On Tuesday evening, Wolfram Ressel, Rector of the University of Stuttgart, shared his pleasure about the award with the MobiLAB team at the University of Stuttgart and said: “This award is a valuable motivation to make the Vaihingen campus a testing ground for zero emissions according to the vision of the University of Stuttgart: 'Intelligent Systems for a Sustainable Society'. MobiLab will be a versatile test laboratory, combining new forms of transportation development, novel modes of transport, electric drive systems as well as energy storage and energy distribution systems.“
“A transportation turnaround can only succeed if climate-friendly mobility solutions are made practicable and, above all, tangible, thereby contributing to a change in behavior and climate awareness,” emphasized Theresia Bauer, Minister of Science. “A university campus can be the ideal test laboratory where, together with the next generation, ideas are developed, implemented and tried.” In this way, the universities could be a pacesetter for the cities and show how sustainable mobility can be implemented in a user-friendly manner. Bauer continued: “We need intelligent, ecological mobility solutions that, ideally, show exciting approaches to the cities as a whole. And that's what the universities have done excellently with creative, innovative concepts.“
The Minister of Transport, Winfried Hermann, said: “The internationally agreed climate targets and effective climate protection can only be achieved if a transportation turnaround and a switch to environmentally friendly mobility is successful. In order to achieve this, we need the wealth of ideas and open-mindedness of the students and staff at the universities.“
MobiLab – addendum
“This makes you feel excited about the future of mobility,” said the Minister of Science, Theresia Bauer, during a tour of the mobility concepts of all eleven participating universities, on the occasion of the award ceremony in the auditorium of the Stuttgart Technology University of Applied Sciences. For example, she was particularly impressed with the e-scooter, which will be driving autonomously on the Vaihingen campus in the future. The electric scooter, developed at the Institute for Systems Theory and Automatic Control at the University of Stuttgart, is able to drive autonomously to where it's needed, but it cannot leave the university premises. Also, it will drive to its charging station independently.
E-scooters, bus shuttle, and more
In combination with an autonomous shuttle bus and a parking lot located at the outer university premises, the e-scooter is supposed to contribute to a campus that is attractive for students and staff, explained Rector Prof. Wolfram Ressel. Removing the parking spaces on the campus provides new space for further development. Next year, the first e-scooters could already be on the road. At MobiLab, intelligent energy storage and distribution is an important research topic that the University of Stuttgart is tackling together with partners and start-ups, emphasized Ressel.
All mobility concepts of universities that have received an award
- University of Stuttgart, category “University in the Urban Space” (prize money EUR 300,000)
- Biberach University of Applied Sciences, category “University in a Rural Area” (prize money EUR 150,000)
- University of Hohenheim, category “Special Commitment” (prize money EUR 150,000)
- Stuttgart Technology University of Applied Sciences, category “Special Award for Originality” (prize money EUR 100,000)
- Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Stuttgart (prize money EUR 100,000)
The Campus Vaihingen is already very well connected by public transport. Staff and students also use public transport a lot. The Campus Vaihingen site also brings in people from beyond the immediate area, meaning a lot of people make relatively long journeys to get there. Most of the time, these journeys are by car. The combination of the parking facility management system and the car-free campus in connection with the new mobility options will lead to a fall in demand for car parking spaces of about one third.
Plans exist to build a parking facility in the Mobility Living Lab, which is due to be constructed on the edge of the campus by the B14 highway. It can be accessed directly from the B14. Energy will be generated by solar panels on the roof of the parking facility, which will be used to charge parked cars as well as the shuttle buses and the e-scooters. Smart grids will store and distribute energy intelligently and efficiently. In addition to this, new types of inductive charging will be tested in this research parking facility.
Researchers at the University of Stuttgart are currently developing a self-driving e-scooter. This is due to be integrated into the e-scooter rental system on the campus. The e-scooters use a modern control system to drive to the next port of call without the need for a driver. A distribution algorithm optimizes the availability of the e-scooters on the campus. A self-driving e-scooter will replace ten normal e-scooters in an e-scooter rental system.
The campus as a testing ground
The University of Stuttgart is developing its vision for an emissions-free campus in MobiLab. It will become a research campus, where new climate-neutral, electric and intelligent forms of mobility will be tested out.
The University of Stuttgart wants to:
- develop and test new vehicles, for example a self-driving e-scooter or a self-driving shuttle which uses inductive charging to charge itself while moving (research vehicle).
- develop new street concepts, which for example make inductive charging possible while the vehicle is moving (research street).
- develop new parking facilities which can be used by automated electric vehicles and which as solar power plants also generate electricity at the same time (research parking facility).