Project funded by the German Ministry of Transport relies on IOTA

  • The IOTA Tangle will be used as part of the project “Automated and connected driving in logistics at the Friedrichshafen test site”.
  • While details about the use of IOTA are not yet officially known, the Tangle could possibly serve for the tamper-proofing of the data of the “intelligent delineator”.

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As the IOTA Foundation announced via Twitter, the Tangle has gained another potentially huge use case with ALFRIED. The acronym stands for “Automated and Connected Driving in Logistics at the Friedrichshafen Test Site” and includes a German consortium of 11 project partners who have joined forces until the end of June 2023 to use Automated and Connected Driving (ACD) to optimize the increasing inner-city goods and factory traffic by trucks as part of the project.

The goal of ALFRIED is to develop a comprehensive mobility system to reduce the transport of goods between company locations. The system is expected to save trips, reduce emissions and ease traffic congestion in cities. The city of Friedrichshafen is an associated partner in the project. It is also funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) with over 11 million euros.

The ETO Group will play a central role in the project. In a press release yesterday, the company announced that it will develop traffic infrastructure sensors for ALFRIED. Referring to this announcement, IOTA Foundation revealed that it is part of the project. However, no details about the exact use of the IOTA Tangle have been revealed yet. Via Twitter yesterday, the IOTA Foundation simply wrote:

We’re incredibly excited to see #IOTA be used as the #DLT protocol in another real-world project. Funded by the German Ministry of Transportation @BMVi with a 11m€ grant, @ETOGruppe is creating smart traffic infrastructure for safe autonomous driving.

What is ALFRIED?

According to the ETO Group press release, the consortium aims to improve traffic flow in the logistics sector. “The increase in truck traffic and the comparatively slow adaptation of the infrastructure are often reasons for traffic obstructions, congestion and accidents,” which is why the consortium of 11 project partners from industry, universities and research institutions wants to find solutions.

Project partners from industry are ETO GRUPPE Beteiligungen GmbH (Stockach), IHSE GmbH (Oberteuringen), IMST GmbH (Kamp-Lintfort), Netwake Vision e. K. (Überlingen), TWT GmbH (Stuttgart), Voltra Solutions GmbH (Langenargen) and ZF Friedrichshafen AG (Friedrichshafen). Participating research institutions and universities include project coordinator IWT Wirtschaft und Technik GmbH (Friedrichshafen), the Institute of Transportation Systems Engineering of the German Aerospace Center e. V. (Braunschweig), the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University Ravensburg (Friedrichshafen Technology Campus) and Hahn-Schickard Society for Applied Research e. V. (Villingen-Schwenningen).

The central venue for the project will be the “Friedrichshafen test field”. Initially, the new “infrastructure components, systems and concepts” will be tested in a demonstration environment. Subsequently, tests will be carried out in real traffic on a plant traffic route at the digital test site in Friedrichshafen.

In a first step, journeys are made between the plants. The trucks will be equipped with special sensor technology for this purpose in order to obtain more information about trips, disruptions due to traffic congestions, weather or similar. Initially, the citizens of Friedrichshafen will not notice any of this.

However, the declared long-term goal of the project is to minimize journeys between plants via newly developed infrastructure components and data integration. The ACD solutions tested in this way will then in turn be transferable to other use cases, such as intercity transport, city logistics and future autonomous driving.

Where does IOTA fit into the project?

An indication of the role of the IOTA Tangle in the project is provided by the following statement. According to this, the Tangle could be used as part of the “intelligent delineator” sub-project, which is intended to store and forward data in a tamper-proof manner:

The intelligent delineator is to be operated energy-autonomously by means of energy harvesting and uses various sensors and data processing to identify potential hazards and provide tamper-proof information on them. The integrated sensor box contains sensors for traffic flow, weather and vehicle classification, hardware condition monitoring, energy harvesting modules and a communication unit for ACD. In addition, depending on the application, a high-precision positioning unit can be added to help easily master even difficult driving situations, such as construction sites or road constrictions.

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