Precise 3D navigation maps to enhance safety for autonomous flying

November 8, 2023 | ADAM research projects is launched in a virtual kick-off on November 10th

© Fraunhofer IVI
Reliable environmental detection in lower airspace.

Urban Air Mobility is a forward-looking approach in the development of sustainable concepts for individual and freight transportation in highly congested metropolitan areas. Whether it's logistics drones, air taxis, or rescue and surveillance systems – regardless of the application, the requirements for flight safety are particularly high. The research project ADAM (“Advanced Air Space Mapping”) aims to improve lower airspace situational awareness using new mapping methods, thereby increasing safety for autonomous flying in the city.  ADAM is supported by the Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport (BMDV) within the mFUND innovation initiative.

The project's kick-off event will take place on November 10, 2023. You can register for the event via project manager Henri Meeß. Further information and contact data can be found in the press release. The event will be held in German.

Getting ahead of the situation with AI-based tools

October 24, 2023 | KIWA project partners discuss the newest results at the 5th consortium meeting held in Dresden

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

Managing natural disasters, especially those involving heavy rain and floods, makes special demands of response teams. From the point of view of operation leaders, an extended early warning period is desirable in order to get ahead of the situation, evaluate possible actions and get an accurate overview of the current situation. Based on these requirements, the KIWA research project (Künstliche Intelligenz für die Hochwasserwarnung, artificial intelligence for flood warning) will develop and demonstrate AI-based tools for observing floods and issuing flood warnings with the aim of giving better support to operation leaders during their management of major crisis situations.

One of the opbjectives of KIWA is to investigate how artificial intelligence can be used to improve precipitation-runoff simulations, automatically detect water levels from camera images and derive the flow volumes of river systems from them. One task within the project will be to integrate the AI tools developed into a demonstrator for operational control and monitoring.

On October 24, 2023 the consortium members came together at Fraunhofer IVI for their 5th consortium meeting, where they discussed the current project state. Special attention was paid to methodical improvements of camera-based water monitoring, options of using camera-based flood forecasting within Fraunhofer's MobiKat® system, as well as discussing operational scenarios in disaster management.

A cooperative sensor system for reliable assisted driving

October 17, 2023 | VALISENS project consortium gathers in Dresden

© Fraunhofer IVI
The VALISENS project partners met at Fraunhofer IVI in Dresden.

Partners of the research project »VALISENS – Cooperative Sensor System for Assisted Driving« came together for the first consortium meeting at Fraunhofer IVI to present and discuss their initial results. The project's goal is to systematically create a comprehensive environmental perception for assisted driving, encompassing both peripheral infrastructure and the vehicle's ego perspective.

Fraunhofer IVI contributes its theoretical and practical knowledge from the test fields in Dresden and Ingolstadt, including methods and algorithms for sensor and object information fusion and the C-ITS (Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems) experience within Car2X communication. The holistic and valid sensor image generated in this way serves as a crucial input for automated driving functions within the cooperative overall system. During the meeting, some of the initial developments have already been presented on the institute's test track.


© Fraunhofer IVI
Demonstrations on the institute's test track.
© Fraunhofer IVI
Demonstrations on the institute's test track.
© Fraunhofer IVI
Demonstrations on the institute's test track.

New technologies for construction and mining vehicles with fuel cell propulsion

October 24, 2023 | Hy.CoMM project holds kick-off meeting at Fraunhofer IVI in Dresden

© Fraunhofer IVI
The Hy.CoMM consortium gathered for the kick-off event at the project coordinator Fraunhofer IVI in Dresden.

Due to their relatively short operational lifespans, emissions-free construction machinery with battery-electric propulsion systems are not yet widely deployed. A promising approach is to equip such vehicles with fuel cell propulsion.

In Hy.CoMM (Clean Hydrogen Construction and Mining Machines). a European collaborative project, nine partners from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have joined forces to develop and test technologies for construction and mining vehicles with fuel cell propulsion under real operating conditions. In addition to addressing challenges related to the vehicle and powertrain, new solutions for decentralized hydrogen production and refueling are also being explored. By exclusively using green hydrogen, these construction machines can make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions in the transportation sector.

This project is funded as part of the Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETP).

C-ITS Pilot Dresden receives award as »Frontrunner for supporting the automation of vehicles«

October 20, 2023 | Urban C-ITS Contest award ceremony

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

The aim of the Urban C-ITS Contest is to showcase and award prizes to activities surrounding connected driving in European cities. This year's award ceremony was held in Porto (Portugal) following the Urban C-ITS City Forum.

It was a great honor for us Fraunhofer IVI employees to receive an award for the work we have been doing in Dresden. Of course we are very proud that our efforts, which aim to lay the foundations for cooperative and automated driving, are recognized and appreciated. In this context, we also thank our partners – especially, the city of Dresden and the LASUV – who have always supported us.

