The aim of DLR's research is to make significant contributions towards solving transport problems in order to secure mobility for people and goods, protect the environment, preserve resources and improve safety and security, without neglecting cost efficiency. While taking into account these guidelines, the Transport Programme is divided into the topics Terrestrial Vehicles, Traffic Management and Transport System.
The programme topic Terrestrial Vehicles is further separated into the research topics Road Vehicles and Rail Vehicles. The programme topic Traffic Management covers the spectrum from Road, Rail, and Maritime Traffic Management through Airport Management to Traffic Management at Public Mass Events and Disasters. The programme topic Transport System covers the research topics of Transport Development and Environment.
Terrestrial vehicles provide the major part of transport services. They are both a fundamental need of modern societies, as well as an economic necessity to satisfy the ever growing demand for transport. However, the economic benefit is accompanied by significant adverse effects. Increasing burdens on humans and the environment need to be counteracted.
The demand for passenger and goods transport is continuing to increase. Infrastructures are in short supply, their demand-oriented expansion hardly appears possible. Societal and economic developments make ever more complex demands with regard to trip and transport chains. Humans and the environment have to be protected against the negative effects of transport. These determining factors lead to the key challenges for modern traffic management: The effective and efficient usage of existing infrastructures as well as the reduction of environmental burdens.
We need a powerful, reliable, safe and secure transport system, to meet fundamental societal and economic demands. Moreover, this system has to be designed sustainably, also with regard to the transformation of the energy system and the requirements of climate protection. Our aspiration is to reproduce analytically the process chain of transport development and associated interactions with environment, economy, and society under ever changing general conditions. Furthermore, changes in the transport system due to technological innovations, as well as regulatory and fiscal measures are taken into account.
The tense relationship between the substantial rate of growth in traffic volume and the demand for more effective climate protection and better conservation of resources is the driving force for the global transformation of energy and transport systems.