Improving Mobility through Automated and Connected Driving

Federal Minister Scheuer hands over »future checks« for new research projects

Virtual handover of the future checks by Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer

The Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Andreas Scheuer, presented three so-called »future checks«, i. e. grant notifications, to newly launched research projects during a virtual meeting on December 18, 2020. The funding in the field of automation and connectivity focuses on application-oriented research projects – both in urban and rural areas. Fraunhofer IVI participates in two of the three projects that have now been selected in the second funding call.

ARCADIA study equips drones and light aircrafts with camera systems

To what extent can real accidents and the associated accident parameters be recorded on video? In the feasibility study ARCADIA, together with the companies Airclip and FlightLevel, it will be investigated whether a survey from the air is feasible – thus resulting in a larger survey area. With the help of drones and light aircrafts, real road accidents will be recorded in order to further develop assistance systems and accident simulations. In the future, this will help to better warn road users of critical situations.

Virtual, digital test field for highly automated driving functions in the SAVe NoW project

The Fraunhofer Application Center »Connected Mobility and Infrastructure« is participating in the SAVe NoW research project, which will produce a holistic simulation model that can be used to test highly automated driving functions more quickly and economically. In order to make the tests and their results more tangible, a dialog platform will serve as a kind of »interactive showcase«.

Final Test Passed – Autonomous and Demand-Oriented Control of Airfreight Transports at Frankfurt Airport

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Smart Air Cargo Trailer Project Video (Source: RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, Hannes Windrath)

How can the e-truck AutoTruck contribute to more efficient airfreight transport? During the final test in the research project »Smart Air Cargo Trailer« at Frankfurt Airport, the AutoTruck was successfully used in combination with the control center software helyOS and the maneuver planning software TruckTrix® to realize the autonomous transport between freight forwarder and air cargo handler. The aim of the project was to use intelligent truck trailers – so-called »Smart Trailers« – and a cloud-based platform to control transports autonomously and according to demand, thus optimizing landside airfreight transport. As a cooperation partner for the realization of autonomous transport, Fraunhofer IVI provided the AutoTruck as the necessary vehicle and contributed their expertise for the test phase.

»Smart Air Cargo Trailer« is coordinated by the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences and project partners include CargoSteps GmbH & Co. KG, Dachser SE, Fraport AG, Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics – Center for Logistics and Mobility (CML), LUG aircargo Handling GmbH and Sovereign Speed FRA GmbH. The project was funded within the framework of the Innovation Promotion Hessen from grants of the LOEWE – State Offensive for the Development of Scientific and Economic Excellence.

project video (German)

project website

further information about the AutoTruck, the control center software helyOS and the maneuver planning softwar TruckTrix®

Artificial Intelligence in the Ingolstadt Traffic System

New research project KIVI starts at Fraunhofer Application Center »Connected Mobility and Infrastructure«

Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer and MdB Dr. Reinhard Brandl hand over the grant notification to the KIVI project coordinator Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Bogenberger (TUM)
Example of a traffic flow simulation in the KIVI project

How can artificial intelligence improve traffic control and road safety in urban environments? This question is the focus of the recently launched project »Artificial Intelligence in the Ingolstadt Traffic System« (KIVI), in which the Fraunhofer Application Center »Connected Mobility and Infrastructure« is one of eight partners.

For the development of data-driven methods of artificial intelligence, a high-definition test field will be created as part of the KIVI project in the 5G test field, which is also planned in Ingolstadt. In this test field, the local sensor technology used detects all road users using AI methods. This is complemented by mobile sensor technology based on FXD (Floating X Data) by cars, buses, bicycles and pedestrians. The fusion of these AI-based mobile and stationary sensor data takes place in real-time. Thus, the traffic situation can be digitally mapped and forecasted  ̶ almost completely up-to-date. In addition to optimizing the traffic flow and increasing the efficiency of the infrastructure, safety for all road users will also be improved.

As a new structural unit of Fraunhofer IVI, the Application Center »Connected Mobility and Infrastructure« is developing sensor and communication technologies for AI-based traffic control in the course of the project. The focus is on the establishment and development of the high-definition test field, especially in the area of stationary sensor technology and AI-based data fusion of local and mobile data.

The pilot applications are to be used and tested in real-life operation at ten intersections in Ingolstadt. If the test runs successfully, the aim is to apply the optimization methods developed in the KIVI project step by step throughout the entire city. KIVI is part of the initiative »AI Mobility Node Ingolstadt« and the Technical University of Munich coordinates the project. In addition to the Fraunhofer Application Center, the Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt, the city of Ingolstadt, the Artificial Intelligence Network Ingolstadt gGmbH, GEVAS Software GmbH, TTS, and the Volkswagen car.SW Org are involved. Over a funding period of 36 months, the project receives a grant of about 6.9 million Euros from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.


