(since 2019): The overall objective of the Project Zukunftslabor Mobilität (ZLM) is to develop sustainable transport and mobility-supporting IT systems that are compatible with urban and rural lifestyles and with existing infrastructures and transport systems. Mobility concepts of the future will be characterized by a greater combination of different mobility modes and will further integrate the transportation of people and goods. Digitization is an essential basis for such new solution approaches and business models, for example through networked (autonomous) vehicle systems and functions based on environment and situation recognition, navigation control, human-machine interfaces, as well as communication, interaction, and cooperation. Intermodality requires better networking of the mobility carriers with each other and the users, and thus a cross-transportation-system view of technologies and processes for collecting, evaluating, and providing data. The guiding idea of the ZLM is therefore from intelligent vehicles to integrated mobility.
ZLM is embedded in the Niedersächsisches Forschungszentrum Fahrzeugtechnik (NFF), thus the main working space of the students will be in the new NFF Research Building at TU Braunschweig where they are exposed to an inspiring environment with a wide range of academic and industrial competences from renowned colleagues working in the areas of mobility, traffic, and automotive engineering. At the same time, the students will also have a workspace at their home institutes, which will serve to foster their embedding in their own discipline. This substantially expands the qualification opportunities in the strategic research focus Mobility and Traffic of the NTH.
To comprehensively study the interplay of people, goods, means of transport, provided digital services, and transport networks, we propose four fields of research, in which we investigate novel and interdisciplinary research questions. Research in these fields focuses on developing intelligent, data-driven applications while maintaining security and data protection. We provide concepts for intermodal and digitalized mobility, vehicle systems and functions, digital services, as well as intelligent traffic and transportation systems.
Smart Mobility Systems and Technologies:
The research area Intelligent Vehicle Systems and Functions for Resource-Efficient Mobility investigates how vehicles and infrastructure interact. For this purpose, intelligent vehicle systems and functions, such as automated collision avoidance, are built and considered, which are prerequisites for automated driving. Mobility is viewed as a system of systems, i.e., a system in which new properties are created by bringing together independent elements (in this case people, goods, vehicles, and infrastructure). Another focus is research into technologies to protect against malfunctions (safety) and to safeguard against deliberate attacks by third parties (security). Furthermore, ecological aspects are considered in the planning and design of intelligent vehicle systems, i.e., possible improvements to the hardware and software of the vehicles should be recognized in real operation and optimized with subsequent updates and configurations. For example, in the case of car sharing operations, functions for an automated return of vehicles to the fleet are to be developed, which ensures Peine’s even distribution sharing opportunities within an area and reduces personnel costs.
Smart Mobility Data Handling:
In the research area of security and protection in the handling of mobility-related data, the focus is on the development of data architectures that meet the current and future requirements of both service providers and users. Data is a prerequisite for networked and digital mobility and the development of corresponding technologies to build new Car2X and V2X communication infrastructures ("vehicle to everything") for highly automated and autonomous driving. New technologies and methods for collecting, analyzi, and fusing mobility and traffic data must not only be reliable but must also ensure the protection of personal data. This includes control over the data and data transparency. The development of standards should help to efficiently manage the enormous amount of data from heterogeneous systems.
Mobility as a Solution:
The research area Efficient, Socially and Environmentally Compatible Mobility as a Complex Solution pursues the approach of a holistic view of the transport system in order to efficiently link vehicle functions, transport routes, and infrastructure in the sense of a system of system, i.e., without gaps and in a resource-saving manner. For the seamless transport of people and goods, the individual means of transport must be coordinated with each other. For this purpose, specific characteristics and requirements of the different systems are analyzed and approaches for intermodal mobility are derived from them (so-called system-oriented approach). Intermodal mobility chains should help to avoid unnecessary waiting times and save resources because vehicle capacities are better utilized and thus less fuel is consumed. The mobility services to be developed must meet the demands of various stakeholders (private individuals, the logistics sector, infrastructure managers, etc.) so that they use intermodal services. To this end, studies are carried out in the research area at an early stage to determine the needs of the users and their acceptance of digitally supported mobility chains and to integrate them into the planning.
In the research area of user-centred services and services for the movement of people and goods, products and business models are being developed for intelligent vehicles and intermodal mobility solutions that enable a more flexible design of individual mobility. In the sense of function-on-demand services, products or services should also be available on demand and available updates such as driver assistance systems or infotainment should be able to be added after the purchase of their vehicle or in car sharing. In order to ensure that consumers use the offers, products and services must be designed in such a way that they are intuitive and user-friendly on the one hand and comply with data protection regulations on the other. The principle of data economy applies to the development of corresponding offers, i.e., as much data as necessary and as little data as possible is collected, processed, and stored. Furthermore, it is analysed how new mobility technologies can be effectively introduced to the market so that users change their traditional behaviour and take up the new business models.