Transport research

Transport research

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?

Credit: DLR / Markus Steur


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:


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


Credit: DLR


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.

Credit: Deutsch-Niederländische Windkanäle (DNW)


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)

Core Research Topics