International Consortium Collaborates in the »Green Port Project« Rotterdam to Promote Smarter and Zero-Emission Transport in Ports

May 11, 2021

© Port of Rotterdam
MAGPIE: sMArt Green Ports as Integrated Efficient multimodal hubs

MAGPIE project receives nearly 25 million euros from EU funding along with 10 other projects

An international alliance of 45 companies, knowledge institutes and port authorities, headed by the Port of Rotterdam Authority, will be using this grant to execute 10 pilot projects and demonstration projects that focus on sustainable and smart logistics in port operations with the help of clean energy. The European Commission has made a budget available within the Horizon 2020 Green Deal program for research into opportunities to increase the sustainability of logistics operations in sea ports and airports, reserving approximately 25 million euros for this consortium. The results of the various pilot projects and studies will be shared with other European ports, knowledge institutes and companies.

One of the abovementioned 10 projects is the MAGPIE research project (sMArt Green Ports as Integrated Efficient multimodal hubs), which will run for five years. The goal of the project is to develop a master plan that describes how transport in, to and from ports can be made carbon-free by 2050, and to prepare the necessary steps to achieve this in the coming decades. The project is a collaboration between the port authorities of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, DeltaPort in Germany, HAROPA PORT in France, and Sines in Portugal in partnership with 10 research institutes and more than 30 companies from various countries.

press release

Car-to-X Communication Supports Traffic Coordination at Intersections

March 31, 2021

© Fraunhofer IVI

Safety on the road is one of the promises that autonomous driving must fulfill. In every driving situation. Not just on the highway or during parking. However, complex traffic developments, such as at an inner-city intersection with heavy mixed traffic, could overwhelm the detection capabilities of powerful vehicle sensors. A smart infrastructure should therefore actively support self-driving cars: with information and recommendations for action about the traffic situation from a bird's eye view. The Fraunhofer test intersection shows how this works.

Protecting Children from the Dangers of Road Traffic with the Help of Virtual Reality

March 25, 2021

© Wildstyle Network GmbH

PAPS-XR (“Public Accident Prevention School with eXtendedReality”) is the title of an innovative project with the aim of helping children to better detect dangerous traffic situations. Within the project, VR glasses are used to simulate the origins of traffic accidents. In a computer generated 3D environment, the children can assume the points of view of different parties, such as bike riders, pedestrians or car drivers, involved in specific accidents. This way, they can experience how different parties interact in a dangerous situation.

Safely Mastering Driving Scenarios

EFRE »SePIA« project (Development of a scenario-based platform for the inspection of autonomous driving functions) completed

© Fraunhofer IVI

How can high-automation driving be made safe in the future? And which scenarios will drivers as well as highly and fully automated vehicles have to master so that tomorrow's traffic is less dangerous?

These and other questions were addressed during the past three years by a consortium made up of project partners form Saxony within the SePIA research and development project . The starting point for their investigations was the fact that as of yet there are no suitable and accepted testing concepts for the homologation and field testing (including regular technical service) of  vehicles equipped with functions for highly automated driving. Measures guaranteeing these functions' appropriate performance need to be undertaken during the entire development period and especially during the full lifecycles of automated vehicles.

Fast and Wireless Refueling of Electric Vehicles Using the New Underbody Charging System

The InnoVisions future magazine of the Fraunhofer IUK Group informs about new possibilities of charging electric vehicles

© Fraunhofer ICT Group

It still takes significantly longer to charge the battery of an electric car than to fill fuel into the tank. This is due to not only charging stations or batteries, which have to be gently supplied with power, but the main reason is the interface between the car and the power grid, meaning  charging via cables and plugs. In order to achieve an approximate maximum current flow, the contact surfaces of the plug contacts must be pressed together as well as possible, but the contact points are never absolutely flat on a microscopic level. This results in resistances and thus strong heating, and a higher current flow is not possible.

The solution developed at Fraunhofer IVI is face contacts that use a significantly larger, defined contact area than classic plug connections. This connection allows the transmission of a multiple of the current with only slight heating. And because the system can initiate the charging process automatically, operators could offer a kind of drive-in refueling process in the future. In this case, a compact shaft system with a bollard is sunk about 80 cm into the ground of a filling station. The bollard lifts thanks to a small motor, then connects magnetically to the interface on the underbody of the vehicle and the current flows. With the help of this technology, the charging speed can be increased almost tenfold in the future. Installation for cars and trucks is also inexpensive and uncomplicated, making a comparable system with lower charging power conceivable in almost any garage at home in the future.

