Smart, safe and sustainable mobility

26th April 2016
Joe Bush

The region of Karlsruhe is a renowned location of research and industry in the area of mobility. The alliance ‘Profilregion Mobilitätssysteme Karlsruhe’ (Karlsruhe priority region for mobility systems) now pools the competences of the research partners in the region for the development of efficient, smart and integrated mobility solutions.

Cities and their surroundings as an attractive area of life and work are to be brought into accordance with increasing traffic of people and goods. The project is funded by the state of Baden-Württemberg with EUR8m.

“Smart design of a sustainable mobility system is a pressing issue of society. To advance innovations in this area, we have to network science, industry and society,” said Theresia Bauer, Baden-Württemberg Minister of Science, Research and the Arts.

“We would like tomorrow’s mobility solutions to be made in Baden-Württemberg,” said Peter Hofelich, State Secretary of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finance and Economics. “With its solutions, the Karlsruhe Priority Region for Mobility Systems stands at the beginning of the chain of values added. It can lay the foundation.”

“Mobility is a major topic in modern societies,” added Professor Holger Hanselka, President of KIT. “Within the framework of this alliance, we and our partners will essentially contribute to this global challenge and bridge the gap between findings and application.”

“Mobility in Germany and Baden-Württemberg needs new impulses from research to contribute to creating values added,” Professor Thomas Hirth, Vice President for Innovation and International Affairs of KIT, added. “This alliance strengthens the partnership of universities, research institutions, industry, small, medium sized, and large enterprises.”

“Scientists of the Fraunhofer Society will contribute their vast expertise gained in mobility research. We will work for Karlsruhe being confirmed as a location of excellent research and education and of industrial know-how relating to mobility,” Professor Alexander Kurz, Member of the Executive Board of the Fraunhofer Society, said with respect to networking. “The alliance strengthens our existing cooperation and creates a complementary value added, not least to better master future changes in mobility.”

To solve current challenges of society, such as increasing urbanisation, advancing demographic developments and a generation-fair sustainability, mobility plays a central role. Future mobility will have to meet high requirements and, at the same time, be flexible, safe and environmentally compatible.

To elaborate viable solutions for ground-based mobility in a changing society, actors in technical, socio-technical and societal research fields have joined the alliance. The city and its surroundings as an attractive area of life and work are to be brought into accordance with the constantly growing traffic of people and goods through efficient, smart and integrated mobility systems. Karlsruhe as a location of research is to be strengthened. The alliance is to pool existing competencies relating to the development of viable mobility solutions in Karlsruhe and to establish partner structures needed for strengthening Baden-Württemberg as a location of mobility in the long term.

To start the alliance, the partners have initiated seven joint projects. One project is to analyse changed mobility and traffic requirements due to ageing population or urbanisation and develop corresponding mobility concepts and technical solutions. Another two projects will cover new challenges for the urban infrastructure and urban traffic flows as well as networked mobility, by means of which vehicles will be enabled in the future to communicate with each other e.g. via new ICT platforms.

In addition, increasingly automated and autonomous mobility is subject of a project, in which a self-driving car with the pertinent IT services will be set up and operated. Other studies will concentrate on electric and hybrid electric drives as well as on conventional combustion engines and in particular on increasing their efficiency and minimising carbon dioxide emissions. A last project will concentrate on integrated lightweight construction using smart material combinations, with an electric compressor for combustion engines being used as an example.

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