AUTO! - Research & Development

The unique success story written by “Autoland Saxony” was also made possible by the regional research landscape, which has been closely tied to Saxony’s business community since time immemorial. All told, more than 50 very diverse university and non university educational and research facilities focus on automobiles in Saxony. A significant portion of these tasks are carried out on behalf of globally active automobile manufacturers and suppliers.

"InEco®" - Elektroauto entwickelt vom Institut für Leichtbau und Kunststofftechnik (ILK) der Technischen Universität Dresden gemeinsam mit der Leichtbau-Zentrum Sachsen GmbH und der ThyssenKrupp AG

Source: Dresden University of Technology / Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK)

Dresden University of Technology

The Dresden University of Technology focuses its instruction and research in the automobile and integrated mobility sector at the Institute of Automotive Engineering Dresden (IAD). The IAD is one of the leading automobile research institutes in Europe. At the IAD’s Chairs of Automobile Engineering, Combustion Engines, and Vehicle Mechatronics, scientific projects are carried out with a specific focus on driving dynamics and comfort, road and transportation safety, electronic architecture as well as on energy and information management also in the context of automated driving. In the IAD’s ultramodern „Test Center for Automotive Engineering (FVZ),“ vehicles, batteries, and electronic systems are tested under realistic conditions.

The university’s Chair of Transport Systems Information Technology is already working on the pioneering topics „car-to-car“ and „car-to-x communication.“ Together with the IAD, the chair has developed a wireless information system which permits data communication among vehicles and between cars and, for example, optical signaling systems.

The Dresden model of a „Function-integrated Lightweight Construction System of Multi-material Design“ which was developed at the Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK) is considered to be the European role model for R & D conducted in this sector. The institute is also the coordinator of the “FOREL – Research and Demonstration Center for Resource Efficient Lightweight Structures in Electromobility,” Germany’s nationwide open platform revolving around the development of system solutions in multi-material design for e-vehicles. Scientists at the institute have developed an ultralight e-car together with the Leichtbau-Zentrum Sachsen GmbH and ThyssenKrupp AG corporations. "InEco®" weighs less than 900 kilograms and is designed to delight primarily short-distance drivers in densely populated urban areas 

EMV-Labor an der Westsächsischen Hochschule Zwickau (WHZ)

Source: Zwickau University of Applied Sciences (WHZ)

Zwickau University of Applied Sciences (WHZ)

Applied research at the Zwickau University of Applied Sciences (WHZ) is conducted together with renowned automobile manufacturers and suppliers – for example, on the development of innovative electronic, drive, and propulsion systems as well as on new materials and production technologies for automotive construction. The WHZ has a Center for Automotive Electronics which is unique among German universities. The center includes a lab for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) studies on modern vehicles with innovative electronic systems (for example, for automated driving or car-to-x communication). 

"Yellow Cars" im Labor der Professur Technische Informatik an der Technischen Universität Chemnitz

Source: Chemnitz University of Technology / Mario Steinebach

Chemnitz University of Technology

The three key research fields of the Chemnitz University of Technology – „Intelligent Systems and Materials,“ „Energy-efficient Production Systems“ as well as „Human Factors in Technologies“ – are primarily geared towards sustainable mobility. Numerous research projects at Chemnitz University of Technology revolve around e-mobility. For example, the researchers continue to advance the development of the impedance spectroscopy for the low-cost diagnosis of batteries in e-vehicles. They test pedelecs and e-cars. And they create a manufacturing process for the mass production of innovative electric axial flow engines which represent an essential component of e-vehicle drive and propulsion systems.
A research team of students enrolled in the Automotive Software Engineering and Applied Computer Science degree courses focuses on car to car communication. They use “yellow cars” for tests in the lab of the Professorship of Computer Engineering.

Chemnitz Automotive Institute (CATI)

In early 2015, the Chemnitz Automotive Institute (CATI), one of only four transregional competence centers for automotive economics in Germany, commenced with its work. CATI initiates and concentrates the research activities in the sectors automotive economics, automotive factory, and automotive logistics with a specific focus on the transfer of process innovations. CATI’s Advisory Board includes representatives from VW, Porsche, Brose, MA Automotive, Schnellecke Logistics, and the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). 

Source: Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU

Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU, Chemnitz

Applied research on behalf of the automotive industry is one of the key fields of activity at the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU. As the leading institute for resource-efficient production within the Fraunhofer Society, the researchers at the locations in Chemnitz, Dresden, and Zittau investigate solutions which aim to improve the efficiency of energy and materials. In addition to the development of efficiency technologies and intelligent production systems for the manufacture of car body and powertrain components, the IWU staff members also focus on the optimization of the associated forming and cutting processes. And the Fraunhofer IWU also heads, for example, the „smart³ I materials – solutions – growth“ project. In this network of more than 80 R&D facilities and companies, applications are developed on the basis of new, intelligent materials which, for example, adapt themselves autonomously to changing environmental conditions.

Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS, Dresden

The Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden develops, for example, marketable solutions which ensure compliance with the stricter emission limits for passenger cars that are valid according to the new Euro 6 exhaust emission standard. Towards this end, the institute is working on porous and cellular ceramics and coatings for diesel particulate filters and DeNOx catalysts. With the finishing and testing of CFRP components, the Fraunhofer Institute IKTS provides innovative solutions in the lightweight construction sector as well. With the help of eddy current-based diagnostic systems, CFRP components can be tested along the entire processing chain – ranging from unlaminated raw carbon fibers (RCF) all the way to the production of complete assemblies. Additional research activities revolve around engine components exposed to high thermal stress such as turbo chargers and valves as well as around lighting concepts based on LED and laser lights. And the institute also focuses on the efficient and resource-saving manufacture of lithium-ion batteries. In ThyssenKrupp System Engineering GmbH’s battery technology center near Chemnitz, the IKTS researchers play an active role in finding innovative, practical solutions, for example, for the optimization of coating technologies for electrodes. 

Elektrobus "EDDA" mit Schnelladesystem, Fraunhofer-Institut für Verkehrs- und Infrastruktursysteme IVI Dresden

Source: Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI

Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI, Dresden

The spectrum of traffic-related research and development at the Dresden- based Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI ranges from traffic planning and traffic ecology to traffic information, vehicle, propulsion, sensor technologies, and traffic telematics all the way to the sectors disposition and logistics. The institute played a vital role in the introduction of an electronic ticketing system for the sale of tickets via mobile phones in Germany. The Fraunhofer IVI also got a lot of attention with the development of the 30.7 meter long „AutoTram.“ The longest bus on the globe so far unites the advantages of conventional trams with those of buses, and despite its length, actually has an extremely small turning circle. Currently, the scientists are working on fast-charging electric buses that are already tested in Dresden’s urban transportation system. 

Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS, Dresden

Research in the laser, surface, and nano technologies sectors is conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden. With its innovative process developments, the institute promotes the topics electromobility, lightweight construction, and resource efficiency. The scientists are working on the inexpensive mass production of battery systems through such innovative manufacturing methods as the laser cutting of electrodes, and they are also developing new materials concepts for such mobile energy storages as lithium-sulfur batteries. The development of new joining techniques for mixed compounds and of technologies for the processing of fiber composite materials characterize the research activities in the field of lightweight construction. A vital contribution towards energy efficiency is made by such IWS developments as friction-reducing super-hard carbon layers and by the institute’s extensive expertise in the laser cutting and laser treatment of electric sheets.

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