The AIT Austrian Institute of Technology at the Transport Research Arena (TRA) in Vienna

The AIT presented groundbreaking innovative research and development projects in the field of mobility at Europe’s largest transport research conference.

With the TRA (Transport Research Arena), Europe’s largest transport research conference took place last week in Vienna, making it the European centre for mobility of the future. As co-organiser of the conference, the AIT brought the world’s best experts to the German capital on various topics. “As a member of the Programme Committee, AIT was responsible for the contents of TRA 2018, more than 90 sessions were organised in the areas of transport and mobility,” says Christian Chimani, Head of Center for Low-Emission Transport of AIT and Chair of the Programme Committee of Transport Research Arena 2018.

From 16 April, a total of more than 3,000 scientists and experts discussed and discussed the main topics of digitisation and decarbonisation of the transport system for four days. This year’s TRA 2018 has the motto: “A digital era for transport – solutions for society, economy and environment”. As Austria’s largest research and technology organisation, the AIT presented a large number of current projects – from the battery of the future, innovative rapid loading systems, new materials for vehicle construction, methods and technologies for improving road safety, to solutions for making mobility systems and freight transport even more efficient.

Decarbonisation of mobility

Decarbonization is one of the grand challenges of mobility. With its research work, the AIT makes an important contribution to curbing climate change in the future and to keeping the planet liveable for future generations. Projects in the field of e-mobility and energy are to make engine drives environmentally friendly, low-emission and at the same time efficient in the future. AIT’s research also optimises means of transport in a climate-friendly way. These include projects such as location planning for bike sharing systems or more efficient route planning in transport and fleet management. Another goal of the AIT researchers is the production of new materials. A breakthrough was achieved in this area with KryoAlu, for example, which can be processed at temperatures down to minus 150°C for the first time. This makes complex heating processes superfluous and represents a pioneering project worldwide.

The challenge of digitization

In the age of digitization, it is becoming increasingly important to adequately protect critical infrastructures. Global networking and technological progress are also opening up new possibilities for making transport systems even more efficient. In order to make full use of technical resources in the present and the future, the AIT is constantly researching forward-looking projects in these areas. AIT’s developments range from 5G wireless communication, which enables self-propelled cars to communicate with each other, digital monitoring of building dynamics or noise protection, to research and improvement of autonomous transport systems. With these innovations, AIT scientists are making an important contribution to the mobility of the future.

The mobility landscape of the future

Rapidly growing cities pose major challenges. The AIT also conducts research in the field of smart cities on urban development and urban mobility. The human dimension of urban design is also in the interest of the AIT’s research work, which is implemented, for example, with instruments of virtual reality. Furthermore, the Center for Innovation Systems & Policy in Austria as well as in European politics takes on an advisory function and is dedicated to current and future challenges in the field of mobility and transport.

Decentralized & environmentally friendly: Intel makes Bitcoin mining attractive

Intel plans to break the Bitcoin mining monopoly of Bitmain Technologies Ltd. in China. With a new process, bitcoin mining is not only intended to conserve resources, but also to become more profitable again for individuals.

In addition to the recurring lighting network, the leading crypto currency is repeatedly accused of consuming too much energy. Mainstream media talk about the energy monster Bitcoin. Bitcoin mining in particular is coming under fire here. In times of global warming, these are certainly questions to be answered. Moreover, especially if you have the vision of a decentralized payment system with which the cash flows are to become fairer. As things currently look, Intel has a solution to this problem up its sleeve.

Bitcoin mining is anything but decentralized at the moment. Bejing-based Bitmain Technologies Ltd. currently controls not only some of the largest mining pools. Above all, they produce mining hardware and the matching chips. In 2017, Bitmain Technologies Ltd. is said to have generated between three and four billion US dollars in profits from hardware, software and mining. Now the Californian company Intel apparently also wants to make a piece of the cake and bitcoin mining more profitable again for individuals.

Bitcoin mining to cost less space and energy in the future

Intel has filed a patent for this, with which they want to drastically reduce the space and energy required for bitcoin mining in the future. With increasing power consumption and falling bitcoin prices, mining became less and less profitable for individuals. If Intel’s new technology prevails, Bitcoin mining can become more profitable again, not only for individuals. Also, the monopoly currently held by a single company would slowly be broken up again. With the new technology, Intel promises to reduce power consumption by up to 35%. The “Bitcoin Mining Accelerator” technology should therefore be applicable to ASICs, SoCs, CPUs and FGPAs.

Intel’s approach is an important step in adapting reality back to the basic idea behind Bitcoin. Finally, Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper was about breaking monopolies. However, the status quo is currently moving in the opposite direction: both the mining of Bitcoin and its distribution on the stock markets is centralized and thus in the hands of the “big players”. But as soon as this monopoly breaks up again, Satoshi’s vision becomes more tangible again. Also the starting difficulties Bitcoin is still struggling with are slowly but surely solved. Just as the lighting network is facing the problem of scalability, bitcoin mining will also emancipate itself. Once this has been achieved, the mainstream adaptation is one less obstacle. These are ultimately the steps it currently takes to get Bitcoin and its competitors back on track. While the Lambo hype is currently flattening out, the crypto-ecosystem needs to grow up. Then we can really get started.