Fraunhofer IAO sets up “Mobility and Urban Systems Engineering” strategic business area
Fraunhofer IAO has more than 40 scientists working on novel solutions for tomorrow’s mobility and cities, and since July 1 they have been pooling their expertise in an interdisciplinary team covering all aspects of the “city” as a future market. The new business area aims to provide integrated solutions conceived for industry and the public sector.
Our cities face a host of challenges – growing population numbers, climate change, demographic shifts, rising living standards and a scarcity of natural resources – and the only way they can bring about the profound changes these call for is if they become smart. It will take more than standard technologies and conventional offers to overcome these hurdles. The roadmap to tomorrow’s sustainable, life-enhancing cities is drawn using smart concepts that are systematically put into action using new technologies. This approach turns whole cities into technology demonstrators – and makes them one of the largest future markets for a vast array of players.
In order to actively shape tomorrow’s cities, Fraunhofer IAO is channeling its collective know-how into its new “Mobility and Urban Systems Engineering” business area. This is where a team of engineers, urban planners, computer scientists, economists and sociologists is working together with industry and city officials to develop, test and prepare systemic solutions for real-world applications. Mobility remains at the heart of the interweaving research activities that focus on the following points:
- Electric vehicle systems: Integrating electric vehicle fleets, developing new logistics concepts as well as exploring smart charge management systems
- Urban mobility: Developing sustainable mobility concepts for urban spaces
- City: Designing CO2-neutral, energy-efficient and climate-adapted cities, rolling out future-ready concepts for urban
- Energy: Smart networking of different energy sources along with electric vehicles into micro smart grids, integrating energy storage systems as buffers
- Sharing systems:Working up technological and organizational solutions that allow goods to be shared, developing products with sharing in mind
Equipped with Germany’s largest charging facility – located at the parking bay of the Fraunhofer Campus in Stuttgart – as well as a 30-strong “research fleet” of electric vehicles, Fraunhofer IAO offers the perfect platform for the various projects’ activities. Mobility experts are already hard at work in some ten different projects as part of Baden-Württemberg’s “LivingLab BWe mobil” electromobility showcase initiative. What’s more, the institute is also coordinating Fraunhofer’s “Morgenstadt – city of the future” initiative. Research and education are being interlinked at the Fraunhofer Application Center KEIM, the competence center for energy and information technology mobility interfaces at Esslingen University of Applied Sciences. Meanwhile, Fraunhofer scientists at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Branch Lab are busy exploring the possibilities of eMobility and its impact on tourism.