Welcome to the Institute of Vehicle Concepts
Institute director: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Horst E. Friedrich
The Institute of Vehicle Concepts is a systems institute. It processes and coordinates traffic-related research topics concerning new vehicle concepts and vehicle technologies.
The Institute's fields of endeavour address the development of future technology systems for sustainable, safe, and affordable generations of vehicles on road and rail. The Institute's contributions range from conception and design through construction, calculation, and simulation to the presentation of research demonstrators, components, and vehicles.
Fields of endeavour for the Institute's research are as follows:
• Road vehicle concepts
• Rail vehicle concepts
• Alternative power trains
• Lightweight vehicle construction
The Institute of Vehicle Concepts' guiding vision is successful scientific collaboration for efficient mobility based on regenerative energy sources and energy conversion/storage of the future as well as for advanced architecture concepts and lightweight construction for road and rail vehicles.
The successful integration of material, process, and construction innovations is made possible by collaboration between the DLR, the Helmholtz Association (HGF), and international science partners.
As part of the transportation research programme, the Institute of Vehicle Concepts collaborates with the Institute of Transport Research, the Institute for Transportation System Technology, and about twenty other DLR institutes. The Institute of Vehicle Concepts (FK) in Stuttgart is incorporated into the regional networks and has a field office in Berlin-Adlershof.
The Institute's mission is the research, development, and evaluation of innovative vehicle concepts for road- and rail-vehicle systems. This means the vehicle's overall technical system, its design based on requirements from society and politics, and ultimately the development of mobility and the elaboration and evaluation of vehicle technology solutions. The research and development services rendered are focused on novelty and application orientation. The innovation feature develops here from significant increases in environmental or sustainability-oriented concept qualities. The fulfilment of all concepts' safety and efficiency requirements is mandatory. Part of the mission is also to continuously expand courses offered at university level using engineering and scientific results.
The vision is focused on designing sustainable concepts for road and rail vehicles so that future traffic requirements pertaining to
• safety and comfort, and
• cost effectiveness
are fulfilled as well as possible in comparison to all other aspects.
The Institute is a nationally and internationally sought-after provider of research and development services for holistic, systemic concepts and selected 'leading edge' technologies.
Orientation and fields of endeavour
Road vehicle concepts
- Increasing transportation capacity, resource depletion, and environmental pollution and urbanisation require new systems, concepts, and technologies.
Road vehicle concepts field of endeavour
- Design and demonstration of novel vehicle concepts
- Research and holistic assessment of new technical solutions
- HyLite fuel cell demonstrator
- Modular, flexible power train vehicle concept
- VECTOR21 scenario model for passenger- and utility-vehicle power train systems.
Rail vehicle concepts
- Mass transport in the relations of the mega-cities and energy efficiency set the boundary conditions for rail transport.
Rail vehicle concepts field of endeavour
- Novel train set concepts
- Increasing energy efficiency
- 'Next Generation Train' high-speed train concept
- Wheel-integrated power trains in independent-running-gear design
- Lightweight honeycomb structures for car bodies
- Novel access concept for middle carriage in double-decker design
- Software tools for evaluating high-speed traffic potentials, LCA, and Modelica libraries
Alternative power train
- Internal combustion engine (hybrid) power trains as the backbone of road traffic.
- Further efficiency increase is necessary.
- Electric mobility plays an important role here.
- Vehicle efficiency and emissions to be optimised.
- Innovative energy and thermal management is mandatory.
Alternative power train field of endeavour
- Holistic modelling of vehicle energy architectures
- Solutions for significant energy increase of future power trains
- Novel energy conversion concepts
- Modelling of energy influences with in-house libraries
- Free-piston linear generator as range extender
- Secondary energy utilisation with thermoelectric generators
- Robust modular fuel cell systems
Lightweight vehicle construction
- Lightweight construction is a key technology for the reduction of rolling resistances and energy needs.
Lightweight vehicle construction field of endeavour
- Lightweight construction concepts and new technical solutions for terrestrial vehicles
- Integral processing of methods, materials, and architecture concepts
- CFRP-intensive multi-material design ('Stuttgart model')
- Adaptive crash-safe front end for alternative power trains
- Rib and space frame construction
- Lightweight storage concepts for gaseous fuels