CERMcity Facilitates Research and Development on Autonomous and Connected Urban Driving

People throw dirt in the air with shovels © Andreas Schmitter

Groundbreaking ceremony for an ultra-modern test environment at RWTH's Aldenhoven Testing Center


Mobility of tomorrow will be shaped by automated and networked driving, with innercities posing the greatest challenge. The CERMcity testing environment is a framework for researching, developing, and securing the necessary systems and vehicles. The research project supplements the existing tracks at the RWTH ATC and enables a safe and reproducable presentation of situations in urban traffic. The symbolic groundbreaking was held today with the parliamentary state secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Thomas Rachel MdB.

"The implementation of fully-automated driving functions strongly depends on technological advancements in electronics and sensor technology. With the support of the Ministry of Research, the CERMcity testing environment at Aldenhoven Testing Center equips us to meet the requirements for making these advancements," said State Secretary Thomas Rachel. Sufficient validation is fundamental for successful market introduction. A foundation for validating functions and systems will be created in the CERMcity project.

Safe and Reproducable Presentation of Urban Traffic Situations

An essential component of this entire process is an urban testing environment, which will be integrated into the ATC. It supplements the existing tracks and enables a safe and reproducable simulation of urban traffic situations in the future. Intersections, parking areas, stops, crosswalks, and a flexible multifunctional area will be set up. Simulated house facades and radio technology coverage to incorporate sensors and actors will also be added.

A project board with representatives from over 40 companies and institutions drew on cases of application to create the basis of the testing environment. A ground-breaking ceremony on March 27, 2018, kicked off the construction work. The physical environment, vehicle platforms, and methodology will be available to all interested users beginning October 2018. They complete the offering and possibilities of the ATC which include all relevant technologies such as wifi – 802.11p, internet – and mobile communications – Vodafone 5G Mobility Lab.

CERMcity at the ATC significantly expands RWTH and its partners' competencies in mobility research. Experts and a top of line research infrastructure are prerequisite to solving the numerous mobility questions of tomorrow. The Future Mobility Lab at RWTH Aachen, under the direction of Professor Lutz Eckstein, coordinates the interdisciplinary cooperation. "The design of future mobility requires close collaboration between not only scientists in different disciplines but also between universities and industry in different branches – with the support of the BMBF we are creating the ideal prerequisites," emphasizes Eckstein.

Funding from the Federal Ministry

The CERMcity project began in October 2016 and is funded with roughly 3.3 million euros by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF. RWTH Aachen coordinates the entire project with participation from the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence, FH Aachen, TÜV Rheinland, and the companies BASELABS and Silicon Radar. RWTH Aachen's involvement extends to its Institute of Automotive Engineering, the Institute of Automatic Control, and the Institute of High Frequency Technology.

Photo Caption

The first ground-breaking for the CERMcity project at the Aldenhoven Testing Center with State Secretary Thomas Rachel (3rd from right).


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