As early as 2016, the first showcase on connected and automated driving was presented by the institute and its partners. In 2019, the projects united under the umbrella of »Synchronized Mobility« were able to run C-ITS and CCAM demonstrations involving connected, automated driving in a public test bed. In tthe same year, Dresden became a partner of the C-ROADS initiative for harmonization of connected driving in over 50 European cities. At the same time, the Fraunhofer CCIT Cluster began installing the Smart Intersection, an intersection supported comprehensively by sensor technology, in order to realize infrastructure assistance for traffic. Last but not least, Fraunhofer IVI was able to pilot test remotely operated driving for the first time in Dresden in 2022. Be excited for the next steps to come!

Combining forces for security in Germany

October 19, 2023 | Fraunhofer SIRIOS held their first annual meeting in Berlin

© Paul Hahn/ Fraunhofer FOKUS
For the interactive demonstration, the event location was transformed into a demo lab.

Fraunhofer SIRIOS, launched in mid-2022, draws on combined Fraunhofer know-how and joins stakeholders from civil security, operators of critical infrastructures and economy in order to pool technological solutions in the field of security research. At the annual meeting, about 140 participants from politics, safety authorities, industry, associations and science were informed about current tasks and results form the technology and innovation platform.

Fraunhofer project researchers showcased their newest solutions in interactive demonstrations. For this purpose, they transformed the event location into a demo lab and guided the audience through a crisis scenario: A thunderstorm with heavy rainfall causes a transformer station to break down. The simulation illustrated which other malfunctions and cascading effects can result from the initial breakdown due to the interconnections between complex supply infrastructures. By integrating the complete simulation data into a situational picture used in the allocation of response forces, a decision could be reached about whether or not to evacuate a specific affected hospital. The simulation, which was implemented here using a fictional scenario happening in a single city district, serves both as a proof of concept and as a go-ahead for making the technologies available for day-to-day practical application.

Patrick Brausewetter, research fellow at Fraunhofer IVI, and Till Martini of Fraunhofer EMI presented two Fraunhofer SIRIOS pilot projects. During their presentation, they also discussed a response operation simulator developed at Fraunhofer IVI.

© Paul Hahn/ Fraunhofer FOKUS
Berlin, Fraunhofer FOKUS, SIRIOS Annual Meeting, What if? Digital simulations in a time of real-world crises.
© Paul Hahn/ Fraunhofer FOKUS
Berlin, Fraunhofer FOKUS, SIRIOS Annual Meeting, What if? Digital simulations in a time of real-world crises.
© Paul Hahn/ Fraunhofer FOKUS
Berlin, Fraunhofer FOKUS, SIRIOS Annual Meeting, What if? Digital simulations in a time of real-world crises.

Topping-out ceremony at the Telewerk real-world lab

October 16, 2023 | Experimental platform for sustainable forms of living and working on the campus of Hochschule Mittweida

© Fraunhofer IVI
Sebastian Donner (Gebr. Donner Timber Constructions), Prof. Leonhard Zintl (honorary professor for digital transformation and regional innovation at HS Mittweida), Prof. Dr. Volker Tolkmitt (director of HS Mittweida) and Prof. Dr. Matthias Klingner (Fraunhofer IVI director) reading the traditional topping-out address.

A consortium led by Hochschule Mittweida is currently building the Telewerk real-world lab on the university's own campus. Telewerk aims to combine functionality and form in a unique and special way. Fraunhofer IVI employees contribute their competencies in optimizing building cubatures for harvesting solar energy using structurally integrated timber constructions, as well as their experience in designing stationary energy storage units. The initial architectural design was also created at the institute, and its implementation demonstrates how attractive the switch to a sustainable and decentralized supply of heat and power can actually be.

On October 16, the topping-out ceremony was held in Mittweida in the presence of representatives from the executing construction companies, the project partners, as well as many university representatives. According to old traditions, a topping-out address was held and the final nail was driven in.

In the future, the Telewerk real-world lab will be joined by two tiny houses currently built at the same site within the scope of the AMSEL project. Together, the buildings will serve as experimental platforms for cyber-secure forms of working and living in rural areas and areas supplied with regenerative utilities.

The Saxon State Ministry for Regional Development (SMR) provides funding for both projects within its simul+ future initiative.

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

New developments and perspectives on Intelligent Transportation Systems at the ITSC 2023

September 24-28 | Research community meets in Bilbao at the 26th IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems

© Fraunhofer IVI

The annual ITSC conference is a platform for researchers to share insights from their work, latest results, perspectives and developments related to the implementation and deployment of advanced ITS applications. This year’s conference in Bilbao, Spain, featured contributions in the fields of theory, analytical and numerical simulation and modeling, experimentation, as well as practical case studies.

Johannes Schäfer, graduate student at Fraunhofer IVI, presented the RMTRUCK algorithm for the deadlock-free coordination of multiple vehicles in yards. In his session, research fellow Longfei Han provided insights on a novel sensor box. This mobile sensor unit allows making predictions about the traffic flows of passenger cars, trucks, bicyclists as well as pedestrians, ensuring better assessment of traffic situations.

