News

Electric Truck with Fully Integrated Photovoltaics Picks Up Speed

October 25, 2021

© Fraunhofer ISE
The solar panels are fully integrated in the truck's box body and cover its entire roof.

A heavy-duty truck weighing 18 tons and equipped with a 3.5 kilowatt-peak photovoltaic system is now driving on Germany's roads. The commercial vehicle with integrated high-voltage photovoltaic system and feed-in to the 800-volt traction battery has been approved for road traffic. The solar power produced directly on the vehicle can cover 5 to 10 percent of the truck's energy needs. In the Lade-PV project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, with its project partners from industry and the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI, has developed solar PV modules and power electronics for integration in commercial vehicles. This truck, the first equipped with these PV modules, has now passed the technical inspection, marking a milestone towards more climate-friendly road freight transport.

The project, which was kicked off in Juli 2019, has a three-year term and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

Staying Safe in the Traffic Jungle

© Fraunhofer IVI

Looking back on a successful week of promoting young research talents

In the week of October 4-8, 2021, Fraunhofer IVI and MINT-EC (Society of mathematical and scientific excellence centers at schools) held a talent school at the institute. Ten students from all over Germany aged 16 to 18 had qualified as participants in the event by going through a general selection process. 

For the first time, the teenagers had the opportunity to get involved in scientific research, work on real problems and draw their own conclusions from it. Their task was to develop a concept for making mobility safer for children and teens as pedestrians, bikers and e-scooter drivers. As a first step, the many dangers of road traffic were brought to their attention. They discussed the opportunities and risks of alternative propulsion systems and worked with real accident data from an accident database. Digital media and 3D-animated sequences were used to support their investigations. The teenagers were especially excited about the opportunity to explore real accident scenarios with the help of VR glasses. At the end of the course, the students independently developed recommendations for the improvement of traffic safety. They then used their findings as a basis to create a concept for vulnearable road users. Finally, the students presented their results in front of accident researchers and traffic psychologists.

 

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

ITS World Congress: Smart Intersection communicates with automated vehicles

October 11, 2021

© Fraunhofer IVI

Together with industry partners, the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Internet Technologies CCIT is advancing automated driving in cities on the occasion of the ITS World Congress trade fair: An Smart Intersection in Hamburg's city center records the movements of road users and processes the information in a trustworthy manner that partially automated vehicles can navigate safely through the intersection. Visitors to the ITS World Congress can get an idea of how the cognitive Internet technologies used work via direct connection.

The Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied and Integrated Security AISEC, for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI, for Integrated Circuits IIS and for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI are involved, contributing their expertise in the areas of cyber security, broadband communications, radio and satellite communications and intelligent transportation systems.

press release
CCIT Website

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

Cooperative, Assisted and Automated

October 5, 2021 | Smart Infrastructure for the Digital Testbed Dresden

Smart Intersection object detection
© Fraunhofer IVI
Objekterkennung auf der Smart Intersection

The construction of a Smart Intersection has raised the Digital Testbed Dresden to a higher level. For the first time, the state capital's infrastructure is assisting highly automated driving in complex situations occurring in public traffic. An intelligent roadside sensor system detects trajectories, converts them into a digital dynamic object map and transmits the current traffic situation to all traffic participants via Car2X communications. Not only does this kind of traffic detection improve the flow of traffic, but it also increases the safety of all participants substantially. Innovative algorithms are used to provide security against the risk of possible manipulation of cognitive functions. Thus, integral consideration is granted to measures for the protection of critical infrastructures.

The expansion of the Testbed in Dresden effects the transition from cooperative, intelligent traffic (C-ITS) to cooperative connected and automated mobility (CCAM) and is an essential prerequisite for the development and testing of new mobility solutions.

AEROFLEX Final Event

September 28, 2021

© Fraunhofer IVI

Looking back on a very successful day at the Test Track in Jeversen, Germany

On the 28th of September, the long anticipated final event of the AEROFLEX project was held at the ZF Test Track in Jeversen, Germany. During the packed day, over 80 guests attended the event live at the ZF location and another 100 to 200 guests from all around the world joined online. During this hybrid event, several presentations about the processes of the project and the project results were shared with the audience. 

