May 16, 2022 | Insight into the future urban mobility

DLR at the polisMOBILITY trade fair in Cologne

  • The polisMOBILITY trade fair in Cologne focuses on the urban mobility of the future.
  • It will take place for the first time from 18 to 21 May 2022.
  • There, DLR will provide an insight into current projects in its transport research. These include measuring mobility using smartphones, 5G and AI in mobility, and sector coupling.
  • Focus: Transport, intelligent future mobility, digitalisation

polisMOBILITY marks the launch of a new trade fair dedicated to the future urban mobility. It covers the entire transport value chain and includes the topics of energy and the environment, digitalisation and urban life. At the premiere of polisMOBILITY from 18 to 21 May 2022 in Cologne, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) will provide visitors from industry, municipalities and transport operators with insights into current projects in its transport research. Multimedia exhibits at the DLR stand (Hall 1.2, Stand No. B002) will demonstrate how mobility can be measured using a smartphone, why 5G and artificial intelligence are key technologies, and how the transport and energy sectors can be combined as efficiently and advantageously as possible.

"The future of mobility is characterised by the different requirements of urban conurbations and rural regions. The need to be mobile is constantly increasing – and with it the negative consequences of traffic such as congestion, exhaust fumes and noise, but also the lack of availability. DLR is showing ways to make mobility climate-friendly, efficient, safe and responsive to people's needs. Based on extensive data sets, it analyses the transport system as a whole and develops new vehicle and mobility concepts as well as technologies for an intelligent and networked infrastructure," says Christian Sattler, DLR Divisional Board Member for Energy and Transport.

DLR MovingLab – measuring mobility behaviour with smartphones

Up-to-date and reliable data are incredibly valuable for the field of mobility research. Only by looking at such data is it possible to make statements about the mobility behaviour of individuals and groups. These data form the basis of scientific traffic models and forecasts and are beneficial to transport service providers. With the MovingLab, DLR has developed a special survey and analysis method that opens up new possibilities and is compliant with the data protection laws. It uses something that most people always have with them – mobile devices such as smartphones. The position and motion sensors built into a smartphone allow the position of a person to be determined several times per minute. The MovingLab creates acceleration profiles by looking at how this position changes. These allow conclusions to be drawn about the use of a particular form of transport. Surveys can also be carried out using the MovingLab app for purposes such as recording socio-demographic characteristics, general use of means of transport, attitudes or specific information on individual routes.

5G-Reallabor in the region of Braunschweig-Wolfsburg

In the 5G-Reallabor, DLR, together with partners from research and industry, is investigating the possibilities of the 5G mobile communications standard offers. It is a key technology for numerous future-oriented applications in the mobility sector. This is because 5G enables data to be transmitted in near real-time, is particularly secure and allows a high bandwidth. At polisMOBILITY, DLR will be providing insight into the field of rescue mobility, among other things, with a screen exhibit. In the 5G-Reallabor, researchers will be testing how the deployment times for emergency services can be reduced. Intelligent traffic light control in Wolfsburg and Braunschweig gives emergency vehicles the right of way. 5G enables the reliable and fastest possible transmission of signals from the emergency services to the traffic control computers.

Sector coupling of energy and transport – what could this look like in everyday life?

The intelligent networking of the energy supply and mobility sectors is important for the success of the energy and transport transition. Vehicles with battery and fuel cell drivetrains can feed electricity and heat into stationary distribution grids as needed or be used as a mobile power source or heater, for example at campsites or events. In emergencies, after earthquakes or floods, a local power supply could also be established in this way. The interactive DLR model shows how sector coupling can work in everyday life using the charging status of a battery-powered car. The charging stations at home charge the vehicle batteries or feed electricity back into the grid as needed. An intelligent charging management system controls the individual charging currents. This prevents the electricity grid from being overloaded. Fast charging is an important aspect on the road. for example, along motorways when electric vehicles cover long distances. In cities, a large number of electric vehicles can be charged in a short time at fast-charging stations with high charging capacities. Mobile charging stations allow electric vehicles to be charged at locations without their own power supply. This makes it possible to improve the charging infrastructure for battery-powered electric vehicles throughout the country. Rural areas in particular can benefit from this.

Video: Intelligent charging management
The more vehicles that are electrically powered, the more important intelligent charging management and the efficient connection of the energy and transport sectors become.

Artificial intelligence for autonomous driving and safe systems

For the mobility of tomorrow, DLR is also working on a secure, decentralised data infrastructure as a foundation for AI-based applications. AI methods should not only be safe for use in autonomous driving (safety), for example, but also protected from external attacks (security). New methods and algorithms contribute by taking over previously inconceivable tasks and improving the mobility experience for everyone. Safety & Security by Design from the outset is the key aspect here.

Mobility study – the city of tomorrow

As part of the conceptualisation of the polisMOBILITY trade fair, DLR was commissioned by Koelnmesse and the City of Cologne in 2021 to conduct a wide-ranging study on the future of urban mobility: 'Die Stadt von morgen. Herausforderungen und Lösungsansätze für eine nachhaltige urbane Mobilität' ('The city of tomorrow. Challenges and solutions for sustainable urban mobility.' [In German]) (Abstract).


Denise Nüssle

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Corporate Communications
Pfaffenwaldring 38-40, 70569 Stuttgart
Tel: +49 711 6862-8086