Visibly different: The Telewerk real-world lab in Mittweida

September 28, 2023 | Second construction phase of the sustainable building has begun

© HS Mittweida

The building's shell, which has been in the process of being created since September 27, clearly displays the special features of the project carried out by Hochschule Mittweida and their partners. The innovative timber construction contributes to keeping the building's CO2 footprint at a minimum. Its foundation equipped with a concrete core activation system has been built over the past months. A few days ago, regional timber construction experts have started building the framework of the future Telewerk real-world laboratory.

Even in a metaphorical sense, Telewerk rests on a solid and sustainable foundation: In the project, Hochschule Mittweida pools their own competencies with those of further strong institutions. Together, they investigate and demonstrate how modern life in rural areas can be supported for the good of the entire region. The Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructures Systems IVI in Dresden and Volksbank Mittweida eG are Hochschule Mittweida's project partners and consortium leaders. The Saxon State Ministry for Regional Development (SMR) supports the project within its simul+ initiative.

Prof. Dr. Matthias Klingner, Director of Fraunhofer IVI, highlights the project's impact beyond its intended function: »Constructing buildings in a resource-friendly way and operating them sustainably is a challenging technical task. People will happily accept these innovations only if we succeed in casting simple and functional features into an aesthetically pleasing shape. We hope that Telewerk will be a striking example of this.«

© HS Mittweida
© HS Mittweida
© HS Mittweida

National European Road Safety Charter network meeting in Dresden

September 20, 2023 | Improving road safety across all subject areas

© Fraunhofer IVI

Last week, Fraunhofer IVI welcomed current and prospective members of the European Road Safety Charter (ERSC) within the scope of a network meeting. In its role as National Relay, the institute takes special interest in bringing together different stakeholders from the field of road safety in order to promote professional exchange on the newest relevant research topics. The main goal in this context is achieving vision zero in the road traffic sector, which means the complete prevention of deaths in road traffic.

During the meeting, a broad range of topics were addressed, including traffic accident research, vehicle safety, scenario creation for the digital testing of driving functions, bicycle safety, infrastructure safety, improving the safety of children on their way to school, as well as accident prevention for teenagers.

As German National Relay, the institute is happy to assist all Charter members and all interested stakeholders with any questions they may have.

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

Data spaces for future mobility in Europe

September 14, 2023 | Fraunhofer IVI presents Mobility Data Space in Amsterdam

Creating a unified data market across Europe has been a key European endeavor for a number of years now. The purpose of such a joint data space is to facilitate access to both existing and future traffic and mobility databases with the aim of exploiting and sharing data. In this context, Global Mass Transit organized the third annual conference »Data-driven Urban Mobility in Europe«, which was held on September 14, 2023 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The conference’s mission is to discuss the political and regulatory framework for data-driven, intelligent urban mobility, highlight current developments on the way towards a common European mobility data space, and present the progress made so far as well as EU-wide initiatives.

In Germany, the Mobility Data Space already constitutes the mobility sector’s central data ecosystem, uniting enterprises, organizations and institutions with the aim of jointly exploiting their shared data for the mobility of the future. Based on the open, decentralized system architecture created by the International Data Spaces Association, Fraunhofer IVI and the Fraunhofer Institutes AISEC, FIT, IAIS, IML und ISST developed the platform’s technology and operated the data space in its start-up phase. Currently, their ideas and technologies are also expanded on a European level: Within the PrepDspace4Mobility project, Fraunhofer IVI and further partners are creating a »Common European Mobility Data Space« as stipulated by the European Commission in their data strategy.

As one of the keynote speakers, Sebastian Pretzsch, Manager of the »Data Systems and Travel Assistance« at Fraunhofer IVI, introduced the Mobility Data Space and the surrounding activities on a European level.

North Saxony Mobility Day

September 12, 2023 | North Saxony presents innovative mobility solutions for rural areas

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

By the example of the automated shuttle FLASH, the specialist audience at the North Saxony Mobility Day were able to experience automated connected driving as a future mobility solution in rural areas. Fraunhofer IVI showcased the vehicle together with the district of North Saxony, Nordsachsen Mobil GmbH and IAV GmbH. At the event, the visitors gained insight into developments regarding control centers as technical supervision units, as well as the extension of the vehicle Operational Design Domain through infrastructure assistance.

For over a year now, FLASH has been in regular service Thursdays through Sundays between Rackwitz station, Schladitzer Bucht and Biedermeierstrand, carrying everyone just wanting to get from A to B. As an integrated mobility service, FLASH is timed to connect with the local trains from Delitzsch and Leipzig, and it is incorporated into the fare structure of the Mitteldeutscher Verkehrsverbund (Central German Transport Association).

Fraunhofer at IAA MOBILITY 2023

September 5, 2023 | ALBACOPTER® at the joint Fraunhofer booth

© Fraunhofer IVI
Tomorrow's mobility: at the IAA Mobility, Fraunhofer presents a broad range of research projects and findings.
© Fraunhofer IVI
Prof. Holger Hanselka vistis the joint Fraunhofer booth.

