02.08.2016

Test Area for Automated Driving: Karlsruhe Becomes Pioneer Region

The Ministry of Transport follows the jury’s recommendation for the request of Karlsruhe / Consortium composed of cities, research, and economy pleased with the decision / Vehicle systems for automated and interconnected driving are to be tested and developed in the test area in Karlsruhe, Bruchsal, and Heilbronn, and the surrounding areas in real traffic / Great opportunity for Baden-Württemberg and Karlsruhe as location for innovation

Karlsruhe, July 07, 2016 – Today, the Federal Ministry of Transport of Baden-Württemberg has decided that the test area for interconnected and automated driving will be set up in Karlsruhe – with a connection to Bruchsal and Heilbronn.

"This is great news for the region of Karlsruhe and for all partners. With all partners from research, science and economy, we will soon be shaping the test area so that we can start the first test run in twelve months", says Professor J. Marius Zöllner Executive Director of the leading FZI Research Center for Information Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. "We are convinced that we will create a broad and comprehensive basis for the implementation of urban mobility of the future by realising the test area. The strong regional integration into the project and the scientific support provided by the experts in the fields of mobility, automated vehicles and ICT will make it successful."

Mayor of Karlsruhe Dr. Frank Mentrup emphasises: "We are pleased that the region of Karlsruhe is awarded the contract. It is both award and mission. With the test area, we can essentially contribute to the mobility of the future. Urban mobility needs intelligent, eco-friendly and social solutions and for its development the region of Karlsruhe provides ideal conditions."

Professor Holger Hanselka, President of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) also appreciates the decision: "The connection of mobility and digitalisation gives us the chance to get safer and quicker from one place to another and it will create entirely new mobility concepts. This is why we are delighted that Karlsruhe will become a pioneer region for autonomous driving. In the test area we link research and application as well as the automotive sector and the ICT industry. Both mobility and IT are strategic topics of KIT. Therefore, the test area for autonomous driving is so compatible with Karlsruhe."

"The development of highly automated and autonomous vehicles will open up new chances in the future to significantly increase traffic quality and safety. They will make a significant contribution to a modern understanding of mobility", says Professor Markus Stöckner, Vice-president of Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, whose areas of responsibility include research, infrastructure and quality management. "For this, it is necessary to systematically analyse the interrelations between road infrastructure and road environment. The test area is the perfect framework for this analysis. The TechnologieRegion has numerous research institutions that would support it scientifically while complementing each other."

Bruchsal and Heilbronn are as well glad about the decision of the State Government. Bruchsal is linked to the Karlsruhe project via Bruchsal research campus as well as the test areas for automated logistics and commercial vehicles in Bruchsal.

Heilbronn is going to provide a section of the line of about 7.5 km (4.6 miles) for autonomous driving and equip it appropriately. Furthermore, the City of Heilbronn and Heilbronn University hope for synergies with the pilot project “automated logistics in urban areas” from the test area that will be part of the exhibition of the Bundesgartenschau (a German Federal horticulture show) in 2019 in Heilbronn.

Led by the FZI Research Center for Information Technology, a consortium composed of the City of Karlsruhe, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB), and the Cities of Bruchsal and Heilbronn as well as further associated partners has applied for the subsidies of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg for the “creation of a test area for connected and automated driving“. The consortium is going to start building up the test area this year. In twelve months, the first test run is scheduled and in 17 months Karlsruhe wants to start its regular service. The test area will be operated for a period of five years. The Karlsruhe Transport Authority (KVV) will function as the operating company of the test area.

By the end of June 2016, the jury had already decided unanimously to choose Karlsruhe. The Ministry of Transport followed the lead and thus provides 2.5 million euros for the design, planning and development of the test area. The consortium itself as well as associated partners and industrial partners additionally contribute an amount of 4.2 million euros of own funds to the project.

In the future, companies and research institutions can test future-oriented technologies related to interconnected and automated driving in everyday traffic in the test area, for example automated driving of busses, commercial vehicles such as cleaning or delivery services. Furthermore, regulatory and legal conditions can be updated. The consortium wants to transfer the results from the test area to more regions in Baden-Württemberg.

