Automated Urban Driving




Micha Lesemann

Senior Engineer


+49 241 80-27535



Research and Development of automated, networked driving functions are making great progress. The greatest challenge for autonomous cars is posed by inner-city driving. A project consortium from RWTH Aachen University and other institutions is now establishing a nationally unique testing center in Aldenhoven, with the help of 3.3 million in funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF.

  State Secretary Thomas Rachel and representatives from RWTH and politics Copyright: © RWTH Thomas Rachel presented the funding confirmation for the CERMcity research project. From left: Professor Lutz Eckstein, State Secretary Thomas Rachel, District Administrator Wolfang Spelthahn, Mayor Ralf Claßen, and RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg

According to State Secretary Thomas Rachel, who presented the funding confirmation to the consortium, the Aldenhoven Testing Center is ideally suited for the development and investigation of automated driving systems under near-real-world driving conditions.

Future mobility and, in particular, automated driving must be secure, efficient, and sustainable. To achieve this goal, a modern research and development infrastructure is required, including validation processes, which are systematically developed, installed and interconnected by RWTH’s Mobility and Transport Engineering profile area headed by Professor Lutz Eckstein.

RWTH and its research centers already bring comprehensive expertise and suitable equipment to the task, such as test cells and high-performance simulation environments. In order to further enhance the University’s competencies and secure the transfer of cutting edge research results to the automotive and supplier industries, the BMBF provides funding for the urban driving testing area in Aldenhoven.

The new urban driving test track is created as part of the CERMcity. Project Project partners include RWTH Aachen, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence DFKI, FH Aachen, TÜV Rheinland, as well as the companies BASELABS and Silicon Radar. The participating RWTH institutions are the Institute for Automotive Engineering, the Institute of Automatic Control, and the Institute of High Frequency Technology.

Over the next three years, the project partners will provide the basis for the future testing and validation of automated and networked driving functions, with a special focus on urban applications.

The advisory board for CERMcity will include representatives from automotive and IT companies, which shave the supported the project in the application phase. Other companies are invited to participate in the project and to contribute to defining the requirements of the validation environment.

New Urban Driving Test Track

The urban driving section of the test track will consist of elements typical of urban traffic areas, such as crossings, traffic lights, traffic circles, bus stops, parking lots, and rail grade crossings. In order to be able to interconnect the road users, it is important to create realistic conditions from a radio communications point of view.

Aside from the urban driving track section, which will be integrated into the Aldenhoven Testing Center, the vehicle prototypes will be enhanced so that they are capable of serving as a validation platform for individual systems and components at the development stage. A validation process for all prototypes will be defined to assess the maturity of the newly developed systems.

The project ideally complements the infrastructure and competencies of various RWTH Aachen institutes as well as the activities surrounding the Center for European Research on Mobility, CERM for short. These include the CiTi and I2EASE projects as well as the highly dynamic driving simulator which will be inaugurated in October 2016 at the Institute for Automotive Engineering.

The CERMcity project, which receives 3.3 million Euros in funding from the BMBF, will be launched on October 1, 2016. Institutions and companies which are interested in joining in the advisory board are invited to contact the project coordinator at the Institute for Automotive Engineering.