As in the fields of aviation and shipping, the land-systems research field is primarily concerned with the development of specific information and communications technology that supports the effective use or appropriate protection of mobile platforms on the roads, on the ground or on railways.
The Fraunhofer FKIE stands out when it comes to investigations with a high degree of real-world applicability and concepts for controlling self-driving systems. The integration of powerful sensors and intelligent algorithms enables land robots to carry out planned missions with a high degree of autonomy and even collaborate in networks, enabling them to support task forces with hazardous work, handle time-consuming routine tasks and transport loads. The Fraunhofer FKIE is one of the leading research institutions in Europe in this field and regularly achieves outstanding results in relevant performance benchmarks such as ELROB.
Another important area of work is user support in interaction with mobile systems and their functional components. In this research field, we develop, for instance, innovative operating concepts for commercial vehicles and integrate optical sensors into armored vehicles to improve visibility. The physiological and psychological aspects of a continuous workload or a stressful situation also have to be taken into account. In this context, the use of advanced technologies, such as virtual or augmented reality as part of the personal equipment of deployed forces, is another research area of key importance for military and civilian operational environments.
Land-based systems and their associated transport infrastructures must be protected against physical attacks. To this end, FKIE scientists are investigating the operation of hybrid sensor networks for hazard detection. In a military context, key applications are fire-detection and improvised explosive device suppression.