KTT and Seminars

SCCER Mobility Seminar: Challenges of Energy-Saving Automatic Train Operation by Maximal Usage of Regenerating Brakes in Japanese Urban Railways

7 December 2017, 4.15 pm at ETH Zürich, LEE D 105

Prof. Takafumi Koseki, Electrical Engineering Dept., University of Tokyo

Prof. Koseki, who started collaborating with Swiss scientists in 1994, shared insights in the field of scheduling and automatic train operation technology to optimize train energy efficiency. In his research effort, energy-saving running profiles are calculated with the goal of keeping the traveling time constant along with maximizing the use of coasting at high speed and power limiting regenerating brakes. If track profiles are complicated, there is no straightforward way to find the energy-saving running profile. To solve this, Prof. Koseki’s group applies mathematical approaches like parametric control-input optimization and dynamic programming. In the presented experimental case study at a linear metro line in Japan, an energy-saving effect of more than 16 % was achieved in 2015. These results and experiences show technical feasibility of the proposed approach and the challenges that need to be solved for further improvement.

program flyerpresentation

Autonomous Driving

31 January 2017, 1.30 pm at ETH Zürich, Audi Max

Autonomous driving is a topic of increasing importance for society in general and for the transport industry in particular. Semi-autonomous systems are already on the market and fully automated vehicles will most likely drive on our streets in the forthcoming decades. Driverless vehicles are expected to make private travel more convenient and to lower the cost of freight transport. In addition, due to a more efficient mode of operation autonomous cars or trucks are supposed to make transport and mobility more energy efficient and less carbon intensive. However, an unprecedented increase in road traffic volume may easily neutralize potential efficiency gains. 

Eleven speakers from industry, academia and public administration covered a wide range of topics: cutting-edge academic research in the field of robotics and control algorithms, product development and user experience in pilot tests, or how the introduction of autonomous driving – and the new Mobility-as-a-Service business associated to it –impacts industry and travel behavior. The conference made clear that the automotive industry, as well as the academic community, are investigating and testing the technology considering evolutionary developments (progressive automatization) and revolutionary development (fully automated vehicles) despite the huge uncertainties still associated with the new technologies. Other challenges identified by the speakers include questions of liability and their consequences for the insurance industry, implications for the logistics business, impacts on public transport or how these insecurities affect governmental institutions that eventually have to regulate autonomous driving. The last section addressed implications for the environment, in particular traffic volume, energy demand and CO2emission, and revealed a wide range of potential scenarios. It turned out that the degree to which autonomous driving develops hand in hand with increased car or ride sharing will be crucial for the technologies’ environmental consequences.

The conference attracted a wide interest with over 250 participants from industry, academia and governmental bodies. The event, which was co-organized by SCCER Mobility, is the forth in a series of public symposia hosted by a consortium of researchers at ETH Zürich, Empa, inspire AG and H2energy.

program − presentations and more photos

SCCER Mobility Seminar: The electric Vehicle is here (again) - and why it might stay this time!

24 May 2016, 5.15 pm at ETH Zürich, HG E 5

Prof. Dr. Andrea Vezzini, Bern University of Applied Sciences
Head of the BFH-CSEM Energy Storage Research Center

Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Boulouchos, ETH Zürich
Head of the Aerothermochemistry and Combustion Systems Laboratory

The current momentum in the electrification of the traditional drivetrain in passenger cars as well as the growing number of pure electric driven vehicles fuels hope for a transition towards a more sustainable mobility. Unfortunately, the advent of electric vehicles has been announced before and failed on its promises. We have therefore to ask ourselves what is different this time, especially what progress has been made or can be expected in the near future to justify this new hype? The first presentation will focus on key technological innovations made in the last years as well as what can be expected in the field of electrical machines, power electronics and batteries.
The perspectives for an increasing electrification of the transport sector are influenced by recent technology advancements on hand but have also implications for the supply side of the required electricity. We will therefore in the second presentation briefly examine systemic implications of transport electrification through battery electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technologies and possible paths to be taken with emphasis on Switzerland.