Making Truck Transport Climate-Friendly

New eHaul research project investigates the electrification of long-distance freight transport on roads

© TU Berlin / eHaul
Schematic representation of the battery changing station for trucks.

Long-distance freight transport on roads contributes significantly to the still growing CO2 emissions in the transport sector. The electrification of just a few vehicles would already have a major impact in this regard due to the high mileage of individual vehicles.

As part of the new eHaul project, the consortium headed by TU Berlin is now commissioning two electrified trucks that will then be used by two logistics companies in regular operation. In addition, a battery changing station is being set up in south Berlin which the freight forwarders can use for over a year as part of real-life delivery operations. The goal is a fully automated battery change. Together with IBAR Systemtechnik GmbH, Robert Bosch GmbH, Unitax Pharmalogistik GmbH and Urban Energy GmbH, Fraunhofer IVI is supporting the BMVI-funded project, which will run for three years until the end of September 2023.

Launch for the Scalable ALBACOPTER Drone Concept

Virtual kick-off of the lighthouse project on March 08, 2021

© Fraunhofer IVI
ALBACOPTER drone concept

Due to the steadily growing volume of passenger and freight traffic – especially in urban areas – the existing infrastructure is increasingly reaching the limits of its capacity. Autonomous and connected driving is considered a promising approach to optimizing the flow of traffic, but it raises safety-related issues due to the complexity and the variety of different road users. In the ALBACOPTER lighthouse project, six Fraunhofer institutes are therefore developing a scalable, flying experimental platform combining the VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) capability of a multicopter and the aerodynamic advantages of a glider, which is to be approved for test and demonstration flights.

Following successful validation of the system concept at economically viable scales, an innovation platform will be created for experimental testing of the aircraft concept. This project will provide Fraunhofer for the first time with an experimental aircraft that can be used not only to test a wide range of high-tech developments for urban air mobility, but also to present them to the public in an effective way.

Emission-Free Mobility with Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered City Buses

»Go4City« innovation project launched

Go4City project members from ELO Mobility and Fraunhofer IVI at their first online meeting

The use of hydrogen enables emission-free mobility and is considered to be an essential element for the attainment of climate goals of the German federal government as well as crucial in the transition towards clean energy. ELO Mobility and the Fraunhofer IVI are jointly developing a new generation of revolutionary city buses with hydrogen drive technology. These new types of buses will consume significantly less hydrogen, so that the optimization potential in terms of range and operating costs will be significantly improved compared to currently available vehicle technologies. Support is thereby also provided by the partner company HyMove B. V. from the Netherlands. Using the findings from the project, the »Go4City« partners are planning to produce a new generation of high-performance hydrogen buses from the year 2022 on.

»Go4City« receives funding by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure within the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP). 

Efficient Certification Process for Additive Manufacturing in the Aviation Industry

Launch of the CertiFlight project with interdisciplinary consortium

Overview of partners and competences in the CertiFlight project

Since there is still no consistent testing and certification process for additively manufactured components, a large proportion of the samples must be tested destructively. In order to simplify and accelerate the approval process for such components in aviation in the future, a self-learning, Big Data and AI-based platform for digital testing and certification processes is being developed in the CertiFlight project (»Consistent digital quality assurance chains for innovative approval processes using the example of additive manufacturing technologies«). The virtual kick-off meeting with all project partners took place on January 26.

In CertiFlight, the analysis of all process steps and the use of artificial intelligence methods are intended to identify the quality-relevant process parameters in order to subsequently certify not only a component, but the entire production process. The aim is to use the Fraunhofer AI to develop various modular data analysis components in order to analyze the data generated during this process in its entirety, and to be able to make statements regarding the quality of the additively manufactured components.

In the project, Fraunhofer IVI focuses on Big Data analysis based on parallelizable AI methods. The interdisciplinary consortium also includes two other scientific partners (TU Dresden and BTU Cottbus Senftenberg) as well as three industrial partners (IMA Materialforschung und Anwendungstechnik GmbH, Inquence GmbH and AM Metals GmbH). Thus, the entire value chain from the machine manufacturer to the licenser to the user is covered. With a planned duration of 51 months, the project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is to be completed by the beginning of 2025.