5G Campus Network Goes Live

October 4, 2021

© Fraunhofer IVI

Innovative research at the Köllitsch Teaching and Research Farm

The 5G campus network has been put into operation at the Köllitsch Teaching and Research Farm of the Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG). The new digital infrastructure enables the testing of technologies based on 5G and real-time data transmission. Innovative solutions for communication between humans, machines and sensors can be tested in order to align agricultural processes even more specifically with the needs of plants, animals and the environment. The 5G campus network is part of a cooperation with the Technical University of Dresden and the Fraunhofer IVI and is integrated into the federally funded experimental field »LANDNETZ«. The aim is to jointly advance research into future technologies for agriculture.

press release (German)

Improving Road Safety Through Cooperative Driving Maneuvers

September 28, 2021

© Fraunhofer IVI

Expert Day 2021 »Testing Cooperative Driving Maneuvers«

Numerous guests attended the event in Ingolstadt on September 28, hosted by the Application Center »Connected Mobility and Infrastructure« of the Fraunhofer IVI and the Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI) with the Research and Test Center for Vehicle Safety CARISSMA together with AB Dynamics Europe GmbH and GeneSys GmbH. Experts in the fields of automotive testing and connected driving discussed future innovations by combining the two areas.

After the presentations in the morning on the state of the art as well as on test scenarios and their implementation, the afternoon was dedicated to the presentation of test environments and platforms. The highlight was a driving test with a connected automated vehicle and a steerable carrier (pedestrian target) with Vehicle-2-X (V2X) communication, where V2X communication is part of the test scenario. In addition, CARIAD, the automotive software company of the Volkswagen Group, demonstrated one of its series functions based on V2X communication. The integration of V2X communication into conventional automotive test platforms is considered an important step towards safe and efficient testing of cooperative driving maneuvers, such as Euro NCAP tests envisage in the future.

Participants included AB Dynamics, ADAC, Arnold Messtechnik, Audi, Bertrand, BMW, Bosch, CARIAD, Daimler, Fraunhofer IVI, GeneSys, Porsche, Volkswagen and WTD 41. 

Demonstrations included:

  • »Testing Cooperative Driving Maneuvers with Launchpad and V2X« AB Dynamics Europe GmbH
  • »C-V2X test environment« CARIAD SE
  • »High Accuracy Localization« GeneSys GmbH
  • »Road Traffic Monitoring« Fraunhofer IVI Application Center Ingolstadt, Germany.
  • »Cooperative environment perception with V2X communication« Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt / CARISSMA

presentations

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

Autonomous Field Robots for the Agriculture of the Future

September 23, 2021

© Fraunhofer IVI
Field robot during automatic field cultivation

The field day "LANDNETZ meets Feldschwarm® - Agriculture of tomorrow, experience today" presents new digital applications in agriculture and the results of the Feldschwarm® growth core, which concludes with this event.

Since 2019, scientists from TU Dresden, together with the Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI, have been researching new technologies for area-wide wireless data transmission and networking as a fundamental prerequisite for Agriculture 4.0 as part of the LANDNETZ experimental field. At today's field day, the project partners present the current status of applications that have already been introduced at the Raitzen estate in Naundorf, Saxony.

"The combination of state-of-the-art mobile technologies with autonomous field robotics, as developed in the Feldschwarm® project, opens up new migration paths for resource-saving, highly efficient agricultural technology. Digitalization in agriculture thus becomes tangible in the truest sense of the word," said Institute Director Prof. Dr. Matthias Klingner.

