This is a joint Indo-German collaborative research center to study the future transportation system in Indian cities. The initial project coordinators are Technical University of Munich (TUM) from Germany and Indian Institute of Technology - Kharagpur (IIT-Kgp) from the Indian side. The center will initially be physically located at IIT-Kgp with a possibility of setting up a counterpart in Germany later. The center will also involve other academic and industry partners from both India and Germany.
In general the research goals of this center can be broadly classified into the following three categories.
The Indian mobility landscape has a rich milieu of options in many cities – public buses, trams, underground trains, suburban trains, taxis and shared car services, boat services on a river, three-wheelers or auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws. However, in spite of this rich variety of options, individual journeys suffer from unpredictable waiting and travel times and public transportation services tend to be uncomfortable. As a result of this, there has been a dramatic increase in the usage of private cars in India over the last 10 years, severely congesting the roads and significantly impacting the air quality. Our research on future transportation solutions will take a holistic view of the different options available and develop integrated end-to-end solutions. Moreover, the very high smartphone penetration in India will be exploited to provide dynamic and integrated transportation options for the passengers at real-time.
The number of German cars and buses on Indian roads has continuously increased over the past years. However, Indian road and traffic conditions significantly differ from that of Germany and therefore cars that are specifically designed for Germany are not suitable for India. Many German entry-level small cars in India failed crash tests and are given zero stars for adult protection. By contrast, their German equivalents achieved a five-star rating when tested for European conditions. Moreover, development of low-cost automotive technology is an important part of Indian automotive market. Therefore, for Germany to be a leader in the Indian automotive market it is important to develop India-specific automotive technologies considering the specific traffic and road conditions.
Nowadays, software-intensive systems constitute 70-90% of the innovation in modern cars. This shift in innovation from mechanical engineering to electronics, and mostly software, in the automotive domain is predicted to continue in the future as technologies such as electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles continue to mature. While India has developed into a major software engineering hub during the past years, there are considerable differences between, e.g., business, banking and financial software, where India has a leadership position, and software for technical systems such as cars. While there are very strong business cases for partnerships between German automotive companies (both OEMs and suppliers) and Indian software firms, and a considerable volume of automotive software development is already happening in India, there are significant advantages of more closely cooperating in this area in order to mutually benefit from the complementary expertise of the two countries.
Technical University of Munich
Indian Institute of Technology - Kharagpur