Baden-Württemberg Shall Remain in a Leading Position in a Changing Mobility: The Federal State Bundles its Competences in the High Performance Center "Profilregion Mobilitätssysteme Karlsruhe"

The strong desire for mobility, increasing freight transport and the question of sustainability make the challenges in the field of transport more complex. As an answer to that, the State of Baden-Württemberg funds the Profilregion Mobilitätssysteme Karlsruhe. On Friday May 10, 2019, the official "core phase" of this high performance centre was launched, which is the first contact point as "one-stop shop" for companies, planners and political decision-makers in terms of new mobility concepts. Within two years, more than EUR 9 million have been made available for interdisciplinary research projects; the topics range from autonomous driving to social changes up to new, environmentally friendly fuels.

Mobility in the focus of social issues
Our mobility gets increasingly into the focus of social issues and discussions. Too many vehicles in the city with a discourse about emissions, driving bans, long traffic jams or valuable inner-city parking areas are confronted with too little public transport, especially in rural regions. In rural regions, our society is often dependent on the own car. At the same time, the relationship to the own car changes in the next generation, the need for mobility is high, however the routes to the destination are often secondary.
In addition to these social changes, there are also technological innovations, for example changed drive trains and energy sources. Furthermore, the massively proceeded digitalisation opens up totally new opportunities like interconnected and autonomous driving and almost every day new mobility services enter the market.

Minister for Economic Affairs Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut: "The technological and structural change presents the industrial value chain with totally new challenges. We want to receive the system competence and the added value on vehicle and mobility in Baden-Württemberg. The Profilregion Mobilitätssysteme in Karlsruhe is thus an important component for the success of the change."

Through its excellent teaching, research and innovation landscape, Karlsruhe is the pioneer in answering urging future questions of mobility. To ensure the continuation of this success, research institutions have joined together and formed the Profilregion Mobilitätssysteme here. "The aim of the cooperation is to forward the change of the mobility sector through sustainable mobility solutions, to intensify the dialogue with the society as well as to advise politics accordingly, together with regional and supra-regional partners from economy," says Professor Thomas Hirth, vice-president of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) for Innovation and International Affairs. After a three-year pilot phase, the Profilregion Mobilitätssysteme Karlsruhe enters the next funding phase with new projects.

Forecast concerning the mobility 2030
"If I have to make a forecast about the mobility 2030," says Professor Frank Gauterin, spokesman of the Profilregion Mobilitätssysteme Karlsruhe and manager of the Institute of Vehicle System Technology at KIT, "then I would assume an increasing diversity of strongly differentiated concepts, which compete against each other or occupy different application niches." Thus, there will continuously be engine-powered drives, however, these will significantly be consumption- and emission-reduced, for example through downsizing or synthetic fuels. In addition, there will increasingly be electromotive drives and amongst them different degrees of hybridisation. The current efforts of the German automotive industry and the climate objectives for traffic show this. Our traffic infrastructure is becoming more intelligent and the increasing digitalisation of mobility through automation and cross-linkage of vehicles holds great potentials, especially for new business models, services and technological solutions of start-ups. Private transport in the cities will be characterised by small, actively or electrically driven mobility solutions, more than today. A special role is prospectively given to the transport for the first or last mile as well as new offers for the public transport or the shared use of vehicles and infrastructures.

Significant changes in an important market segment of mobility
The upcoming, serious changes in the market segment, which are so important for Baden-Württemberg and Germany, induced both the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts as well as the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing to jointly fund the Profilregion Mobilitätssysteme Karlsruhe. "The tasks get much more complex," says Frank Gauterin, "a single research institution cannot cover this any more by itself in the desired excellence." For this reason, the four Fraunhofer Institutes ICT, ISI, IOSB and IWM based in Karlsruhe have joined together to form the Profilregion Mobilitätssysteme Karlsruhe with the FZI Research Center for Information Technology, the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences as well as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) with a total of 20 institutes involved. Both Ministries provide a subsidy totalling EUR 4,75 million, the partners as well as the industry will also contribute approximately the same amount, so that in the following two years it will be worked on projects valued over EUR 9 million.

The projects of the Profilregion Mobilitätssysteme Karlsruhe
The region makes itself fit for the future in six projects:

In the implementation scenarios for cooperative, interconnected driving, applications and technologies required for it are analysed, which enable a beneficial use of automated and interconnected driving already in low penetration rates in the fleet. In the implementation of this technology, there will be many years of common traffic between passenger-controlled vehicles and (partially) autonomous vehicles, so that the transition period has to be organised appropriately. Various concrete scenarios for cooperative driving with technologies close to production will be analysed in a technological, economical, legislative as well as social view and practical requirements and potentials will be derived for the market launch.

In order to ensure future-oriented mobility and to increase the acceptance of autonomous vehicles, driving functions have to be safe and reliable. In the virtual test area, manufacturers of components, systems and vehicles as well as relevant certification institutions such as the TÜV, Dekra and GTÜ will be supported in questions concerning the protection of functional safety (safety) and IT security as well as the misuse of automated and interconnected driving functions through persons (security) for the verification of interconnected and autonomous driver functions.

Mobility is important for economic development and social participation. To meet the current challenges, new mobility offers, mobility forms and low-emission engines with a view to the customer needs have to be developed and implemented in order to effect change. The urban mobility focuses on social questions and integrates the different user groups, in order to determine requirements and develop suitable solutions for it.

Technological solutions are in the interest of researchers concerning the development of future-oriented lightweight transaction battery systems. Ultra-rapid charging systems with charging capacities of up to 350 kW are already in development and shall be available as from 2020. Due to this high capacity, new challenges arise for the cooling system of batteries for electric motors. For the efficient and function-integrated cooling of the battery systems, cooling structures are being realised that are attached directly in or to the battery module. Various lightweight constructions are combined in the optimal overall system for the production of the battery system.

In the project "development of an engine using fuels free from aromatic compounds on a renewable basis" it is to be analysed how internal combustion engines can be optimally operated with renewable fuels and which fuels have the best characteristics. Through the special chemical composition and the generation from renewable sources, it becomes possible to operate internal combustion engines in a greenhouse gas-neutral and practically contaminant-free way. Questions that are currently still open are, for example the polymer seal compatibility of the fuels, the effects on tribology through the permanent exposition on conventional engine periphery as well as questions concerning the flammability and the flame core formation.

The efficiency increase of hybrid drive trains through the optimisation of the thermal balance aims to increase the electric range of twin-propulsion vehicles through an optimal operating strategy and to decrease CO2 emissions through an overall higher efficiency. The combination of an electric drive and internal combustion engine allows diverse combination possibilities in the operation. In order to find the optimal strategy, the drive train is analysed in-depth across the full range, beginning with the characterisation of the thermal behaviour of the battery cells to the waste heat of the engines and electronics up to the potentials of an utilisation of residual heat from the exhaust gas.

Further information about the high performance center "Profilregion Mobilitätssysteme Karlsruhe" can be found here:

On Friday May 10, 2019 at 2:30 p.m., experts will present results of the pilot phase and give an outlook on planned, new projects at the Campus South of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) during a press tour. The relevant press invitation can be found here: http://www.profilregion-ka.de/index.php/de/component/jdownloads/send/7-veranstaltungen/29-pres-seeinladung-eroeffnung-kernphase

Subsequently, the launch of the core phase will be celebrated with a stand-up reception starting at 3:30 p.m. The programme of the event can be found here: http://www.profilregion-ka.de/index.php/de/component/jdown-loads/send/7-veranstaltungen/30-einladung-eroeffnung-kernphase