Pro­gramme and Strat­e­gy: Trans­port re­search at DLR

The Next Generation Train
The Next Gen­er­a­tion Train
Image 1/8, Credit: DLR.

The Next Generation Train

In the Next Gen­er­a­tion Train (NGT) project, DLR per­son­nel from nine re­search in­sti­tutes are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the gen­er­al con­di­tions for the high-speed trains of the fu­ture. This in­cludes, in par­tic­u­lar, sci­en­tif­ic ques­tions re­lat­ing to high-speed rail trans­port in the fields of aero­dy­nam­ics, struc­tural dy­nam­ics, the dy­nam­ics of ve­hi­cle move­ment, propul­sion, en­er­gy man­age­ment, ma­te­ri­als sci­ence and lightweight con­struc­tion. The goal is the de­vel­op­ment of high-speed trains suit­able for type ap­proval and with great­ly re­duced spe­cif­ic en­er­gy re­quire­ments as well as im­proved pas­sen­ger com­fort and noise char­ac­ter­is­tics.
The car of the future communicates with traffic infrastructure
The car of the fu­ture com­mu­ni­cates with traf­fic in­fras­truc­ture
Image 2/8, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

The car of the future communicates with traffic infrastructure

In a driv­ing demon­stra­tion, the DLR In­sti­tute of Trans­porta­tion Sys­tems, an au­tonomous ve­hi­cle was able take ad­van­tage of traf­fic in­for­ma­tion, from traf­fic lights to speed ad­just­ment.
In ‘conversation’ with the traffic lights
In ‘con­ver­sa­tion’ with the traf­fic lights
Image 3/8, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

In ‘conversation’ with the traffic lights

In­no­va­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tions and po­si­tion­ing tech­nolo­gies make it pos­si­ble – cars and trans­port in­fras­truc­ture ex­change in­for­ma­tion.
More se­cu­ri­ty for the traf­fic of to­mor­row
Image 4/8, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

More security for the traffic of tomorrow

In the frame­work of the PE­GA­SUS project, DLR, to­geth­er with part­ners from in­dus­try and re­search in­sti­tu­tions, is de­vel­op­ing con­cepts for au­tonomous car trans­port. This project will make good use of the trans­port and test in­fras­truc­ture of the Ap­pli­ca­tion Plat­form for In­tel­li­gent Mo­bil­i­ty (AIM) in Braun­schweig. In 2017 AIM will be ex­pand­ed with a test field for main and in­ter­state roads in Low­er Sax­ony.
Highly automated: One the touch of a button is enough
High­ly au­to­mat­ed: One the touch of a but­ton is enough
Image 5/8, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Highly automated: One the touch of a button is enough

With the touch of a but­ton, the driv­er can se­lect the lev­el of au­toma­tion. Road traf­fic ac­ci­dents are of­ten the re­sult of er­rors made by inat­ten­tive, over­stressed or tired drivers. The ob­jec­tive of the EU project HAVEit (High­ly Au­to­mat­ed Ve­hi­cles for In­tel­li­gent Trans­port), in which the Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (Deutsches Zen­trum fuer Luft- und Raum­fahrt; DLR) played an ac­tive role, was to min­imise the num­ber of this kind of ac­ci­dents. 
The cargo bike in action
Car­go bike
Image 6/8, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Cargo bike

De­spite their large po­ten­tial to re­duce emis­sions and in­crease trans­port ef­fi­cien­cy, car­go bikes have thus far not been used to any sig­nif­i­cant ex­tent for com­mer­cial pur­pos­es.This project of­fers com­pa­nies and pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions the op­por­tu­ni­ty to test car­go bikes over long pe­ri­ods of time. In ad­di­tion, a large num­ber of oth­er de­ci­sion-mak­ers and mul­ti­pli­ers will be ad­dressed through in­ten­sive pub­lic re­la­tions work.
Technology for the test field Lower Saxony
Tech­nol­o­gy for the test field Low­er Sax­ony
Image 7/8, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Technology for the test field Lower Saxony

Tech­nol­o­gy, which is al­ready in­stalled at the AIM re­search junc­tion, is al­so in­stalled and used with­in the frame­work of the test field in Low­er Sax­ony.
The low-speed wind tunnel at Braunschweig
The low-speed wind tun­nel at Braun­schweig
Image 8/8, Credit: DNW.

The low-speed wind tunnel at Braunschweig

On 2 De­cem­ber 2010, the Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (Deutsches Zen­trum für Luft- und Raum­fahrt; DLR) opened the world's most pow­er­ful aero-acous­tic wind tun­nel in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ger­man-Dutch Wind Tun­nels (Deutsch-Nieder­ländis­che Wind­kanäle; DNW). Sci­en­tists use wind tun­nels to in­ves­ti­gate the aero-acous­tic prop­er­ties of ob­jects such as air­craft en­gines and wings. Not on­ly is the Braun­schweig wind tun­nel one of the most pow­er­ful of its kind, but al­so it is so ver­sa­tile that it can be used for cars as well as planes. This presents new pos­si­bil­i­ties in which to record and re­duce sources of noise pol­lu­tion.

Research that moves

How will society move from point A to point B in the future? How can we possibly have a world without accidents, traffic jams, delays and detours? How can we bring our mobility into harmony with mother nature? And how might an environmentally friendly traffic system of the future that supports a growing economy look? We need substantive answers that will bring concrete solutions for our increasingly mobile society and globalized economy.

The path to a future-oriented traffic system

German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is with its Transport Programme Europe’s second largest institutionally funded transport research center. Tomorrow’s mobility challenges are identified here and provided with jointly developed solutions. These solutions contribute to a future-oriented traffic system from which both the general public and industry in Germany and Europe profit in equal measure.

Seven research topics are currently in focus:

  • Road vehicles
  • Rail vehicles
  • Traffic management
  • Transport and the environment
  • Urban mobility
  • Electromobility
  • Traffic management at public mass events and disasters

Fewer accidents, traffic jams, delays, detours und reduced environmental pollution are the overriding goals of our research.

Concerted traffic research at DLR

The research projects are fundamentally interdisciplinary and follow a systemic approach. Traffic research greatly benefits from this fact, especially since 25 DLR research institutes spanning areas such as energy, transport, aerospace and space research all participate in the research effort. Not only are interdisciplinary synergies created as a result, exciting scientific exchanges take place since each and every project is approached from various perspectives. The use of large DLR research facilities including wind tunnels, crashing units and simulators all contribute towards finding innovative solutions.

The traffic research program is based on an excellent network existing amongst the research landscape. In the same manner, DLR also has excellent relationships with its European counterparts such as IFSTTAR in France, AIT in Austria and TNO in the Netherlands. Active information exchanges are also carried out with other German organisations such as KIT, BASt and the Fraunhofer Institute.

Excellent relations are cultivated with Institutes of higher learning as well as with universities and different industrial sectors, all with the aim to promote research within any given project.

DLR’s communication with all relevant ministries at the federal and state levels guarantees an optimal coordination of different research programs with politics.

Read more about the topics that drive us, also about the projects that we are driving (GER)

  • Dipl.-Ing. Magnus Lamp
    Head of Di­rec­torate Trans­port
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-3630
    Fax: +49 2203 601-4712
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Köln

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