CERM – Center for European Research on Mobility




Considering future automated and connected transport systems, researching optimized information and communication technology is vital. Despite their global spread, the use of communication and networking standards to solve the core challenges of sustainable mobility has so far been limited. In this context, the profile sector Mobility & Transport Engineering has defined the increase of transport safety, transport efficiency, energy efficiency, and urban quality of life the as the central areas of research. The CERM – Center for European Research on Mobility is a strategic building block for RWTH Aachen University’s research on future mobility.

For this purpose, the Aldenhoven Testing Center (ATC) presents the ideal starting position for researching intermodal transport as it offers existing infrastructural elements including a simulator of the new European navigation satellite system Galileo. The current infrastructure also includes an oval and a handling track as well as an all-weather track, a braking track, and an uphill track. The expansion of the facility is meant to create a modular testing environment for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. In order to do so, suitable communication technology including today’s radio standards is being constructed. Additionally, a modular intersection model kit with a number of building, vehicle, and pedestrian dummies is being created and traffic lights are being installed so as to allow for a realistic analysis of urban areas.


Aims of the project

A modular research environment for the development and assessment of vehicle systems based on vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication will be created at the Aldenhoven Testing Center. By creating CERM, the profile sector Mobility & Transport Engineering aims to make a significant scientific contribution to the research and design of future sustainable mobility. In order to do so, research infrastructure will be created in Aldenhoven which will connect the structural compilation, analysis, and abstraction of mobility and transport in Europe.

The objective of the project is to create a multi-scale, multi-modal transport and mobility simulation as a basis for extrapolating the impact of the explored technologies to large transport areas within and outside of Europe. In the testing environment, a model kit allowing a flexible depiction of connected intermodal transport and mobility scenarios will be implemented. On this basis, new technologies for the communication between vehicles, pedestrians and other road users, and objects can then be researched, and concepts can be validated experimentally.

CERM offers scientists from many different disciplines the opportunity for a wide range of research projects. In addition to research on measures to increase transport safety, urban quality of life, and energy and transport efficiency, possible business models and user acceptance can also be explored.


Project structure

Project CERM is headed by the Institute for Automotive Engineering (ika) in cooperation with the Institute of Urban and Transport Planning (ISB) and other project partners and institutes at RWTH Aachen University. It is its interdisciplinary orientation that gives the profile sector Mobility & Transport Engineering its unique potential by bringing together CERM researchers of numerous faculties. The project is being funded for a period of four years by the Strategy Fund of RWTH Aachen University.

The project is subdivided into three phases, the first of which is to define the demands towards it. In the second phase, Conception and Implementation, test scenarios and evaluation methods will be implemented. In the final step, the networking and communication potential will be investigated with exemplary scientific research questions. The ISB is heading the work package “Traffic Flow Simulations and Data Structures” aiming to create a suitable simulation environment connected to communication technology.

Following the funding period, the project will be transferred to a CERM i-Cube which will then take over all operative tasks. At the same time, broadcasting the infrastructure’s public image for third-party use and project proposals will be initiated.



The project is being funded by the Strategy Fund of RWTH Aachen University.


Project duration

January 2014 – December 2017


Project partners

Institute for Automotive Engineering (project management)

Institute of Control Engineering

Chair of Communication Technologies and Embedded Systems

Department of Rail Vehicles and Materials-Handling Technology

Institute of High-Frequency Technology

Computer Science 11

Chair of Communication Science


Contacts at the ISB

Dr.-Ing. Andreas Witte

Dipl.-Ing. Miriam Geulen