Urban Air Mobility (UAM) does more than just open up new potential in terms of transporting goods: if some of urban traffic goes airborne, this will also offer completely new approaches when it comes to sustainable mobility solutions. In the Fraunhofer ALBACOPTER® Lighthouse Project, six Fraunhofer institutes are addressing the technical and social issues associated with UAM. Led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI, researchers have developed an aircraft that glides in a particularly efficient way – taking inspiration from the albatross. This device and other highlights are being exhibited at the joint Fraunhofer booth (D11, in Hall B1) at the IAA MOBILITY trade show in Munich until September 8, 2023.

On the opening day, September 5, the President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Prof. Holger Hanselka, and the executive vice president for Research Infrastructures and Digital Transformation, Prof. Axel Müller-Groeling, visited the joint Fraunhofer booth. Together with the expert team, Fraunhofer IVI Director and ALBACOPTER® project manager Prof. Matthias Klingner presented the current development status of the experimental aircraft.

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

elWObot field robot passes its acid test in a real orchard

August 29, 2023 | Field demonstration on innovative solutions for future fruit and wine farming

© Fraunhofer IVI
The elWObot successfully demonstrates tasks such as mulching and mowing.
© Fraunhofer IVI

How can research and development innovations help farmers combat the increasing shortage of skilled laborers and junior staff? Autonomous field machines are one solution to this problem. These machines were the main focus of the »Robotics for Fruit and Wine Farming« workshop held by the Saxon State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG) on August 29, 2023 in Dresden-Pillnitz.

The participants had the opportunity to get a first-hand experience of different solutions from the field of robotics and of new approaches to, e. g., crop protection on steep slopes, 5G technology and electric charging solutions. During the event, the autonomus elWObot, a robot for fruit and wine farming, completed a number of work tasks such as mowing and mulching to demonstrate its abilities. This was the first time the robot proved its functionality in front of a public audience.

In several expert talks and at their info booth, Fraunhofer IVI scientists gave information on different developments in the field of automation in agriculture. They presented a fast-charging trailer developed especially for the elWObot and the helyOS® control tower software that can be used to plan robot missions. In collaboration with the Chair of Agricultural Systems and Technology at TU Dresden and Computersysteme Schmidt GmbH, further trials will be conducted using the elWObot by the spring of 2024. The trials will include, among others, the targeted distribution of plant protection agents.

(Source: LfULG Saxony)

© Fraunhofer IVI
Dr. Sven Klausner presents details on the robot's charging technology.
© Fraunhofer IVI
The field robot's missions are planned using the helyOS® control tower software.
© Fraunhofer IVI
The fast charging system installed on the charging trailer was developed by Fraunhofer IVI.

Future female engineers visit Fraunhofer IVI

August 30, 2023 | Participants of the tryING orientation course receive information on career paths in the MINT subjects

© Fraunhofer IVI
Nora Strauzenberg introduces current Fraunhofer IVI research highlights to the participants.

The tryING orientation course at TU Dresden is aimed at female high school graduates who are considering taking up studies in engineering but are still hesitant about it. By participating in classes, workshops and excursions, young women learn about the university routine and diverse work environments of engineers. This way, they are prepared for the start of their courses in an optimal way.  

Within the scope of their excursion program, eight future female university students visited the  institute to receive information on job offers and highlights of current research projects. Our scientists Dr. Ina Partzsch and Nora Strauzenberg offered intzeresting insight into their work and introduced both the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Fraunhofer IVI as innovative employers for MINT students and graduates. Many thanks to all participants for their interest in what we do!

Energy for the hydrogen robot H2Bot

August 23, 2023 | Commissioning of the energy cell opens up new test possibilities for sustainable fruit-growing and horticulture

© Fraunhofer IVI | Holger Fichtl
The energy cell of the robot H2Bot was successfully implemented.

Smaller vehicles, such as machines used in fruit-growing, viticulture or horticulture, are particularly suitable for the electrification of agriculture. To date, however, there has been little experience of using fuel cell technology in such vehicles. With the recent commissioning of the energy cell of the hydrogen-powered agricultural robot H2Bot, new opportunities to test this technology in practice are opening up.

The energy cell is a joint development of TU Dresden, Chair of Agricultural Systems and Technology (AST), and Fraunhofer IVI as part of the project »Requirements for hydrogen drives for agricultural use« (in short: H2Bot). For the implementation, TU Dresden provided the autonomously driving robot ELWOBOT for vineyards and fruit plantages, and was in charge of the technical development of the energy cell. Fraunhofer IVI was responsible for the hazard analysis and risk assessment as well as the development of the electronic control of the energy cell. The core of the energy cell is a hydrogen-powered fuel cell from Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH, which provides electrical energy with an output of between 7 and 33 kW. At a pressure of 350 bar, H2Bot can carry up to 2.6 kg of hydrogen in two pressure tanks. As a range extender, the energy cell charges the agricultural robot's electrical energy storage system as needed.

