Issue 94, January 2018
bullet Smart Transportation
bullet PSIroads-MDS - Innovative Solutions for Mobility
bullet HIGH-TOOL
bullet Interview with Dr.-Ing. Sabine Wagner
Innovation:  The Lilium Jet
bullet blik
Smart Transportation
In 2017 German motorists set a record high by spending 475,000 hours in traffic jams. A study by the German Automobile Club (ADAC) states that higher levels of individual mobility combined with the lack of renovated infrastructure lead to 9% more time spent in traffic jams within a year. This degree of transportation congestion has severe, negative consequences to our health and the environment as it nearly doubles the amount of emissions released into the atmosphere.

This month's newsletter highlights current efforts in Germany to make transportation more efficient and sustainable for people and the environment. PSIroads-MDS is a digital support system that optimizes traffic flow and reduces emissions in real time. HIGH-TOOL is an instrument that predicts commuter-behavior patterns and thereby determines long-term implications of transportation polices for society, the environment and the economy. Both tools are recipients of the 2017 German Mobility Award (Deutscher Mobilitätspreis 2017), an initiative of " Germany - Land of Ideas," for their innovative, digital contributions toward the future of mobility in Germany.

Transitioning from traditional transportation, Lilium is taking its own revolutionary road toward air transit. By creating an all-electric, flying air taxi, Lilium's goal is to re-imagine mobility by creating a commute that can avoid traffic jams. 

If there are transit interferences while delivering a product, blik will let manufactures and costumers know. The track-and-trace technology provides information on the real-time whereabouts of items in warehouses and those en route.

This month's interview with Dr.-Ing. Sabine Wagner, team leader of the Mobility Concepts and Infrastructure at the Fraunhofer Institute IAO highlights her research on sustainable integration of innovative mobility solutions, like mobility apps and electro mobility in urban and rural areas.

On a side note, for those of you who would like to experience Germany's research and innovation landscape firsthand, we'd like to draw your attention to the annual DAAD Germany Today Information Tour. 

The enormous increase in traffic in recent decades has not only taken its toll on travel time but also on the environment. The average German motorist spends about 38 hours in traffic each year often idling their cars as they inch forward bumper-to-bumper, causing harmful effects to our health. The European Commission found that 400,000 people die prematurely in Europe every year due to high levels of air pollution. How can such challenges be solved while mobility demand still increases?

PSI Mines&Roads GmbH's multi-criteria, decision-making support system PSIroads-MDS supports traffic operators by determining the best routes for road users.

During congestion, incidents, special events and bad weather a traffic operator has to select the services that are most effective to solve the situation.  By facilitating cooperation among urban, regional and national road authorities, exercising knowledge of current traffic scenarios, and combining the availability of traffic management services like rerouting, increasing outflow and decreasing inflow on road sections, PSIroads-MDS optimizes traffic networks performance.

PSIroads-MDS uses their multi-criteria decision technology Qualicision to prioritize multiple traffic scenarios and select the most efficient solution to optimize traffic flow, reduce emission or both.

PSI Mines&Roads GmbH's team of engineers and IT-specialists envisions their system to be beneficial in optimizing traffic for autonomous vehicles. 

Source & Image: PSI Mines&Roads GmbH

Transportation policies and mobility concepts can have important long-term implications for society, the environment and the economy. Their implementation can lock up capital for decades and result in manifold effects, both beneficial and detrimental. HIGH-TOOl, a strategic assessment model, supports the identification of the most beneficial transportation policies and concepts.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) coordinated a consortium of eight partners from five European countries that developed the open-source instrument over three years. The project was co-funded by the European Union's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.
HIGH-TOOL evaluates long-term impacts that the proposed transportation policies and mobility concepts will have on transportation demand, safety, the environment and the economy. To make predictions, this tool will, in five-year increments between 2010 and 2050, consider all relevant passenger and freight transportation modes, from urban transportation such as passenger cars, buses, and trains to air and maritime transportation. It can also differentiate sixty vehicle types and seventeen propulsion technologies. Although the scope of the model is global, its main focus will be Europe.
HIGH-TOOL includes the following modules in the simulation process: demography, economy and resources, passenger demand, freight demand, vehicle stock, environment, and safety. "Most of these modules are based on specific models that have been developed by consortium partners over many years. In HIGH-TOOL, these individual modules have been connected and put on a common platform using the same data," explains the project coordinator Dr. Eckhard Szimba from KIT.

Source & Image: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Interview with 
Dr.-Ing. Sabine Wagner Mobility Concepts and Infrastructure, Mobility and Urban Systems Engineering, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO  Interview

Dr.-Ing. Sabine Wagner is the head of the Mobility Concepts and Infrastructure team within the Department of   Mobility and Urban Systems Engineering at  Fraunhofer IAO in Stuttgart and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Her main research activity is the sustainable integration of innovative mobility solutions in urban, suburban and rural areas. The aim of her work is to analyze mobility systems, user needs and user acceptance, as well as the  digitalization of energy and mobility systems. Furthermore, her work focuses on the economic aspects of achieving an efficient and profitable crosslink between renewable energy and sustainable mobility.

In her interview with the DWIH NY, Dr.-Ing. Wagner discusses new smart transportation trends in Germany and makes suggestions for how commuters can be more sustainable in their travels. Additionally, she focuses on mobility services, their challenges and the prospect of transforming everyday transportation in rural areas. To read the full interview, click here.

Source & Image: Fraunhofer IAO
Lilium is an audacious aviation start-up based in Munich, Germany. Co-founded in 2015 by Daniel Wiegand, Sebastian Born, Patrick Nathen and Matthias Meiner, the team brings together international world-class engineers and designers.

The group shares the vision of a completely new type of individual transportation and is dedicated to developing and building the world's first, fully electric, vertical take-off-and-landing (VTOL) jet. Altogether, an estimated range of up to 300 km, a cruising velocity of 300 km-per-hour, and zero emissions will make the VTOL jet efficient and eco-friendly.

According to Lilium's mission, these air taxis will be available to everyone and as affordable as riding in a car. Without the prohibitively expensive burden of aircraft ownership, commuters can simply request a jet with the push of a button on their smartphones and pay per ride, enabling commuters to travel faster with their service than automobiles.

Lilium's vision doesn't stop with revolutionizing travel and commute time and comfort. As a side effect they hope to tackle traffic pollution, noise and congestion in dense urban areas by reducing the need for cars. Furthermore, Lilium aims to set new safety standards by applying "ultra-redundancy". The jets come equipped with independent components making sure that if one system should fail other systems are not affected.

Source &  Image:  Lilium GmbH

Most manufactures rely on barcodes to manage their inventory and keep track of their products throughout the entire supply chain, from factories and warehouses to their customers' final destination. However, manually scanning every item's barcode at various stages of the process is very time-consuming and leaves too much room for incorrectly recorded quantities and types of goods, as well as process sequence errors.
blik uses a track-and-trace technology that can be used for continuous in- and outdoor as well as on-truck tracking, making it possible for manufactures to pinpoint their inventory and products and provide precise information on real-time whereabouts, expected arrival time, or transit interference of their products.
blik utilizes a low-maintenance, high-battery-life wireless sensor that attaches to each individual load carrier. These sensors emit pulses at regular intervals, so a receiver system can determine an item's actual location in real time. In contrast to other transmission technologies such as Bluetooth, these pulses do not interfere with existing wireless systems.
Currently, blik's biggest partners are car manufacturers, such as Volkswagen's MAN group and BMW, with whom they developed the technology. 
Source &  Image: blik GmbH