

Witn Flinkster, Deutsche Bahn runs one of the largest car-sharing networks in Germany. It covers 800 train stations and also has operations in Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Telekom said its Networked Car business unit will let Deutsche Bahn's car-sharing vehicles safely transmit data. Such transmissions enable the finding, booking and opening of vehicles through a cell phone.

The two companies are also looking at other forms of connectivity that involve both railways and roads.

"The future of mobility lies in the intelligent networking of modes of transport," said Andreas Knie, area manager for intermodal services and business development at Deutsche Bahn subsidiary DB Rent. "By providing a system which links all offers together, intermodal travel will be possible very soon."

Deutsche Bahn and Telekom have started a pilot project with electric vehicles linked to three networks in the southern German city of Friedrichshafen. The aim of the project is to show how cars, trains and energy systems can be effectively linked to each other.

In the pilot, cars can be rented spontaneously using a special cell-phone app. Data on the car's range and battery status are automatically sent to a renter's smartphone. When charging the EV, an intelligent meter in the charging station records the charging energy.