Practical tests later on in the project will examine the interaction between the energy storage system and the energy cell, as well as recharging, in greater detail. In addition, field tests are planned to test the energy cell and the agricultural robot. On of the major objectives is to enable assessments about the transferability to other electrified equipment in agriculture. As a follow-up to the project, other machines could be equipped with fuel cell systems based on the same principle.

Agricultural robot CAESAR to become part of the Feldschwarm network

July 26, 2023 | Follow-up project on automation in farming

© Fraunhofer IVI

Last week, the company InnoTrac2020 GmbH delivered their remote-controllable equipment carrier system called CAESAR to Fraunhofer IVI. This novel farming machine will be adapted by institute researchers for fully automated application in fruit farming.

The work carried out on CAESAR will also serve to expand the concepts for agricultural robotics developed within the Feldschwarm (field swarm) research project. To this end, the machine will be integrated into the existing network of Feldschwarm units using the helyOS® control tower software also developed at Fraunhofer IVI. This way, CAESAR serves as a demonstrator for the Feldschwarm ÖkoSystem (field swarm ecosystem) project, which has recently been launched as a follow-up project carried out within a RUBIN collaboration between industry and research institutions.

A major focus of this and further projects in the field of agricultural robotics is the analysis of security risks occurring within this domain. Another crucial topic is the development of safety concepts for fully automated agricultural machines in terms of functional safety, cyber security and the so-called safety of the intended function (SOTIF). In these contexts, CAESAR will make valuable contributions to the testing, verification and validation of the aforementioned concepts.

ALBACOPTER® drive system proves robust in the wind tunnel

July, 2023 | First measuring campaign at the TU Dresden aerodynamic test facility

© Fraunhofer ICT

In July, the ALBACOPTER® team conducted the project‘s first measuring campaign in a wind tunnel. The campaign’s aim was to test different drive configurations for the ALBACOPTER® 0.5 in full scale under wind load.

This constituted a stress test especially for the drive kinematics, which is responsible for pivoting the rotors by 90° in order to switch between the vertical and horizontal flight phases. At maximum thrust and a wind speed of 100 km/h, the drive system passed the stress test successfully. Additional parameters measured included horizontal and vertical forces, the electrical current and temperature of the e-motors, as well as vibrations and natural frequencies occurring within the overall system.

A second measuring campaigned is scheduled for September. In it, a wing segment will be added to the setup for the purpose of investigating the interaction of the propellers’ air flow with the wing.

© Fraunhofer ICT
© Fraunhofer ICT

TraffIRNet research project brings basic technologies for automated driving to the roads

July 10, 2023 | Smart traffic sensing on the test track

© THI / Severin Mantel-Lehrer
Networked sensor boxes containing an infrared camera, a radar unit, a data processor and a 5G modem.

Intelligent traffic sensing and vehicle communication for autonomous driving (Vehicle-to-everything, V2X) require dynamic traffic information in real time. This means that data-collection sensors, communication technologies, as well as data fusion and traffic model creation algorithms are paramount. In the TraffIRNet (Traffic Infrared Radar Network) research project, the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Internet Technologies CCIT is exploring the potential of the 5G mobile radio standard in collective and scalable traffic sensing using a multi-access edge computing (MEC) network.

 continue reading the press release

Conventional field machines and agricultural robots to operate in swarms

July 3, 2023 | Hardware and software for automation in agriculture

© Fraunhofer IVI

The start of the Feldschwarm® Ökosystem (field swarm ecosystem) project was officially announced during a kick-off event celebrated within the scope of the simul+ »Autonomous Mobile Work Machines« Forum at Proschwitz Castle near Meißen. The project was initiated by a so-called RUBIN alliance, in which regional enterprises cooperate with universities and scientific institutions to generate application-oriented innovations.

Feldschwarm® Ökosystem aims to realize for the first time the automated operation of multiple field machines and agricultural robots at the same time. The users, who will be able to monitor the work progress on fields and intervene at any time, are the application’s focus points.

In the next three years, 13 project partners from industry and science are going to develop hardware and a comprehensive IT control architecture that integrate innovative systems for the semi-autonomous control of multiple field machines. In addition, they will investigate new technologies and methods in the fields of artificial intelligence, remote and process monitoring as well as data security for failure-free operation. The innovative control systems will be integrated into both conventional field machines and novel agricultural robots across different manufacturers. The systems will then be tested for effectiveness and economic efficiency in mixed operation on fields.

Within the project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Fraunhofer IVI is developing a control tower architecture for agricultural applications that can be used as a free software for networking (field) machinery across manufacturers. In addition, the institute contributes its competencies in the field of security and propulsion systems for automated agricultural systems.

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

Dresden Science Night at Fraunhofer IVI

June 30, 2023 | Exciting interactive program for the anniversary Science Night

© Fraunhofer IVI

“Schlaugemacht bis Mitternacht!“ (Get smart by midnight!) Under this motto, numerous universities, research institutions, and science-related companies opened their doors, laboratories, lecture halls, and archives to the public once again for the Dresden Science Night – this year marking the 20th anniversary. For Dresden, it was the most successful Science Night to date, with a nationwide record of 48,000 visitors and more scheduled events than ever before.

