Research areas

Shared and Inter-modal urban mobility

Advances in networking, algorithmic optimization, and onboard vehicle technology are converging to bring about a revolution in urban mobility. Today’s mobility landscape is compartmentalized into distinct transportation modes, including private cars, taxis, bikes, mass transportation – categories that are poised to erode. The application of digital control systems will draw hyperlinks and reconfigurations, realizing sharable infrastructures and tightening the links between mobility systems.

To these ends, the Ambient Mobility Lab will engage in a three-phased approach. Phase 1 (Observe/analyze) will entail an aggregation and analysis of existing data sets to chart the characteristics of urban mobility at an unprecedented spatial and temporal granularity, but also collect new qualitative data on specific requirements of users/cities. Phase 2 (Respond/design) will respond to the insights generated in Phase 1 through the development of an intermodal sharing and optimization platform by creating sustainable mobility concepts. Finally, Phase 3 (Manage/implement) will see the practical management of the platform, as well as the design of urban applications – with the possibility of parallel open source development. New hardware and software systems will leverage the framework of the intermodal mobility platform to demonstrate and test smart mobility systems in urban space.

Energy and mobility systems

Of many future possibilities, electric systems (battery and fuel cell based) are currently the most promising means of significantly reducing vehicle emissions. However, widespread transition from gas to electric is predicated on the deployment of new charging infrastructure. There are a broad spectrum of associated challenges, including optimizing the locations of individual charging stations, satisfying massive vehicle energy demands with the existing power grid, and ascertaining the impact of charging strategies on driver behavior.

Ambient Mobility will investigate the symbiotic relationship between shared, intermodal mobility systems and the urban energy landscape, endeavoring to anticipate the impact of charging station networks, charging technology, driver’s behaviors, as well as vehicle and ride sharing on systemic energy consumption spatio-temporal patterns. Findings will inform the development of ‘smart hardware’ solutions, such as vehicle power train or new personal mobility systems – the technology of the Ambient Mobile City.

Innovative mobility system design

Autonomous and connected vehicles