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Collaborative Mobility shutterstock/ Corepics VOF

Collaborative mobility

Designing mobility for travellers and communities

Engineering mobility has been a topic for many years. In 1886, Carl Benz showed the Benz Patent Motorwagen - widely regarded as the first automobile. When looking at the Motorwagen and a modern Daimler Benz car, the more than 100 years of development is more than obvious. Brilliant engineers like Henry Ford, Ferdinand Porsche, Preston Tucker have caused great success of the automobile until today. But especially the developments of recent years open completely new perspectives on automotive engineering. The main reason for that is that communication technology has entered vehicles.

While most developments focus on bringing more services and better information to the driver, collaborative mobility focuses on a new perspective: It underlines, that the system under development goes beyond the singular car. With V2X communication technology automotive engineers become traffic designers and could target the greatest challenges of mobility directly, such as pollution in the city, congestion, parking problems. There was no possibility to address such challenges before in such a direct and efficient manner.

Where traffic participants - particularly vehicle drivers - act in an aligned way to address such problems, we call it collaborative mobility.

FOKUS develops applications that exploit such possibilities.

Smart pollution management for smart cities

Collaboration to relax pollution hotspots

It is a common fact, that inner city areas suffer from vehicular pollution: NOx, CO, Benzene, respirable dust, noise and others. There are a lot of activities in research and industry to lower the emission of each individual vehicle.

That is worthwhile but it misses one central aspect: Normally it is not the pollution caused by an individual vehicle that harms people’s health but it is the aggregate effect of all polluting nodes. That is the starting point of the joint work of Fraunhofer FOKUS, the Hamilton Institute at the National University of Ireland Maynooth (funded by the Science Foundation Ireland) and Technische Universität Berlin.

We developed a system - including a prototypical implementation – that manages the aggregate pollution making use of the great potential of hybrid vehicles. With help of information technology, networked vehicles and stochastic control algorithms, we showed that we could manage and limit the overall pollution – in fact the air quality directly - in urban areas.

Simulations as well as an adapted proof-of-concept full hybrid vehicle show that the approach works today – with today’s technologies.

Detailed information could be found in “Cooperative regulation and trading of emissions using plug-in hybrid vehicles”, Submitted to IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 2012.

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