Fraunhofer IVI offered a diverse program for young and old and proudly welcomed 980 curious guests on its spacious premises. The researchers presented current topics and projects related to safety – including a technology for operational command, a tiny house for use in disaster situations, and innovative solutions for accident prevention with children and adolescents. Technology enthusiasts enjoyed demonstrations of the field robot CERES and two autonomously driving lawn mowers. Young visitors got the chance to make little gifts at the crafts table or engage in a fun game.

We would like to thank all visitors for their interest in our institute and look forward to the next Science Night!

Intelligent infrastructure increases the safety of vulnerable road users

June 20 to 21, 2023 | 8th National Cycling Congress

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

At the 8th National Cycling Congress held in Frankfurt / Main from June 20 to 21, experts from different municipal departments and administrative levels met with representatives from politics, science, economy and practical users.

Here at Germany's most important congress on cycling, relevant questions concerning the implementation of bycicle traffic were discussed. In addition to questions of how to design appropriate roadscapes, aspects of digitalization, safety and networking were the event's core topics.

Fraunhofer IVI employees presented their »smart intersection«, an approach to protecting vulnerable road users (VRU) developed within the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Internet Technologies CCIT. By this approach, VRUs are detected and classified with the help of infrastructure. Subsequently, all traffic participants receive notification of the detected VRUs via V2X communications so that they can adapt their behavior accordingly. Notifications are transmitted via dedicated warnings and via direct infrastructure assistance actions.

The approach was summarized and presented in an academic paper with the title »How can the »smart intersection« protect vulnerable road users (such as foot and bicycle traffic)?« (»Wie kann die »intelligente Kreuzung« verletzliche Verkehrsteilnehmer (wie den Fuß- und Radverkehr) schützen?«). The presentation was given by Dr. Thomas Otto within the scope of a session called »Bicycles in smart cities – When the infrastructure is talking to your bike« (»Das Fahrrad in der Smart City – wenn die Infrastruktur mit dem Fahrrad spricht«).


High-tech for lawns

June 18 to 20, 2023 | Fully automated RC mower fleet at the demopark trade show

© Fraunhofer IVI
Two AS 940 Sherpa 4WD mowers on the Fraunhofer IVI test track

At this year’s demopark trade show held from June 18 to 20 in Hörselberg close to Eisenach, AS-Motor, Fraunhofer IVI and Sensor-Technik Wiedemann GmbH will present three professional RC riding mowers that are capable to work together on lawns in a fully automated way – even on rough terrain. The partners will show how one »driver« can control and monitor three riding mowers of the type AS 940 Sherpa 4WD RC, thus covering triple the usual area and working more precisely and in a less tiresome way. Depending on the concrete application case, drivers can operate the mower fleet directly on site or remotely, for example, from their office.

One key technology included is the helyOS® (highly efficient online yard Operating System) control tower software that was created at Fraunhofer IVI with the goal of efficiently developing, testing and operating autonomous, mobile machines. In small projects just as in large ones, helyOS® acts as a central node for connecting, controlling and monitoring of vehicles fleets via a local network or the Cloud. It is already possible to connect and automatically control trucks and agricultural machines with the help of the helyOS® control tower software. Now, the digital control tower is able to deliver missions for professional mowers, too.

High-Voltage Megawatt Charging System for Heavy-Duty and Passenger Vehicles

© Fraunhofer IVI

The battery charging infrastructure for electric heavy-duty and passenger vehicles plays a decisive role in a successful transition towards climate-friendly transport. As the required charging powers increase, so do the battery and charging voltages. The joint project "HV-MELA-BAT", coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, aims to develop both the necessary power electronic converters and a contact system for high currents and voltages. A buffer storage is to ensure full charging power even at grid connection points with power limitations. The project partners are Motion Control & Power Electronics GmbH, STS Spezial-Transformatoren Stockach GmbH, Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH and the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI.

Within the research project, Fraunhofer IVI is developing a semi-automatic contact connection capable of MCS (Multi Cable Systems). Semi-automatic means that initially, the plug is inserted into the socket manually or automatically, and only afterwards, an actuator inside the plug establishes the contact in the form of a front contact. The system is complemented by an air cooling system that acts directly on the electrical contact point, taking advantage of the maximum available temperature difference.

