The future of personal mobility, the role of the car and the importance of digitization

Press release March 2017 /

On March 14 and 15, 2017, the Research Institute of Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines Stuttgart (FKFS) will host the Stuttgart International Symposium at the Haus der Wirtschaft in Stuttgart. More than 100 presentations covering automated driving, common rail fuel injection as a key technology in emissions-free driving in addition to the challenges and consequences presented by full digitization in the automotive industry will be held within the scope of the 17th Stuttgart International Symposium on automotive and engine technology.

Mobility means quality of life and social participation. It is part and parcel of the connected, modern world. Cars are a key element of personal mobility, which in future will change more substantially than ever before. But what form might personal mobility actually take? Will cars continue to feature a steering wheel and pedals? In future, will there be only one drivetrain concept or multiple alternatives?


Cars are becoming cyberphysical

The mechatronic car is state-of-the-art technology. It combines mechanical, electronic and IT elements. Vehicle components are increasingly being replaced by mechatronic components: electric instead of hydraulic power steering, iBoosters for hydraulic brake servos and hybrid drivetrains replacing the conventional Otto engine. The foundations for further innovations have therefore already been laid: digitization of driving functions and the networking of these in addition to electrifying the entire drivetrain. The next step in automotive development – both in terms of the car itself and manufacturing processes used – will bring us to concepts such as the cyberphysical car and cyberphysical manufacturing systems. Cars will become one element within a comprehensive system of mobility. New architectures for this and for the manufacturing system must therefore be developed.


The cars of tomorrow will be able to “see”, “understand” and “take action”

The requirements for the cars of tomorrow have been set in stone. Vehicles should be able to drive without human input and be connected with one another. In addition, they must also “see”, i.e. perceive and recognize their environment, for example via radar sensors. A further requirement is that the cars can reach the correct conclusions in interpreting the data acquired from this process. In other words, they must be able to “understand”. Finally, cars of tomorrow must be able to “take action” to safeguard passengers and the environment. It must decided when to brake, accelerate, stay in lane and take evasive action.

Automation and networking also present major challenges for electronics and software. In order to drive safely, the cars of tomorrow will require new nervous systems. This means brand new electrical/electronic architecture and expanded safety and security concepts.

There is still a long way to go before cars can reliably drive themselves. Additional presentations will focus on where we are now, where we would like to be and how critical the situation regarding the Otto engine is.


Drivetrain challenges

These days, the range of drivetrain systems consumers must choose between when buying a car is greater than ever before. In addition to purely electric and combustion engines, the growing hybrid range in all shapes and sizes reveals that the search for the ideal drivetrain system is still far from over. The further development potential of conventional drivetrain systems with common rail fuel injection, increasing the efficiency of Otto engines and a highly efficient emission control system for diesel engines also reveal that the combustion engine’s future is carbon-neutral.


You can register for this event by sending an E-Mail.

The agenda for the symposium can be found here:

Members of the press are invited to attend free of charge.


The Stuttgart International Symposium has been organized by the Research Institute of Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines Stuttgart (FKFS) since 1995. It is a platform for engineers to exchange ideas concerning innovative technical solutions and scientific knowledge. The aim of the event organizers is to provide a platform for discussion on several topics, from technology to the changing societal framework conditions for cars.

The Research Institute of Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines Stuttgart (FKFS) belongs to a select group of reputable German development service providers and cooperates closely with the Institute for Internal Combustion Engines and Automotive Engineering (IVK) at the University of Stuttgart. The FKFS employs over 150 highly qualified staff and operates numerous state-of-the-art testing facilities, including the highly modern vehicle wind tunnel, a driving simulator, engine test stands and a drivetrain test stand.