Feldschwarm® project website  (German)

press release (German)

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

Saxon State Minister Dulig Visits Fraunhofer IVI

September 15, 2021

© Fraunhofer IVI

Within the scope of his annual “Kreativwirtschaftstour“ (creative economy tour), Martin Dulig, Minister of the Saxon State Ministry for Economy, Labor and Transportation SMWA paid a visit to Fraunhofer IVI. His main interest lay in the Fraunhofer “Science, Art and Design“ Network. In his role as speaker of the network’s design department, institute director Prof. Dr. Matthias Klingner presented the network along with its activities and programs. During the subsequent discussion, consideration was given to establishing similar formats in Saxony, including design expenses in grant applications in the future, and to create a special category for “best design in science” at the Saxon Design Awards. As a result, design aspects could receive higher recognition both in enterprises and scientific institutions.  

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI
Martin Dulig, Saxon State Minister for Economy, Labor and Transportation
© Fraunhofer IVI
Prof. Dr. Matthias Klingner in discussion with State Minister Dulig

Better Safety Through Stationary Intelligent Traffic Monitoring

Live demonstration of acquisition and fusion of sensor data from vehicles and road infrastructure at IAA Mobility 2021

© Fraunhofer IVI
Mobilitätsregion Ingolstadt booth at IAA Mobility 2021

The Fraunhofer „Connected Mobility and Infrastructure“ Application Center in Ingolstadt is making an appearance at the newly created IAA Mobility 2021 trade fair. Together with Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt and the CARISSMA research and testing center, the Fraunhofer IVI Application Center is presenting challenges and solutions regarding the mobility of the future at the Mobilitätsregion Ingolstadt joint booth (Hall A1).

One of the key issues in the field of connected automated mobility is realizing comprehensive and reliable environmental perception. Increasing numbers of vehicles are equipped with sensors, such as cameras, Radar and Lidar, but due to unfavorable weather conditions and view restrictions, these sensors are often unable to monitor traffic sufficiently in all occurring traffic situations. By additionally equipping the road infrastructure with sensors, the range and reliability of environmental perception can be improved. The main challenges to this approach are the networking of all agents, as well as the processing and fusion of data stemming from different sensor types.

The booth showcases an automated vehicle and a roadside unit that monitor their environment and detect fair visitors with the help of their individual sensors. The vehicle and the roadside unit are networked, fuse their data in real time and provide a live display. This demonstrator is a prototype of the system that is currently being set up within the Ingolstadt Digital Testbed for connected and automated driving. In the future, it will be used to test solutions for automated traffic. 

Feldschwarm® – Autonomous Field Robots with Swarm Behavior for Resource-Efficient Arable Farming

© Feldschwarm®
Example photo of a modern combine harvester, which can weigh up to 27 tonnes

The growing world population and the associated increase in global food demand are leading to the use of ever larger and heavier agricultural machinery. Due to their weight, these vehicles compress the subsoil, which in the long term lowers soil fertility and encourages flooding. Seven companies and four research institutes, including Fraunhofer IVI and Fraunhofer IWU, are working on a solution in the innovative regional growth core Feldschwarm®. The idea is a completely new type of machinery for agriculture: a swarm of autonomously or semi-autonomously operating field robots, each unit smaller, narrower and lighter than the machines used today. Operated individually or in tandem, they preserve the soil while obtaining the same yield and increase the quality of the harvest due to tailored soil cultivation. Another object of research is a robust human-machine interface that allows users to operate and monitor their field swarm, which consists of several field swarm units operating simultaneously, safely and easily.

The aim of Feldschwarm® is to establish Central German agricultural machinery manufacturing on the global market and to build up a leading position in the development of autonomous agricultural machinery by bundling the key competencies of the project partners and exploiting technological change in agricultural engineering. In addition, a significant contribution is made to sustainable agricultural technology and resource-saving arable farming.

project website (German)
article in the Fraunhofer magazine

Technology from Fraunhofer IVI Supported Saxon Aid Organizations During Flood Disaster

July 29, 2021

© DRK Kreisverband Dresden e.V.

For more than 15 years, the MobiKat® system has been making an important contribution to the management of large-scale emergencies. Originally established in Saxony after the severe flooding in 2002, it is now regularly used in a wide variety of operations, including extreme weather situations, large-scale operations by fire and rescue services and a wide variety of major events, but also in everyday operations in Germany.

