Mobility, Urban Systems Engineering and Innovation Systems

The cities we inhabit will radically be transformed throughout the upcoming decades: Not only will they have to deal with a constantly increasing population, but also with climate change, resource scarcity, demographic change, and people’s increasing wealth.

Urban Systems Engineering

In the scope of diverse research projects, the teams of scientists in Urban Systems Engineering establish methods of analysis and design with respect to the cities and towns in which people will live and work in the generations ahead.

Envisioning the life and urban settings of tomorrow, developing future-oriented urban infrastructures, creating space and shaping society in a sustainable manner


Our key areas of research:

•    Municipal digitalization strategies and processes

•    Urban utilities and logistics solutions

•    Intelligent urban districts and surroundings

•    Co-creative innovation partnerships and strategies

•    Data-based business models and processes in urban systems

•    Shaping user behavior and preferences

•    Resilient infrastructures and public safety


Mobility and Innovation Systems

During our research projects, we establish real-world solutions and methods to generate, design, introduce and assess new product, process and service innovations as part of the transition to future mobility.

Understanding markets and customers, identifying and using technologies purposefully, envisioning organizational and value-creation models


Our key areas of research:

•    Trend research and big-data analyses for the development of strategic and business models

•    Identification and evaluation of technological and market developments

•    Development of mobility concepts and guiding principles for mobility

•    Assessment and conceptual formulation of business and operation models as well as mobility services

•    Planning and dimensioning of integrated energy solutions and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles

•    Ideation and prototyping of innovative technologies for the vehicles of tomorrow

•    Scientific guidance on transformation processes

•    Development of cooperative formats for research, participation and workshops

•    Research on user acceptance of mobility innovations 

Latest News


Contactless measurement method detects infections

An innovative measurement method is helping to detect people infected with coronavirus from a safe distance. It detects fever, increased pulse rates and fast breathing without endangering the person conducting the testing. Fraunhofer IPA and Fraunhofer IAO are currently testing the procedure at the Robert Bosch Hospital in Stuttgart.
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Smart and sustainable: shining beacons for future urban living

How can today’s urban centers be transformed into smart cities that leverage digital technology and provide a good quality of life for their citizens while also – increasingly an essential criterion – meeting sustainability targets? Fraunhofer IAO has now teamed up with 31 partners from ten EU member states in order to develop pioneering solutions for a new smart city initiative by the name of SPARCS. The aim of this project is to create a network of Sustainable energy Positive and zero cARbon CommunitieS.
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Envisioning tomorrow’s transportation in Germany and the USA

Scientists, businesses, and policymakers worldwide are striving toward sustainable transportation solutions that will transform urban life. Fraunhofer IAO and Hessischer Rundfunk (HR), a German regional broadcaster, have joined forces in a cross-media project to envision the future of urban transportation in both countries. Part of Deutschlandjahr USA (an initiative to promote German-American friendship), this project builds on the impressions of experts and users who were sent on a virtual-reality journey through time to experience what mobility may be like in 2049.
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Mobility plus: Future scenarios for autonomous driving

What must cities do to improve their mobility culture in the face of climate change? A new study published by Fraunhofer IAO, which investigates the role of autonomous vehicles in a multimodal transportation solution for the cities of tomorrow, shows that these vehicles are one of the most important points of leverage for sustainable urban development and a better quality of life for city-dwellers, and open up entirely new options for land use in general.
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Makeathon in Ludwigsburg

Stresstests for bicyclists and video tours through Ludwigsburg - How digitization leads to more traffic safety and brings us closer to the past. The second Makeathon in Ludwigsburg took place on October 5 & 6, 2017. 



Finance in the Smart City

In collaboration with the British embassy of Germany, Fraunhofer Morgenstadt Initiative, and LSE Enterprise, Fraunhofer IAO has successfully hosted last week’s “Finance in the Smart City” Conference on the Fraunhofer campus in Stuttgart. As one of the first events focusing on this specific topic, the conference brought together German and British Smart City experts, representatives of municipalities, financial service providers and insurance professionals as well as a wide range of private companies.


Smart data analysis for transport in Stuttgart

The overburdening of city transport systems is becoming an increasing challenge. But before cities can take concrete action, they need to gather precise traffic data.