Further information:

AEROFLEX: Dolly in action

After more than two years of development, construction and commissioning, the consortium of the EU-funded AEROFLEX project is proud to present the Smart Power Dolly, a converter dolly with an electric drivetrain.

Used in an EMS1 vehicle combination including a truck with internal combustion engine, it creates a distributed hybrid drivetrain enabling reduction of fuel consumption and emissions.

Additionally, the opportunity of manual shunting of the trailer with the Smart Power Dolly constitutes a further step towards autonomous yard operation.

5th simul+ Future Forum

simul+ Logo

On September 3rd, 2020, the 5. Zukunftsforum simul+ (5th simul+ Future Forum) was held in Radebeul by the Saxon Ministry for Regional Development. In his speech, State Minister Thomas Schmidt looked back on the Forum’s history.  In August of 2016, he had launched the simul+ Future Initiative. Originally, it had focused on projects in the environmental, forestry, agriculture and food sectors. After the establishment of the Ministry for Regional Development, the range of topics covered was broadened significantly. This year’s event highlighted new ideas in the field of construction. Among them was the floating autartec® house. After a short introductory film, Institute Director Prof. Matthias Klingner answered questions on the project’s aims, special features and experience gained. 

© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI
© Fraunhofer IVI

Police Messenger System »SE-Netz« Will Be Operated by the BKA

Cooperation Agreement Signed

© Fraunhofer IVI
Signing of the Cooperation Agreement by Martina Link, Vice President of the BKA, Prof. Dr. Matthias Klingner, Director of the Fraunhofer IVI and Petric Kleine, President of the LKA

The »SE-Netz« system, developed by the Fraunhofer IVI in collaboration with the LKA Sachsen (Saxon State Office of Criminal Investigation) and numerous security authorities, will be operated by the BKA (Bundeskriminalamt, Federal Criminal Police Office). This cooperation is based on an agreement which will be effective until at least the year 2025. The agreement was signed in Dresden on June 30, 2020, by Martina Link, Vice-President of the BKA, Prof. Dr. Matthias Klingner, Director of the Fraunhofer IVI and Petric Kleine, President of the LKA.

The Fraunhofer IVI and the LKA will remain responsible for the technical development of the system. Users are convinced by the functionalities and features of »SE-Netz«. The system for communication and operational command for special police forces is based on the latest IC technologies and strictly geared to the needs of relief forces. It has been used in Saxony since 2014 and it has by now also become established as the nationwide standard for special forces.

Vehicle-integrated PV for Electrical Commercial Vehicles – »Lade-PV« Project Begins

June 4, 2020

© Schnitzler Werbung Freiburg GmbH
Electrical commercial vehicles can save energy with solar energy

Heavy-load vehicle traffic is responsible for 6 percent of the CO2 emissions in the European Union. Solar electricity generated directly on the vehicle can improve this balance by 5 to 7 percent. In the »Lade-PV« project under the direction of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, four industrial companies and two Fraunhofer institutes want to demonstrate the market feasibility of PV applications in the heavy-load transport. The aim is to develop an overall concept that makes the widespread use of integrated PV modules on electrical and other commercial vehicles (over 3.5 tons commercial load) possible.

To manufacture the light-weight VIPV modules in series production, a production concept will developed and the company Sunset Energiekonzept GmbH will accordingly modify its existing production line. The module prototypes will be integrated into the bodies of electrical commercial vehicles by the TBV Kühlfahrzeuge GmbH, a company specializing in the design and production of refrigerated trucks. To connect the solar module into the existing bus systems of the commercial vehicle, power electronic components will be developed, tested and certified for use on the demo vehicle by the project partner M&P motion control and power electronics GmbH. A Framo electrical truck equipped with solar modules will be tested in the daily distribution operation of the Alexander Bürkle GmbH & Co. KG company throughout the Freiburg region.

The Fraunhofer IVI is developing an energy forecasting model for the truck. Dependent on the vehicle load and the PV electricity produced along the various routes, projections are made for the driving range, loading periods and the electricity production.  

New Solutions for the Safety of Automated Driving

Creating virtual simulations of real-life accident situations

© Fraunhofer IVI
Early demonstrations in the SePIA project on the Fraunhofer IVI test track

June 3, 2020

One of the biggest challenges in the development of self-driving cars are the safety concerns of drivers. An article in the new edition of the Fraunhofer magazine is looking into the safety topic and the opportunities it provides for the German economy to take the lead in the race to create intelligent systems for autonomous driving. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is currently working on several solutions in this area.

