Vehicles manufactured in Bremen have to find their way out into the wider world, and this is where Bremerhaven, Europe’s largest car park, comes in. Around 2.2 million vehicles are loaded, finished and transshipped here – and not just those made by Mercedes-Benz. Run by BLG Logistics, AutoTerminal has 18 berths for car carriers and provides room for 95,000 vehicles to be parked ready for import or export. Vehicles arriving from overseas are also finished on site. At Germany’s largest car workshop, based in the port area, around 500,000 imported vehicles are inspected, checked and finished every year.
The vehicles are loaded on to the car carriers in a magnificent feat of logistics organised by Tally Service Runge.
Research institutes and higher education
Bremen is well placed when it comes to finding talented young professionals. There is the University of Bremen, for example, one of the leading seats of learning in Germany’s science and research sector. And every year, thousands of students graduate from the Universities of Applied Sciences in Bremen and Bremerhaven, the Jacobs University and the University of the Arts.
The focus of research in Bremen is on materials and manufacturing technology, which greatly benefits the automotive sector. Leading lights in this field include the Bremen Institute for Production and Logistics (BIBA), the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Bremen Fibre Institute (FIBRE), the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM), the Leibniz Institute for Materials Engineering (IWT) and the Bremen Institute for Mechanical Engineering (BIME).
Research projects with an automotive focus are under way at the University of Bremen’s Center for Industrial Mathematics, for example. Its AO-Car project is using a test vehicle to conduct research into autonomous driving, which, thanks to a special permit, it is even allowed to do on public roads.
Daimler’s Innolab is also looking to the future. It is focusing on the workplace of tomorrow and on the question of how this major corporation can reinvent itself in the face of demographic change.
In the CERMcity project, the DFKI is trialling a vehicle that is designed to serve as a test platform for automated and networked driving. And finally, the Dreams4Cars project is attempting to teach cars to dream – or at least to combine elements of the real world into a simulated world in which autonomous vehicles can test their behaviour.
The EcoMaT Center for Ecoefficient Materials and Technologies has a key role to play as one of the largest science and research projects in Bremen. From 2019, 500 scientists will be driving forward the development of lightweight construction and materials technology for use in the aerospace, automotive and other sectors, and finding specific industrial applications for it.
Alongside the science and research initiatives presented above, the progress of electric vehicle technology is also influenced by local industry.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL, for example, has been built in Bremen since 2018. It runs on electricity and hydrogen, which it processes in a fuel cell. The SUV is Daimler’s first ever fuel cell vehicle, which the company is manufacturing on a small scale. Conveniently, there are two hydrogen filling stations in Bremen and in nearby Stuhr already.
Local public transport group BSAG is looking at electrifying its fleet of buses and already has the first test vehicles in operation. Bremen also participates in the GreenCharge programme, a €6 million EU project that is investigating the potential of using electric vehicles in urban public and goods transport. Bremen is one of the programme’s pilot regions.
Under construction - EcoMat is one of the largest scientific projects in Bremen
© WFB/Jonas Ginter