In the context of the current flood disaster in July 2021, both the Leipzig Fire Department and the German Red Cross District Administration of Dresden also used the system. In Rhineland-Palatinate, the system was primarily used to control the Saxon forces on site and to document the measures carried out. Thanks to the networked operational command, the forces remaining in Saxony could also be included in the command and control process.

The camera system installed in eastern Saxony to monitor river levels proved its worth once again, providing decision-makers and emergency forces with real-time information on the flood situation and the hazardous situation on several rivers. 

MobiKat® website

FLASH – First Driverless Automated Shuttle in Trial Operation

July 14, 2021

© Fraunhofer IVI
Shuttle FLASH at Lake Schladitz

At a mobility day on the topic of »Automated Driving«, the first driverless automated shuttle called FLASH was presented at Schladitzer Bucht. It can transport up to 21 people the four kilometres from Rackwitz train station to Lake Schladitz and features a hybrid control concept that allows a smooth transition between automated and manual operation. Initially, the bus will travel with a safety driver who can intervene and take over the wheel if necessary. As of now, the shuttle is running in application mode, where FLASH learns difficult traffic situations without passengers. Pilot operation with passengers will subsequently start next year. These two final project phases are funded with a grant of 988,000 euros. The project partners of the district office are the district-owned Omnibus-Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH »Heideland« (OVH), Fraunhofer IVI, the Chemnitz location of IAV Automotive Engineering and TS Fahrzeugtechnik GmbH in Weida.

project website (German)

Solar-Powered Seminar Ship – Events with a Far-Reaching View over Lake Bergheide

June 23, 2021

© Fraunhofer IVI
Solar-powered seminar-ship in Lake Berghaide

The Lusatian Lakeland and the Elbe-Elster region have gained another attraction. The Fraunhofer IVI’s floating autartec® house  has already stood as a symbol of progress and innovative technology since 2019, and now  Lake Bergheide in the municipality of Lichterfeld-Schacksdorf has another highlight to offer.

On the initiative of the chairman of the EUROS Foundation, a solar-powered conference ship was built in close cooperation with the Fraunhofer IVI, which in the future will enable events and conferences to be held on the water against the impressive backdrop of the former overburden conveyor bridge F60. The official inauguration took place on June 22. The ship’s maiden voyage opened completely new perspectives for the interested guests.

The first design drafts for the seminar boat as well as the technical conception of the electric drive were defined by the Fraunhofer IVI in close exchange with the experienced executing company, Jacko Schiffsbau und Yachtservice.

At the shipyard in Storkow, the production of the trimaran’s three floats along with the steel construction took place first, before the work was continued directly at the harbor of Lake Bergheide from July 2020.

The trimaran measures 16.5 meters in length and seven meters in width. The interior offers space for 30 to 60 people, depending on seating. In addition, there is a walk-on upper deck.

Powered by two 25-kW electric motors, the ship, which weighs around 40 tons, reaches a speed of more than ten kilometers per hour. 

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

Landnetz – Experimental Field for Digital Networks in Rural Areas

June 16, 2021

© LANDNETZ
LANDNETZ Logo

An essential prerequisite for digital agriculture is wireless communication, which is currently neither available nationwide, consistently nor reliably.

The LANDNETZ project addresses this challenge and develops and tests strategies for complete networking as well as adequate data exchange as a fundamental condition for Agriculture 4.0. The aim of the project is to create a digital experimental field with a focus on necessary communication and cloud infrastructures for researching and testing technologies for nationwide wireless data transmission using 5G in rural areas as well as the networking of farms and the use of data hubs in a selected model region of Saxony.

The white paper LANDNETZ Impulse provides information on current networking solutions used in agriculture and presents an alternative solution approach for digital applications in agriculture in the form of mobile cellular campus networks. It also addresses the issue of data sovereignty and highlights trends and opportunities for the secure processing and exchange of collected data.

whitepaper (German)
project website (German)

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