Mobility options in cities are becoming more and more diverse. People go by foot, bike, or e-bike, take buses, trams, or trains, drive their own cars, and in the future, will even travel in driverless cars. There are also new options for flight: in conurbations, autonomous flying taxis or drones could transport people or time-critical goods and medications.
The project partners will be working together up until the end of 2021 to develop various especially energy-efficient components that can collect and process data from the surroundings of vehicles and aircraft. These include surround sensors such as cameras and lidar or radar sensors, as well as microprocessors for processing data. The electronics translate the collected data into commands for downstream components – for example, braking or steering a car or controlling the propulsion of a flying taxi. Development in the OCEAN12 project is based primarily on Fully Depleted Silicon on Insulator (FD-SOI) technology from the OCEAN12 project partner GlobalFoundries. This method of semiconductor production involves adding an ultrathin layer of the insulator to reduce what is called leakage currents, resulting in lower energy consumption and higher computing speed. Based on this technology, the research alliance partners can subsequently develop components that offer an optimum combination of maximum energy efficiency with advanced computing power. “The OCEAN12 project’s objective is to ensure that new sensor systems for future mobility concepts consume up to 90 percent less power than today’s systems,” says Dr. Tilman Glökler from Bosch, coordinator of the German OCEAN12 consortium.
Funding for the OCEAN12 project (worth 103.58 million euros) comes from the European Union and national organizations. In Germany, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the state of Saxony provide financial support. Together, all the sponsors will contribute some 48 million euros over the course of the project from mid-2018 to the end of 2021. The German consortium includes Airbus, Audi, Bosch, and GlobalFoundries as well as numerous SMEs, research institutes, and universities.