In the SePIA project, for example, the Fraunhofer IVI is developing a complex validation platform for highly automated driving, electronic subsystems and the overall vehicle in cooperation with TU Dresden as well as the Saxon companies Fahrzeugsystemdaten GmbH, TraceTronic GmbH, Computer Vision Lab, and the Institute for Traffic Accident Research at TU Dresden. The platform will integrate real scenarios and extensive accident data as well as accident reconstruction reports, vehicle data and video recordings. »In 2019, there were more than 2.7 million traffic accidents in Germany. The most serious ones tended to involve cyclists, pedestrians and motorized two-wheelers such as motorbikes and mopeds,« says Dr. Christian Erbsmehl, group manager of Vehicle and Road Safety at the Fraunhofer IVI in Dresden. »Our approach allows us to create virtual reproductions of real-life accident situations and test the ability of different vehicle safety systems – either in isolation or in combination – to execute the collision at a lower speed or avoid the accident altogether.«

The platform will be tested and demonstrated in a hardware/software application environment. The SePIA project is funded by the Free State of Saxony and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

»Digital Villages Saxony« Project Launches Communication Services for Citizens

March 25, 2020

The »Digital Villages Saxony« project investigates the potentials of digitalization for everyday life in rural areas. Together with the local population, administration and researchers from the Fraunhofer institutes IESE and IVI, digital services are being developed and tested in the Lommatzscher Pflege model region in Saxony.

The project has now reached an important milestone: citizens living in the model region can now use the newly developed services DorfFunk (»village radio«) and DorfNews (»village news«). DorfFunk is a smartphone app offering a platform for posting offers, search requests and capacities for neighborhood support as well as a chat function. DorfNews is a website featuring news from the region. Both the local administrations as well as the citizens themselves can publish information via this channel. The project team is convinced that, especially under the current circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, digital services for connecting people and spreading information on locally available help are more important than ever.

Innovation and Tradition: Director Matthias Klingner at »Metzler meets Fraunhofer«

© Stefan Effner

As part of a series of events titled »Innovation and Tradition – Metzler meets Fraunhofer«, Fraunhofer IVI director Prof. Dr. Matthias Klingner visited the Metzler Bank in Frankfurt am Main on February 5th, 2020. With Jürgern Pieper, who is responsible for the German auto sector at Metzler Capital Markets, he discussed how the energy turnaround and mobility can be combined. Amongst other topics, they also spoke about the chances and risks of autonomous driving. The interview was opened by a presentation that Prof. Klingner held on mobility trends. 

The series of events started in 2014 and offers select Metzler business partners and clients exclusive insight into socially and economically significant technological processes in the form of a business lunch. This provides a platform for dialogue between researchers and practitioners and can spark new ideas for developing adequate business strategies for the future.

Minister Visits the autartec® House

Brandenburgian Minister Jörg Steinbach learns about future living concepts

© Fraunhofer IVI
Minister Jörg Steinbach at the autartec® house

February 6, 2020

During a visit of the Lusatian Lake District, the Brandenburgian Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour, and Energy, Jörg Steinbach, also visited the autartec® house at the Lake Bergheide. Fraunhofer IVI director Matthias Klingner used the technology demonstrator, which was completed in 2019, to point out how alternative energy concepts and a modern living culture can bring about new ways of life on both land and water. Working towards the redesign of this former mining region, the vision to develop the autartec® house into a settlement with several lakeside and floating houses is just one of the many ideas that are open for discussion.

With its unconventional look and the semi-self-sustaining energy and water supply, the building is an enrichment to the Lusatian Lake District and made a great impression on Minister Steinbach. The solutions from the autartec® project are also suitable for the use in other development areas that are still lacking the necessary infrastructure, for instance the connection to water and electricity supply. The floating house thus becomes a lighthouse in the regional development, striving towards a landscape that will become attractive for both residents and tourists.

From A to B – Relaxed and Eco-Friendly

Collaborative project »SteigtUM« develops emission-free transport concept

© TU Bergakademie Freiberg

January 27, 2020

The research project will create a cost-effective rental service offering cargo bikes and electric scooters for everyday use. Designated users are students of the TU Freiberg and the general public, who can move through the city and the university campus in a comfortable and eco-friendly way. The first tests are planned for 2020. In addition to the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and the Fraunhofer IVI, apromace data systems GmbH from Freiberg and the TU Braunschweig have joined the consortium.

Until the year 2023, the project will receive a funding of 4.9 million euros for its research and testing by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the priority area »Individual and adaptive technologies for a connected mobility – 2nd phase«.