Together with the seminar,the AMZ race cars were exhibited, this exhibition was organized by the ETH Formula Student Project.


SCCER Mobility Seminar: Need for and Patterns of the Adoption of Disruptive Transportation Technologies

17 November 2015, 2.15 pm at ETH Zürich, LEE E 308

Prof. Dr. Andreas W. Schäfer, University College London

This seminar consists of three parts. It starts with an update of the most recent trends in global passenger travel and projects future US mobility levels through 2100 for different scenarios of consumer behavior, technology change, and transport policy. In the absence of radical consumer change, this part concludes a continuous growth in travel demand, especially in air travel. In a next step, the opportunities for and costs of reducing CO2 emissions from passenger aircraft, the fastest growing transport mode, are discussed. Although significant cost-effective fuel burn and CO2 emission reduction potentials are identified, they likely continue to be outpaced by future demand growth. A number of potentially disruptive transportation technologies already exist or may become available in the near future. To better understand the conditions under which they could be adopted on a large scale, the final part of this seminar presents initial results from a study examining the adoption characteristics of past disruptive transportation technologies.

Andreas W. Schäfer is a Professor of Energy and Transport at the UCL Energy Institute, University College London, and a Visiting Professor at the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University. His publications cover the demand for and supply characteristics of energy and transportation systems. In addition to peer review journals, his work was published in popular science magazines, such as Scientific American. He is lead-author of “Transportation in a Climate-Constrained World”, MIT Press (June 2009). Prior to joining the UCL Energy Institute, he held appointments at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Cambridge, and Stanford University. He holds a MSc in Aerospace Engineering and a PhD in Energy Economics, both from the University of Stuttgart, Germany.  


Academia-Industry Dialogue: Energy Storage on Locomotives and the Railway System

1st October 2015 at ETH Zürich

The first Academia–Industry Dialog has been very successful. All members of Capacity Area A1 (e-mobility batteries) and members of Capacity Area B1 were able to meet the most important representatives of the Swiss railway companies. Visitors even came from abroad (Mannheim, Bombardier) und numerous representatives of SBB were present. The following people have attended the dialog:

- Christian Gerster, Head of Products & Engineering, Propulsion & Controls at Bombardier Transportation
- Christian Köbel, Director Primove Product Management
- Urs Bikle, Member of the Board at Stadler Rail AG, Bussnang
- Markus Häusermann, Division Manager, Project House at Siemens

The following two very important results have emerged for SCCER CA A1 from the discussion:

- Opportunities for energy storage in the track material lie mainly in diesel electric locomotives. Bombardier, in particular, is a pioneer in this field.

- Autonomous driving is an almost more important subject in railway transportation than on the road. All systems (security) are actually available and the benefit (energy) is quantifiable. SCCER together with SBB could be playing a leading role here.

- Autonomous driving on the road is a threat to the public transportation business case as the road is getting more and more resource (time) and energy efficient on the one hand and independence in terms of time makes it extremely attractive on the other hand.

- Energy efficiency and public transportation is also an issue with regard to the provision of energy. Accordingly, losses in the net play a major role. If transportation losses are high, storage, e.g. at the side of the tracks, plays an increasing role. This should be investigated (Weidmann).

program - participant list - presentations (for SCCER Mobility members only)

Innovation Roadmap Workshop

21 August 2014 and 19 September 2014, ETH Zürich

The goal of the two-day workshop was to define a common vision for the SCCER-Mobility, develop an overarching roadmap and initiate the discussion between our Capacity Areas.

As a result of the workshop we developed a methodology, launched interesting group discussions and compiled a list of needed interactions between the Capacity Areas. We identified key factors for the success of our Competence Center and draw up a guide of further research effort.

For documentation of the workshop please consult the Intranet (SCCER Mobility members only). For other information please contact
Dr. Gloria Romera, Program Manager at SCCER Mobility: gloria.romera@sccer.ethz.ch, 044 633 80 06.