Autobahn by night - photo: (c) Kalafoto -

Networked by ICT – Intermodal mobility solutions are known by the diversity of their drive types, the networking of the vehicles (carconnect), and a different kind of use compared to one’s own vehicle. Here, intelligent, adaptive and context-aware information and communication technologies are key.

Networked vehicles

Mobility is a basic need and impetus for growth and innovation. The growing importance of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the field of mobility is raising the extent to which the system is networked. In future, innovative driver assistance systems will improve safety through car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication.

The vehicle networks with other vehicles, the infrastructure and the environment and exchanges data with charging columns and “smart” homes, for example. At his fingertips the driver has a wealth of information on vehicle parameters and navigation, and even the vehicle’s own internet connection. Here the driver interacts via HMIs (Human Machine Interface) with his vehicle and other devices such as charging stations and car park machines.

With the further development of the smartphone a way was found to add a new kind of networking to this hardware-oriented kind of operation. By providing services on a smartphone, its use is not bound to local interfaces anymore, so access is simplified considerably. This doesn’t only apply to the vehicle in particular, but to the entire mobility of the individual in general. So a wide range of functionality is available at any time and anywhere. When paired with real-time information services, it becomes easier to switch between modes of transport, and an important cornerstone is laid for intermodal mobility solutions.

Intermodal mobility

For the user, intermodal mobility solutions must be designed as simply and attractively as possible. This demands the inclusion of all the types of mobility offered, as well as comprehensive, up-to-date and reliable information on location, and a universal access and payment system for all available means of transport.

That is why the basic requirements for intermodal transport systems must include properly performing public transport networks, good availability of alternative mobility solutions and vehicles, and an efficient and innovative ICT infrastructure. Changes to mobility behaviour can already be seen, especially in cities where these structures already exist and are perhaps strengthened by the use of car-sharing services and expanded public transport networks.

This is how consumer behaviour slowly evolves from a means-of-transport perspective with a strong focus on the car, to a system-oriented perspective. This way it is not the ownership of a vehicle which is so important anymore, but the access to a vehicle. As such, the need for mobility comes to the forefront.

Intermodality, made in Baden-Wuerttemberg

With its businesses and scientific institutions in the automotive industry and its suppliers, the ICT branch, the energy suppliers, the public transport system and car-sharing companies, Baden-Wuerttemberg is in good shape to further advance and develop intermodal mobility solutions. But beyond that, with its numerous research and demonstration projects, such as the leading-edge cluster Electric Mobility South-West, the Baden-Wuerttemberg LivingLabBWe mobil electric mobility showcase, and the model regions, Baden-Wuerttemberg is optimally positioned to contribute to the shaping of future mobility solutions and to profit from the resulting added value and job potential.

The document “System analysis BWe mobil 2013: ICT and energy infrastructure for innovative mobility solutions in Baden-Wuerttemberg” [Systemanalyse BWe mobil 2013: IKT- und Energieinfrastruktur für innovative Mobilitätslösungen in Baden-Württemberg] offers a detailed overview of the importance of the ICT and energy infrastructure for future mobility solutions, taking into consideration available potential and risks for the positioning of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg.