Press Release 003/2024

Future Mobility: State Government Informs Itself in Karlsruhe

KIT, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, and Partners Present Current Mobility Research Projects and First Results
2024_003_Mobilitaet der Zukunft_Landesregierung informiert sich in Karlsruhe_72dpi
Members of the State Government informed themselves about research into sustainable and efficient future mobility and production in Karlsruhe. (Photo: Markus Breig, KIT). The complete caption will be given at the end of the text.

Future mobility will require environmentally compatible, networked, and automated solutions. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HKA) develop technologies for smart sustainable transport systems, electric mobility, and autonomous driving, among others. Today (January 12, 2024), Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg, State Science Minister Petra Olschowski, and State Transport Minister Winfried Hermann came to Karlsruhe to inform themselves about ongoing research projects. The visit focused on the Future Mobility Innovation Campus (ICM), within which KIT and the University of Stuttgart are working on viable mobility and production solutions with funds granted by the State. In the course of the visit, the Baden-Württemberg Institute for Sustainable Mobility (BWIM) introduced itself. As an independent think-and-do tank, it is involved in the active shaping of the mobility transition in Baden-Württemberg. 

For photos of the event, click here

“Presently, automotive industry is experiencing the biggest change in its history. For it to remain one of our key branches and a major driver of innovations in future, we initiated the Strategy Dialog for the Automotive Sector, a successful collaboration of industry, science, and politics, some years ago. One of its major elements is the Future Mobility Innovation Campus. It was established to rapidly and flexibly develop new technologies. The research projects presented today prove that this was a successful measure. I am impressed by what KIT, the University of Stuttgart, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, and all other stakeholders have achieved within such a short period of time,” said Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of the State of Baden-Württemberg. 

“Our Future Mobility Innovation Campus and the Baden-Württemberg Institute for Sustainable Mobility impressively reflect the diversity of research in Baden-Württemberg. Activities range from zero-emission drive systems to a sustainable transport infrastructure, to new production technologies. This is exactly what we need for transformation and innovation: An interdisciplinary environment, in which both established and early-stage researchers work jointly on sustainable technologies, thus transferring fundamental research findings to practice. For this reason, we are doing all we can to support this research into future mobility. The Innovation Campus alone has been funded with more than EUR 65 million by the State since 2019,” said Petra Olschowski, Baden-Württemberg Minister for Science, Research, and the Arts. 

“To successfully master the mobility transition, close collaboration with science is indispensable. In this connection, the Baden-Württemberg Institute for Sustainable Mobility (BWIM) plays a central role. Several universities in Southwest Germany are involved in the BWIM, the activities of which focus on information and qualification services for representatives of municipalities, consulting services, the development of public passenger transport concepts, and the evaluation of programs to transform the mobility sector. This decentralized and interdisciplinary scientific institution supports academic education, further training, and practical applications relating to transport and mobility transition concepts. BWIM is a successful think-and-do tank,” said Winfried Hermann, Baden-Württemberg Minister of Transport. 

“Mastering challenges, such as climate change, resource scarcity, and urbanization, requires a radical change of the mobility sector in future. To this end, KIT conducts excellent mobility research and develops viable mobility technologies. In cooperation with the University of Stuttgart, we also design new mobility concepts for a sustainable transport and mobility transition,” said Professor Oliver Kraft, Acting President of KIT. 

“Development of innovative mobility concepts is one of our four central activities at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences,” said Professor Frank Artinger, Rector of Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences. “Climate change and climate neutrality are addressed in all our areas of science and education. HKA wants to contribute to CO2 reduction and to compliance with the national climate goals. Innovative concepts for the future mobility of humans and goods as conceived by the BWIM will have a big influence on the quality of life in our cities and conglomerations as well as in our rural areas.”

“At ICM, we can rapidly and flexibly develop new technologies, test them, and thus create the basis for safe and sustainable mobility solutions. With our partners from research and industry, we are pushing innovations for viable mobility and production,” said Professor Thomas Hirth, KIT Vice President Transfer and International Affairs. 

“The joint initiative of the University of Stuttgart and KIT is a milestone for sustainable innovations. It represents a platform to master the challenges of our time through the exchange of expertise and ideas and to push a living innovation culture,” said Professor Peter Middendorf, Vice Rector for Knowledge and Technology Transfer of the University of Stuttgart.    