Automotive Week Helmond: Intermediate demonstration event in European MAGPIE project

April 18, 2023 | helyOS® controls an automated truck

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

How can logistics in ports be made more sustainable with the help of clean energy? Intelligent solutions in the field of digitalization and automation are the key – solutions such as the helyOS® control tower software framework that serves to quickly implement projects in yard automation. At MAGPIE project’s intermediate demonstration event (MAGPIE – sMArt Green Ports as Integrated Efficient multimodal hubs), the system developed at Fraunhofer IVI once again proved its effectiveness. The event held within the scope of the 2023 Automotive Week in Helmond, the Netherlands, on April 16. to 19, helyOS® was equipped with map, route and path planning microservices to allow the control of an automated DAF truck. The impressive demonstration was achieved in collaboration with the MAGPIE partners – an important step on the European road towards CO2-free freight transport in, to and from ports until the year 2050.

impactEES: A program for the comprehensive calculation of collisions

April 18, 2023 | Solution presented at 2023 ESV

© Fraunhofer IVI

impactEES, a collision calculation program developed at Fraunhofer IVI, was presented at the International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV) in Yokohama. The software is the result of previous long-term research in the field of accident reconstruction and simulation. The work was funded in part by ADAC Stiftung and carried out mainly in collaboration with Toyota Motor Europe, AUDI, Euro NCAP and ADAC Technikzentrum.

Based on deformation energy models (EES models), impactEES estimates the acceleration profiles of vehicles involved in a crash. Through temporally resolved simulation, it is possible to calculate deformations, speeds and further technical collision gravity parameters. These parameters are important metrics for the development and evaluation of future vehicle safety systems. The operatio of impactEES, therefore, constitutes a contribution to increasing road safety. 

Driving test: Autonomous car independently detects danger

April 12, 2023 | Safety-critical driving scenario succesfully tested

© Fraunhofer IVI

On the »First Mile« test field in Ingolstadt, self-driving Twizy ANTON mastered a typical driving scenario. This means that another milestone within the field of cooperative, connected and automated mobility (CCAM) has been reached. »We want to show how future connected and automated traffic will increase safety. The infrastructure sensor technology detects oncoming traffic and gives the vehicle the message whether the road is clear and it can safely avoid an obstacle or overtake a vehicle in front,« said Professor Dr Gordon Elger, head of the Fraunhofer Application Center »Connected Mobility and Infrastructure«.

The test was carried out jointly by scholars of Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt and the Fraunhofer Application Center. The test was based partly on the results of the IN2Lab research project that aims to develop a system providing safety for automated driving functionalities via a combination of infrastructure sensors, car2X communications, and a mission control unit.

Fraunhofer ALBACOPTER® Lighthouse Project presented to the UAM community

March 29, 2023 | Demonstrator meeting in Manching

© Fraunhofer IVI

The Fraunhofer ALBACOPTER® Lighthouse Project counts raises great attention both within Fraunhofer and with external stakeholders. On March 29, 2023, two years into the project, a meeting directed at numerous industry representatives was held in Manching, a town close to Ingolstadt that has favorable conditions for and a long-standing tradition in the field of aviation. The meeting's focus topics  were materials and aerodynamic structures, energy storage and propulsion engineering, autonomous flight, and digital twin mapping.

With the help of several demonstrators, the current state of developments was presented to the expert audience from the fields of aviation, autonomous mobility, energy storage systems, sensor development and Urban Air Mobility networks. In addition to exciting speeches and discussions over the technical exhibits, the guests had the opportunity to experience the vision of the ALBACOPTER 0.5 and 1.0 experimental platforms in virtual reality.

Sensor box for scalable traffic analysis installed in Rosenheim

April 11, 2023 | TraffIRNet project to implement sensor networks

© Fraunhofer IVI

Within the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Internet Technologies CCIT, Fraunhofer IVI and internal partners collaborate in the TraffIRNet project to establish sensor networks for traffic analysis. In the process, a sensor box for traffic analysis and optimization via infrastructure-based sensors was created at the Fraunhofer Application Center »Connected Mobility and Infrastructure« in Ingolstadt. Last month, the box was installed in a road in Rosenheim. Its raw data transmission was studied with the help of the 5G Bavaria Automotive Testbed.

All project topics are described in detail in an article by the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy.

Rethinking road safety training: change of perspective thanks to VR

March 13, 2023 | Ideas for immersive and interactive road safety training in Fraunhofer's Magazine and podcast

© wildstyle network

In 2021, around 22,000 children between the ages of six and 15 were injured in road traffic accidents. For several years, Fraunhofer IVI has been working to change these accident statistics for the better. The focus is particularly on ten- to 15-year-olds – they are "the forgotten age group" in road safety education. To improve road safety among children and adolescents and make them aware of the associated daily dangers, researchers at the institute developed the Fraunhofer IVI Accident Prevention School (FAPS). FAPS is a prevention course specifically aimed at young people, which is intended to provoke sustainably effective "aha" experiences through real accident data from the children's school environment and the use of new technologies such as virtual reality.

The article "Out of the danger zone" in the new issue of Fraunhofer Magazine looks at the approaches in detail. In addition, traffic psychologist Nora Strauzenberg and accident researcher Dr. Christian T. Erbsmehl appeared as guests on the Fraunhofer podcast. In this episode, they explain the underlying idea how children can safely slip into the perspective of truck drivers, and how cooperation with schools can succeed.

