Undertaken in cooperation between the partner cities of Bremen and Dalian in northeastern China, the project examines electromobility in terms of data logging and analysis with the help of new types of innovative concept vehicles. The goal is to not only evaluate the deployment of electric vehicles today in day-to-day use, but to also draw conclusions for the future.

In Bremen, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI — Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz) is also cooperating with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (Fraunhofer IFAM) in this project. Researchers from the DFKI are responsible for expanding the data monitoring systems as well as evaluating the data and developing four concept vehicles with autonomous capabilities. Fraunhofer IFAM will also work on the classification, certification and licensing methods of various technologies in the area of electromobility.

Since 2009, the Bremen-based DFKI Robotics Innovation Center research area has been closely involved in the electromobility model region of Bremen/Oldenburg where it has conducted testing, demonstration as well as the research and development on various technologies. Research includes the vigorous collection and analysis of data from the vehicles and on user behaviour, the development and evaluation of various electric vehicle concepts and technologies, as well as comprehensive fleet trials. Further work is undertaken in the area of recharging and the development of intelligent user interfaces and services.

As such, the project deals with three core subjects that partly involve a direct exchange with the project partners in Dalian, China. Test areas for fleet trials are earmarked in both partner cities. Within this framework it will be possible to test both vehicles approved for the roads and concept vehicles yet without approval, on these specially dedicated areas (so-called »gated areas«). The data will flow continuously into the evaluation at all times.

In both locations this will take place as follows: the field trials will be logged in detail using special data acquisition systems including data loggers for the electromobility and server infrastructure, and will be subsequently evaluated in order to arrive at conclusions in terms of both user behaviour and the acceptance of electric vehicles. At the same time, an exchange of data will take place as well as direct, joint planning for the standardisation of the data acquisition system in terms of data formats and infrastructure. Based on the information gained through this process, concepts for simulations and models will be derived that are to hereafter simplify the assessment of expected future vehicle usage.

Four innovative test vehicles will be modified and deployed in the so-called »gated areas«. The aim is to integrate fully autonomous concepts in vehicles currently permitted on public roads, so that these functions can be tested and may be included in vehicles such as car-sharing models, for more efficient use in the future. As such, vehicles will be equipped with sophisticated sensors, actuators and control logic functions, which when used in concert, will enable active path following enabling road train driving. Only one driver will be required to steer the vehicles — the individual vehicles can, however, be decoupled from the road train as required. Car sharing vehicles can thereby be distributed and deployed more efficiently in a particular area. The experiences gained from the fleet trials will later flow into a combined concept for a vehicle. This concept is to form the basis for continued cooperation between Bremen and Dalian.

A further task of the DaBrEM project is the comprehensive testing of technology. It involves the characterisation and approval of various electric vehicle components (including motors and powertrains). Aim of the work will be the development of testing methods for the approval of such components.

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