Autonomous buses, electromobility, intelligent traffic management solutions and individualized door-to-door transport for each individual - what used to only exist in science fiction films is increasingly becoming established in our traffic, on the road, rail and right up to the last mile. Scientists and engineers around the world are working intensively on innovative solutions to transform the way we get around. Various departments and institutions are working hand in hand, such as the cooperation between the University of Magdeburg and Nahverkehrsservice Sachsen-Anhalt GmbH and other partners.
"A close link between research and practice is necessary and, above all, fruitful in order to overcome the many challenges in the field of mobility, such as the demographic structure in Saxony-Anhalt as a territorial state, the traffic turnaround or climate change," says Prof. Andreas Wendemuth from the Institute for Information and Communication Technology at the University of Magdeburg. The resulting network initiative "Intelligent Mobility Saxony-Anhalt", NIIMO for short, has set itself the goal of increasing the attractiveness of local public transport in the city and especially in rural areas. However, as different target groups have different expectations and approaches to solutions, the initiative has now launched a student ideas competition.
Ideas from students wanted
Sebastian Schmermbeck from NASA GmbH says: "Young people and especially students are mobile, they experience mobility every day in different facets and they see what works well and what doesn't work well. They also have clear ideas about how the mobility of the future should be."
The competition is aimed at all students and is looking for clever and innovative ideas to improve public transportation in Magdeburg and Saxony-Anhalt. This does not have to be expensive new technologies or multi-million euro investments. Sometimes even small changes can can have a significant impact.
The University of Magdeburg is researching new forms of transportation, such as an autonomous cargo bike (Photo: Hannah Theile / University of Magdeburg)
"The student ideas competition offers students an exciting opportunity to contribute their creative ideas and innovative approaches in order to find solutions to current challenges in the field of mobility and thus actively shape the future of mobility. At the same time, it highlights the innovative potential of Magdeburg as a university location," says Prof. Dr. Andreas Wendemuth, spokesperson for the NIIMO cooperation.
Conditions of participation
There are three different categories in the competition, which can focus on different topics such as local public transport, accessibility, mobility transition or fair transport. Entries can be submitted in the categories rural area, urban area and suburban area and must meet certain criteria in order to be evaluated by a jury.
The best ideas will be awarded prize money of up to 1,500 euros. Interested parties can submit their ideas until January 31, 2024 via the digital learning platform Moodle.
"Perhaps the ideas we receive are so promising that they can actually be realized in the form of a project," says Sebastian Schmermbeck. If the competition meets with great interest, it could conceivably be extended to other university locations in Saxony-Anhalt.