Mobility – today, we take it for granted. The car is part of our everyday life, and flying is nothing special. Germany has 62 million registered cars, and the public transport network is growing. Still, mobility is changing – new technologies, drive systems, mobility models. There are major challenges and massive opportunities.
OTON - Prof. Jens Friedrichs - Institute of Jet Propulsion and Turbomachinery at the TU Braunschweig
“I think we face challenges on several levels. For a start, inividual mobility compared to mass mobility. The demand for individual mobility solutions is growing very fast, people want convenience.“
OTON - Dr. Kathrien Inderwisch – Niedersachsen Automotive Research Center at the TU Braunschweig
“We’re trying to address this by looking at these questions in an interdisciplinary way. So we have researchers from engineering institutes working with those from other discipline like electro-technology, IT, and even the social sciences and psychology. This enables us to come up with completely new mobility concepts that live up to these new demands.“
CarSharing just such a concept, and is now well-established in German cities. Studies show that sharing cars means fewer vehicles on the road during peak travel times. Fewer cars means a better quality of life but car-sharing cars are generally smaller and therefore consume less fuel than privately-owned cars. And there’s another reason that car-sharing makes a contribution to climate protection.
OTON - Willi Loose – Director, German CarSharing Association
“It’s even more environmentally friendly because people change their behaviour. That’s the great advantage of CarSharing – people start using public transport more, riding their bikes more, and driving their cars less.“
Public transport networks are also getting an environmental make-over... for example, cutting resource usage by using electric induction buses – like here in Braunschweig. The vehicle’s batteries are simply charged at the bus stop. The buses are more expensive than diesels, but the investment is worth it long-term. And the Braunschweig project shows that initial technical glitches don’t dent public acceptance.
OTON - Frank Brandt – Electromobility Project Manager at Braunschweig’s Transport Company
“The people of Braunschweig are familiar with the project. We did some successful marketing, calling it EMIL – for “Electromobility using Inductive Charging“ and EMIL made it more accessible. And when the bus is out of action, we get people asking, where’s Emil?“
Mobility is no longer just about getting from A to B. The field is very large, and plays a central role in society, in science and in the economy. Even manufacturers of industrial vehicles are looking at alternative technologies such as hybrid engines and gas drives. Cooperation between business and science is accelerating progress.
OTON - Björn Reuber – Automotive Research Centre – TU Braunschweig
“It’s a key area of research at our insitute. Many of my colleagues are working on electro- and hybrid drives, and I’m sure that this area, in particular hybrid drives as a transitional solution, will become ever more important on the market.“
Germany has made major progress when it comes to mobility. But for reall success, this project needs to go global.