Projects and Demonstrators Ranging from Electric Motors to Battery Recycling

ICM was presented by its Managing Directors Dr. Sandra Kauffmann-Weiß from KIT and Dr. Max Hoßfeld from the University of Stuttgart. Moreover, ICM researchers presented projects and demonstrators, including the electric car demonstrator “eVee.” It is equipped with novel, specially developed electric motors that do not contain any rare earths. This flexible and light vehicle is designed to be part of an autonomous car sharing fleet. The vehicle is also used as a modular platform to test hardware and software components. Other ICM transfer projects cover the digitalization of energy management and the recycling of batteries. 

Future Mobility Innovation Campus 

At ICM, researchers from the University of Stuttgart, KIT, and partners study the question of how mobility can be maintained taking into consideration the natural regenerability of the Earth. Since 2019, more than 300 researchers have been working on new solutions for the transport and mobility transition at ICM. Major research topics are electric motors without rare earths, production methods with a minimum consumption of resources, and self-learning software systems for vehicles. Work at ICM is aimed at developing new, pioneering technologies for sustainable and efficient future mobility and production and at transferring them to industry. ICM attaches major importance to recruiting excellent early-stage researchers and to supporting startups. The ICM is one of the biggest initiatives for future mobility and production in Germany. Since 2019, it has been funded with more than EUR 65 million by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Science, Research, and the Arts under the Strategy Dialog for the Automotive Industry. 

Baden-Württemberg Institute for Sustainable Mobility

The Baden-Württemberg Institute for Sustainable Mobility with its teams at the Universities of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe, Biberach, Nürtingen-Geislingen, and Offenburg and at the University of Konstanz supports and pools mobility expertise, develops and studies strategies, advises administration and politics, and makes future mobility an experience for everyone,” said the Deputy BWIM Spokesman Professor Markus Stöckner. He presented some current projects together with young researchers from Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences. 
Among others, BWIM tests cargo bikes for the transportation of goods by logistics and trade companies, develops a sustainable asset management of transport infrastructure, and analyzes reasons to use public passenger transport and the impact of the Deutschland ticket on the mobility behavior of individuals. A virtual-reality simulation installed on a mobile truck makes local mobility scenarios an interactive experience. In spring 2024, temporary transport experiments will be launched in Weil der Stadt und Sulz am Neckar.

move.mORe Collaboration Project

The collaboration project “Sustainable Mobility in the Upper Rhine Region – move.mORe” of the Universities of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe and Offenburg is aimed at developing and implementing solutions for the sustainable mobility of humans and goods and for the energy transition in rural areas of the Upper Rhine region. Studies focus on shortening or avoiding daily trips to work and trips to buy daily supplies. Efficient, zero-emission mobility systems, such as pedestrian traffic, e-bikes, public passenger transport means, and car sharing offers are studied. Participation of all parties affected and dialog with society are important aspects. Use of energy from locally available regenerative sources, multi-modal regional logistics concepts for goods transportation, and digital services for users are main topics. 

Complete figure caption: 
Members of the Baden-Württemberg State Government came to Karlsruhe to inform themselves about research into sustainable and efficient future mobility and production. From left to right: Professor Nejila Parspour, Director of the Institute of Electrical Energy Conversion, University of Stuttgart; Professor Thomas Hirth, KIT Vice President Transfer and International Affairs; State Science Minister Petra Olschowski; State Transport Minister Winfried Hermann; Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschmann; Professor Oliver Kraft, Acting President of KIT; Professor Rose Marie Beck, designated Rector of Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences; Professor Frank Artinger, Rector of Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences; Professor Tobias Düser, Institute of Product Engineering, KIT. (Photo: Markus Breig, KIT)

Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HKA) is one of the largest universities of applied sciences in Baden-Württemberg, which also is strongest in research. Its broad spectrum of subjects from engineering to computer science, to economics, to design represents a broad basis of knowledge for both higher and continuing education as well as research. Students, teachers, researchers, as well as cooperation partners and clients benefit from interdisciplinary exchange and work. Work of HKA is guided by the topics of digitalization, sustainability, and cooperation

Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

ase, 12.01.2024

Margarete Lehné
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