Establishing Design as an Integral Component in Research and Development

March 10, 2023 | Inauguration of the joint Fraunhofer and TU Dresden DesignLab in Dresden

© Fraunhofer IVI

In its various disciplines and manifestations, design is increasingly gaining importance in Fraunhofer's research. Supporting this trend, the three Fraunhofer Institutes IVI, IWS and IWU in Dresden, together with Technische Universität Dresden, are establishing the "DesignLab for Applied Research" on behalf of the research community. Based in the Saxon state capital, the DesignLab will conduct design research in collaboration with all Fraunhofer institutes across the country, with plans to extend this work to the international level in the future. The DesignLab was officially inaugurated on March 8, 2023.

Saxon platform simul+

January 31, 2023 | Meeting with regional network partners at Fraunhofer IVI

© Fraunhofer IVI

»Future. Bringing it TOGETHER!« - this is the credo of the Saxon platform simul+: networking people to jointly develop visions and achieve added value for Saxon regions.

This was also the motto of the simul+ meeting on January 31, 2023 with regional network partners at Fraunhofer IVI. After initial words of welcome from the Saxon State Minister for Regional Development, Thomas Schmidt, Institute Director Prof. Dr. Matthias Klingner presented the Fraunhofer IVI and its research fields. The presentation also addressed the AMSEL and Telewerk projects, which are funded by the Saxon State Ministry for Regional Development (SMR) as part of the simul+InnovationHub.

Afterwards, the participants took the opportunity for an intensive exchange and discussed topics such as strengthening the innovation culture, new sources of value creation and future urban-rural cooperation.

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

Intelligent drone coordination for efficient automated air logistics

January 16, 2023 | Kick-off event for the IDEALS project in Ingolstadt

To relieve urban traffic, delivery companies in particular are turning to the third dimension: transport using unmanned drones. The airspace above the required take-off and landing areas - so-called vertiports - must be monitored in a similar way to a major airport. The IDEALS research project - Intelligent Drone Coordination for Efficient Automated Air Logistics - is dedicated to coordinating such flight operations.

The routes of future transport networks are expected to pass through logistics centers equipped with vertiports for loading the air cargo from autonomous drones. In this context, the limited capacity of vertiports creates a bottleneck in the form of high drone density in their airspace. This requires automatic coordination for safe and efficient flights. As a preliminary study, the IDEALS research project investigates cooperative coordination in smart networks of multiple, heterogeneous, and autonomous transport drones for takeoff and landing operations at logistics center vertiports.

The IDEALS project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) as part of the mFUND innovation initiative with a total of 99,924 euros over a period of twelve months.

Joint project »HV-MELA-BAT«

January 12, 2023 | Project start »High-Voltage Megawatt Charging System for Heavy-Duty and Passenger Vehicles«

© Fraunhofer IVI
Underbody charging system

Under the leadership of Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, power electronic converters and a contact system for high currents and voltages are to be developed in the joint project »HV-MELA-BAT« by July 2025. Project partners are Motion Control & Power Electronics GmbH, STS Spezial-Transformatoren Stockach GmbH, Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH and Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI.

Fraunhofer IVI is thus contributing its expertise in the field of contact systems to the research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK).

Since 2017, the institute has been working on solutions for fully automated charging systems for fast charging of battery electric energy storage systems under the working title »Underbody Charging System«. In 2022, the institute patented an associated system development under the name »Electrical Contact Unit« (high-performance connector). This is a semi-automatic contacting device in which the feed from plug to socket can be manual or automated, but the actual contacting process is carried out by an actuator inside the plug in the form of a face contact. In the course of the project, the technology approach is to be qualified for the implementation of the project objectives by further development into a demonstrator of the charging system »mega-charging system«.

New publication on the interaction of art and science at Fraunhofer

Book »Art and Science by Fraunhofer« published

© Fraunhofer IVI
Series of books dealing with the focus areas of design, architecture and art completed.

Fraunhofer has recognized that art can play an important role in communicating scientific results. By conveying complex content in a vivid and comprehensible way, it can contribute to the understanding of technologies and their potential for the economy and society. This requires formats that enable a productive dialog between science and art. Fraunhofer has therefore set itself the task of inviting both disciplines to engage in stimulating discourse.

The book »Art and Science by Fraunhofer«, published in November 2022, gives an insight into the efforts that provide a creative space for this exchange and increase visibility in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Numerous examples from various fields show how the seemingly contradictory aspects of science and art are mutually conditional and offer the opportunity to view scientific content from a new perspective.

As the third volume, the publication concludes a series of books dealing with aesthetics and functionality in the focus areas of design, architecture, and art. »Designed by Fraunhofer,« the first volume, uses a variety of project examples to show that design is an integral part of research work. The second volume, »Architecture by Fraunhofer,« focuses not only on Fraunhofer research buildings from their early beginnings to the present, but also on the exciting question: How are the buildings perceived? The most recent book is looking into the tension between science and various art forms.

The project was funded within the framework program of the Fraunhofer network »Science, Art and Design«.

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