Model municipalities for resilient and sustainable urban mobility (primarily from the lignite mining areas) are being sought.

Is resilient and sustainable transport possible in the future despite the challenges posed by pandemics, climate and structural change? The MOTUS research project is dedicated to this question. Over the next three years, it will investigate what measures municipalities can take to make their urban transport system sustainable and resilient even when disruptive events occur.

At the end of the project, a simulation platform should exist that enables municipal decision-makers, for example, to play out various disruptive scenarios for their transport system (urban space) and derive suitable countermeasures. Because only those who understand their transport system holistically can make a targeted contribution to achieving the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, in particular the demand for safe, resilient and sustainable cities. MOTUS is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) as part of the mFUND innovation initiative with a total of around 800,000 euros.

Disruptive events change behaviour

Corona is demonstrably turning everyday life and thus the mobility behaviour of many people upside down: Familiar routes are being dropped and more suitable alternatives are being sought for hitherto tried and tested means of transport. It is therefore not surprising that, for example, the first supply bottlenecks are occurring for new bicycles and that municipalities have introduced pop-up cycling paths at short notice. But the car has also come back into focus for many road users in these times due to the low risk of contagion.

Changes in mobility behaviour lead to changes in traffic flows. These are directly related to road safety and eco-balance, although the exact interactions are still unexplored. What is certain, however, is that urban transport systems will not only have to cope with such changes at present, but in all likelihood even more frequently in the future. In addition, challenges arise from climate change-related scenarios, such as those observed to a very extreme extent in the Ahr valley this year, and from structural change-related scenarios in the lignite mining areas. MOTUS aims to find initial answers to these challenges by developing a catalogue of measures to help municipal decision-makers make their own transport system sustainable and resilient.

Model municipalities wanted: Applications now open!

The simulation platform developed in MOTUS and the catalogue of measures derived from it are to be based on a wide variety of traffic data: Be it mobile phone, drone, detector, accident or survey data from urban traffic systems. Not only newly collected data sets will be used, but also data sets that were already collected before and during the Corona pandemic. Since MOTUS is explicitly aimed at municipal decision-makers, two selected model municipalities are to be included in the development from the outset and thus be able to benefit directly from the research results. If you are interested in becoming a "model municipality", municipal decision-makers can now contact the MOTUS consortium. Preference is given to municipalities from the lignite mining areas with an urban transport system and the willingness to make transport data available for research purposes.

About the BMVI's mFUND

As part of the mFUND innovation initiative, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has been funding data-based research and development projects for digital and networked mobility 4.0 since 2016. Project funding is supplemented by active professional networking between stakeholders from politics, business, administration and research and by making open data available on the mCLOUD portal. Further information can be found at:

MOTUS - Project partner

Interdisciplinary consortium reflects the diversity of transport modes: MOTUS is backed by the TU Dresden and the University of Kassel, two research-intensive institutions with a total of four professorships involved: the Chair of Traffic Control and Process Automation, the Chair of Transport Ecology and the Chair of Automobile Engineering at the "Friedrich List" Faculty of Transport Sciences at TU Dresden and the Chair of Cycling and Local Mobility at the University of Kassel. The interdisciplinary project consortium is complemented by the SME "Teralytics", which already carried out extensive and meaningful evaluations of mobile phone data for the Robert Koch Institute during the Corona pandemic.

MOTUS - Contact at TU Dresden

Dipl.-Ing. Maximilian Bäumler
Chair of Automobile Engineering
“Friedrich List” Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, TU Dresden

As part of the mFUND innovation initiative, MOTUS is being funded with

800,000 euros

by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).