Anyone who performs a Google search using the word "mobility" will receive approximately 43,600,000 results. Is mobility really that important to us? Well, if someone has broken the laws of our society, we put him behind bars. So we take mobility away from him. And if our worst punishment is the deprivation of mobility, then on the other hand a functioning mobility is probably an extremely important good and a basic human need.
The Latin term "mobilitas" means something like mobility, speed. But it also stands for changeability. Mobility is therefore a changeable process or even an evolutionary process. If we could predict the future, we would probably see a picture that we call Smart Mobility today. In other words, a mobility that is still comfortable, but much more tailored to individual needs, while remaining energy-efficient and intelligent. Smart, as you could put it. The mobile future is a mix of needs-based solutions for urban and rural areas.
Demographic change and the emigration of the younger generation from rural to urban areas mean that local public transport in these areas will be reduced to a minimum for financial reasons. In addition, shopping facilities and institutions are located in regional centers. As a result, senior citizens today are completely dependent on family, neighbors and public transportation.
We at the Institute of Automotive Engineering are working on exactly this topic, on individual solutions for the region of Trier, which has urban areas with narrow, historical buildings as well as vast rural areas at Mosel and Saar and in the Eifel region. Our goal is to turn rural areas into smart living spaces which are attractive for young people and thus make rural life worth living again. And where, perhaps one day, autonomous shuttles will make life easier for seniors and people with limited mobility and help them maintain their independence. Because mobility is the basic need of all of us.
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