Future Mobility Lab – Aachen Researchers Showcase their Expertise in Mobility Research
At the Open Day of the Future Mobility Lab on October 10, more than 100 automotive experts had the opportunity to gain insights into the University’s many activities in state-of-the-art mobility research. In several live demonstrations, the Aachen researchers showed the enormous potential of future mobility applications that can be tapped when all relevant discipline join forces to address the major technical and societal questions of our time.
The Future Mobility Lab is an initiative of RWTH Aachen University which pools the competencies of a several university institutions to further mobility research. At the Open Day, the new urban test environment for connected and automated driving and a selection of current interdisciplinary research projects were presented. Attendees were able to witness live demonstrations of vehicles on the test track and to participate in interactive presentations. Furthermore, experts from business and academia had the opportunity to exchange the latest research advances and future trends in the field.
Highlights of the Open Day included the newly established a real-world intersection for research purposes, equipped with intelligent traffic lights, sensors, and an infrastructure for communication; Vodafone’s 5G Mobility Lab test environment; and the Galileo research environment, automotiveGATE. Live demonstrations on the traffic intersection and the test tracks made it possible to experience applications of recent research results, such as fully-autonomous valet parking technology or V2X-based connected systems which help improve the safety of pedestrians.
Intelligent streetlights and so-called road side units can provide vehicles with information on traffic flow and density, as is demonstrated in the I2EASE project. With the help of sensor fusion, a significantly improved model of the vehicle’s environment can be created. This is an essential prerequisite for automated driving, as it serves as a basis for the vehicle’s decision making and planning of safe trajectories.
Another popular exhibit was the SpeedE research platform, a steer-by-wire electric vehicle controlled by a sidestick steering system which allows the vehicle to achieve wheel angles up to 90 degrees. Thanks to its architecture and the use of open interfaces, the SpeedE vehicle provides an ideal platform for the rapid integration and testing of the latest developments in the fields of intelligent powertrains, thermal management, and automated driving, for example.
Connected and Automated Driving
The CERM research consortium showcased a newly developed modular test environment for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. The flexible IT infrastructure, implemented in a research intersection, facilitates connected and automated mobility. Using this infrastructure, automated driving applications can be tested and wireless transmission simulated. Furthermore, it is possible to assess the driver’s interaction with the system and evaluate driver acceptance.
The CERMcity project provides an urban test environment for automatic driving functions which ensures realistic approximation of the challenges of inner-city intersections. After connected and automated driving functions have been extensively tested in such “artificial” environments, they must be further tested in real-life situations in field experiments.
Other exhibits at the Open Day illustrated the PARIS, CiTi, and KoMoD projects. While the PARIS project is concerned with parallel implementation strategies for automated driving, CiTi is developing a traffic data server which, based on a high number of traffic situations, makes it possible to generate multiscale traffic flow simulations that can be used in combination with real-world experiments. In the KoMoD project, a digital test environment is being developed which allows to test new technologies on real-world roads.
The Aachen researchers succeeded in demonstrating that important questions in mobility research can only be successfully addressed in close collaboration between experts from different fields. The Future Mobility Lab, which combines expertise from across research institutions in Aachen and Aldenhoven, is the partner of choice when it comes to addressing questions in mobility research.