Urban Mobility for the people

Metropolitan areas are increasingly suffering from congestion, noise and pollution. These problems reduce the quality of life for people in cities. The increasing shortage of space demands efficient core networks for public transport and road traffic as well as space- and cost-efficient transport systems to guarantee smooth and seamless mobility. New technologies or innovations like pedelecs or e-bikes are contributing to the development of sustainable urban mobility concepts. New demands on mobility and changing attitudes like increased environmental awareness are leading to new mobility solutions. Sharing schemes for bicycles and cars are becoming ever more popular in cities. Flexible and affordable offers can increase the popularity of public transport. Mobility-oriented solutions can improve the quality of life. The following topics give you an idea about the work and research topics of Fraunhofer People Mobility.

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Technological, ecological and social changes require a change in the way  people and goods are transported. Alternative drive technologies, increasingly automated vehicles and new technological developments are creating new possibilities. Car-sharing or bike-sharing schemes serve changing mobility behavior and are being used more frequently. Owning a car is no longer as important, especially for younger people. In addition, there is an increasing demand for intermodal mobility offers tailored to individual needs. I&C technologies enable information and payment systems to be transferred across different transport modes. New apps assist their users in finding parking spaces which also improves traffic flow.

Fraunhofer People Mobility identifies relevant trends and explores their importance for society and the user.


Project examples:

Management of parking spaces in Hamburg (project page Fraunhofer IML/CML, GER) – study on behalf of Landesbetrieb Verkehr to determine current and future technologies, systems and innovations in managing public parking spaces in Hamburg.

Future vision »Logistics and mobility in Hesse 2035« (project page, Fraunhofer IML, GER) – study in cooperation with HOLM to develop a vision of logistics and mobility in Hesse in 2035.

GENERATIONplus (project page, Fraunhofer IML, GER) – study on behalf of GND e.V. to compare switching between transport modes at large German railway stations.

Electric mobility in public municipal services

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Companies that offer their services in the context of general public services often have suitable structural and procedural preconditions to electrify their fleets. This means they can help to increase the quality of life and reduce local noise and pollution for citizens. The employees of municipal service enterprises appreciate the quieter vehicles as well. The fleet vehicle types used in this sector and their usual requirement profiles resulting from the payload and route profiles are usually well-suited for a changeover to e-mobility.

Fraunhofer People Mobility supports companies in developing electrification concepts and in integrating new mobility solutions into the processes and operations at municipal depots. The goal of such concepts is always to ensure full working capacity is maintained at lower running costs.

Integrated mobility and attractive regions

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Integrated, autonomous and sustainable mobility makes it possible for cities and regions to offer a high quality of life and therefore reap important location-specific advantages. But it is still largely unclear what the long-term impacts are on the economy and local authorities.

Fraunhofer People Mobility explores the impacts of new forms of transporting people and goods using social science, economic and technological approaches.


Project examples:

Karlsruhe: Profile region for mobility systems (press release, KIT) – different partners are working together in a network to strengthen the location of Baden-Wuerttemberg as a center for mobility in the long term.

LowCarb-RFC (project page, Fraunhofer ISI) – study funded by the Mercator Stiftung to examine the impacts of shifting freight transport and achieving carbon neutrality.

RadAR+ (project page, Fraunhofer IML, GER) – project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to develop travel assistance systems for dynamic environments based on augmented reality.

Innovation system »mobility and society«: effects impact analyses of technologies and interventions

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Many kinds of factors are important for innovations to emerge from technical inventions or organizational concepts. These include the specific benefits of the development for people, companies or other stakeholders  compared to  existing solutions, the costs of changing, the acceptance of potential operators, users and those affected as well as the reactions from the relevant environment. The innovative strength of a development can therefore only be judged within a complex and multi-layered innovation system.

This applies in particular to innovations in mobility because these always involve the interaction of several players such as local authorities, industry and final customers. The innovation systems here are characterized by regulation, financial dependency and business models. The impact mechanisms of state intervention are equally complex. The adaptation reactions of those affected can enhance effects, weaken or even overcompensate them due to rebound effects. In addition, any long-term effects of intervention have to be taken into account as do any side-effects or repercussions in other economic sectors.

Fraunhofer People Mobility uses system dynamic and agent-based analysis models, patent data, bibliometric and socio-scientific methods to illustrate such complex mechanisms.


Project examples:

AsTra – Assessment of TRAnsport Strategies (project page, Fraunhofer ISI) – there are different versions of the AsTra model available for national and European analyses that are adapted to different questions at the intersection of transport, technology, energy systems, the environment and the economy. Together with partner institutes, the modeling tools are regularly updated and extended.

TRIMODE - Transport Integrated Model for Europe (project page, Fraunhofer IVI) – TRIMODE is a comprehensive transport model developed for the European Commission that depicts passenger and freight transport across the entire EU and the related socio-economic structures in detail.

Development of needs-based and sustainable mobility concepts

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Mobility is a basic requirement for social participation and economic growth. Mobility needs are individual and depend on different factors like where a person lives, their age or health as well as other situational factors. Guaranteeing needs-based mobility is an increasing challenge. Mobility is becoming more individual and growing digitalization is opening up new possibilities. Needs-based and sustainable concepts provide the solutions. These require technology companies, infrastructure managers and municipalities to work together to design and implement sustainable and needs-based mobility concepts for private transport, public transport and long-distance traffic. The development of new technologies like autonomous vehicles and new utilization models like sharing or private ride-sharing schemes and multi-modal mobility platforms are already pointing the way to sustainable mobility concepts.

Fraunhofer People Mobility develops new concepts and applications for needs-based mobility.

Project example:

ImmerMobil (project page, Fraunhofer IML) – individual, location-based transport services for older people in rural areas.

Mobility behavior

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Mobility behavior is undergoing a transformation. Peoples' own residential environment, their attitudes or socio-economic factors as well as changing living conditions – like uncertain future or family planning or more flexible work relationships – are leading to changes in mobility behavior. People want flexible and affordable mobility services. Mobility behavior in cities often differs to that in rural areas. Cars are becoming less and less important in cities and more and more intermodal and multimodal services are being used. The opposite trend can be observed in rural areas; public transport services are declining and the car is becoming more and more essential to meet everyday needs. Research into mobility behavior in different contexts is a prerequisite for implementing  appropriate offers or the infrastructure needed, It is only possible to trigger a specific mobility behavior if the demanded offer already exists.

Fraunhofer People Mobility researches the mobility behavior of different groups in order to develop needs-based concepts and recommendations for institutions like transport and traffic associations.

Project example:

Short-range mobility for migrants as part of a successful integration strategy (project page, Fraunhofer IML, GER) – study funded by HOLM to research and analyze the daily mobility behavior of migrants in the Rhine-Main region.