The tracks of the test area will be composed of all relevant road types and traffic conditions from mixed vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic in urban areas to municipal car parks, residential areas, and state roads and federal highways up to motorway sections to Stuttgart and Heilbronn.

This unique project can help stabilising and sustainably reinforce the joint technological development of regional and supra-regional partners from information technology and mobility. Thus, the test area strengthens scientific work within the framework of the profile region mobility systems Karlsruhe in which partners from industry and research develop efficient, intelligent and integrated solutions for the mobility of tomorrow.

About the FZI Research Center for Information Technology

The FZI Research Center for Information Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is a non-profit institution for applied research in information technology and technology transfer. Its task is to provide businesses and public institutions with the latest research findings in information technology. It also qualifies young researchers for their career in academics or business as well as self-employment. Led by professors from different faculties, research teams at the FZI interdisciplinary develop and prototype concepts, software, hardware and system solutions for their clients. Learn more at http://www.fzi.de/en/research/research-sectors/anwendungsfelder-en/afeld/mobilitaet/

<h> About the City of Karlsruhe </h>

Karlsruhe is the centre of a leading economy and research regions in Europe. In close proximity to the Black Forest, the Rhine, the Palatinate and Alsace, the former Baden residence and state capital, it is an attractive working and living space with an ideal traffic connection, a good infrastructure, and varied cultural and leisure programmes. Over 300,000 people live in the second largest city of Baden-Württemberg that was founded by Charles III William, Margrave of Baden in 1715. Karlsruhe’s attribute "seat of justice" is due to the highest legal authorities that are located in Karlsruhe: the Federal Constitutional Court, the Federal Court of Justice, and the Public Prosecutor General. Learn more at http://www.karlsruhe.de/int.en

<h> About KIT </h>

KIT – The Research University in the Helmholtz Association: The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has three core tasks of research, teaching and innovation. With about 9,300 employees and 5,000 students, KIT is one of the great European institutions for research and teaching in the fields of natural sciences and engineering. Learn more about the KIT Mobility Systems Center at www.mobilitaetssysteme.kit.edu 

<h> About the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences </h>

With approximately 8,650 students, the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences is not only one of the largest, but also one of the most research-oriented universities for applied sciences in Baden-Württemberg. “Energy efficiency and mobility” is one of three central research focuses that is covered across faculties and courses at the University as well as in various research institutions such as the Institut für Verkehrsplanung und Infrastrukturmanagement (Institute for Transport Studies and Infrastructure Management) and the Institute of Energy-efficient Mobility (IEEM) at Bruchsal research campus.

<h> About the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB)</h>

With approximately 350 scientists and engineers, the Fraunhofer IOSB is the largest European institute for image and video evaluation, pattern detection and situation recognition. Automation of complex processes is another important R&D topic: IOSB has designed, developed and delivered pioneering contributions including measurement and regulation technology, embedded systems, and guidance and manufacturing systems. These systems are used whenever information needs to be processed faster and more accurately than humans could achieve.

Further information

FZI Research Center for Information Technology
Johanna Häs
Haid-und-Neu-Str. 10-14, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Phone: +49 71 9654-904
Email: haes@dont-want-spam.fzi.de 

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Monika Landgraf
Phone: +49 71 608-47414
Email: presse@dont-want-spam.kit.edu

City of Karlsruhe
Bernd Wnuck
Phone: +49 71 133-1300
Email: pia@dont-want-spam.karlsruhe.de

Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences
Holger Gust
Phone: +49 71 95-1016
Email: pr@dont-want-spam.hs-karlsruhe.de

City of Bruchsal
Bernd Killinger
Phone: +49 751 79-154
Email: bernd.killinger@dont-want-spam.bruchsal.de

Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB)
Thomas Casper
Phone: +49 716091-300
Email: thomas.casper@dont-want-spam.iosb.fraunhofer.de

City of Heilbronn
Gerd Eberhardt
Phone: +49 7131 56 45 43
Email: gerd.eberhardt@dont-want-spam.stadt-heilbronn.de

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