Virtual Vehicle

Smart Mobility from Graz: Connected and automated driving with a green heart

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The development in the automotive industry is taking big steps towards connection and automation: the car should bring us safely, relaxed and efficiently to our destination.  At the press conference VIRTUAL VEHICLE presented a number of innovative technologies, such as a "virtual driving licence" for an automated chauffeur or a guaranteed green light wave. Together with local and international research partners VIRTUAL VEHICLE is working ambitiously to ensure that the highly automated vehicle hits the road.

The EU has the objective to strengthen and push ahead the connected, cooperative and automated vehicle technologies in order to achieve a high local value. Also in Austria, a research roadmap was drawn up on these topics, which was presented by Dr. Michael Paulweber (AVL) in an introductory presentation.This roadmap should help to ensure that the Austrian success story of the industry and research institutions as partner of the global automotive industry continues and, furthermore,  achieve specific solutions for connected and automated driving.
The only thing the Styrian technology enterprises lack is a test region for autonomous driving on the doorstep. Dr. Christian Buchmann, Styrian Minister for Economic Affairs, sees major growth opportunities for Styria in automated driving and pointed out the very high R&D -rate of the country, technologically strong companies and research institutions like VIRTUAL VEHICLE.
Graz University Rector Harald Kainz, who is chairman of the board as well as the chairman of the General Meeting emphasized the relevance of the research topics of VIRTUAL VEHICLE. And in addition its role as an excellent, significant flagship among domestic competence centres for the scientific and business location Austria.
As a representative of the industrial partners of VIRTUAL VEHICLE, DI Stefan Rohringer, Head of the Development Center Graz, Infineon Technologies AG, was guest at the podium. He underlined the highly successful collaboration between Infineon and the VIRTUAL VEHICLE in the scope of a number of EU projects such as EMC2, loSense, AURIX or TOF as an example of requests from the autonomous driving.
Hermann Steffan, scientific director of the VIRTUAL VEHICLE and CEO Jost Bernasch presented the current research topics in the field of highly automated driving as well as the future strategic orientation of the research centre:

  • Safe & Secure Mobility with the topics Integrated Safety, Automated Driving as well as connectivity and cooperation;

  • Comfortable Mobility focusing on noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), thermal comfort and driver assistance systems;

  • Green Mobility with overall energy management, electrified drivetrain and energy storage (battery);

  • Efficient Development & Production with a view to the overall vehicle as well as the integration of all technical disciplines, consistency and traceability in the development as well as the human modelling and the human-machine interfaces (HMI):

  • Rail system builds on the successful work in the field of rail and develops solutions for safe, environmentally friendly and cost-efficient rail driving vehicles, sustainable and reliable infrastructure and examines the interaction of vehicle, route and infrastructure in a overall, systematic approach.

In the light of the forthcoming application for a repeated funding under the COMET K2-excellence program, the VIRTUAL VEHICLE has an excellent strategic position. The broad support of partners from science and industry shows that the Excellence Centre continues to be on the right track.

Das Forschungszentrum im Überblick

  • Employees: 204 (2016)

  • Operating performance 2015: 20,3 million Euro

  • Order backlog: 21 million Euro

  • Options on projects:

    (I) EUR 28 million (2016)

    (II) EUR 76 million (incl. K2 follow-up application 48 million)

  • Volume funded non-K-projects: further increase of ~ 30% compared to the previous year