Verkehr-SuTra: Technologies for Sustainable Transportation

Duration: 2019-2023

Verkehr-SuTra is a part of the DAAD program “A New Passage to India – Deutsch-Indische Hochschulkooperationen (German-Indian Higher Education Co-operations)”. Technologies for Sustainable Transportation. TUM cooperation partner for this project is the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IITKGP)


“Verkehr” is the German word for traffic, and in this project, it refers to traffic congestion and the resulting environmental concerns in India. “Sutra,” on the other hand, is a Sanskrit word referring to the religious texts containing teachings on various aspects of life like arts, law, or social ethics. In the context of this project, SuTra, in addition to the reference on Sustainable Transportation, also refers to the principles that should be developed and taught to young students and researchers for enabling sustainable transportation in the future. Combining the German and an Indian word stresses the importance of an Indo-German collaboration in this topic. 

The Indian mobility landscape has a rich milieu of options in many cities, including buses, trams, underground trains, suburban trains, taxis, three-wheel auto rickshaws. However, despite this wide variety of options, individual journeys in India suffer from unpredictable waiting and travel times, and public transportation services generally tend to be uncomfortable. Therefore, future sustainable transportation solutions in India have to take a holistic view of the various options available and study integrated end-to-end solutions with new emerging technologies to make public transportation more usable. In addition to public transportation, there is a strong push from the Indian Government to adopt electromobility in several transportation solutions, including public buses, taxis, and three-wheel auto rickshaws. However, wider adoption of electrified transportation solutions will require cost-effective and more reliable Electric Vehicles (EVs), charging stations that are sustainable and suitable for India, suitable adaptations in the electric grid, and mechanisms for the recycling and disposal of retired electric batteries. Finally, Germany has a massive automotive industry that now considers India to be an important and growing market. This has significantly increased the number of German cars on Indian roads, and also a variety of German automotive components (from companies like Bosch or Continental) are used in Indian cars. However, many German cars and their features are not suitable for the unique Indian characteristics such as road conditions, pedestrian behaviors, weather, driving, and servicing patterns, which necessitates the requirement for developing India-specific solutions.

Mission and Objectives

  • Developing India-specific transportation solutions will require long-term close collaboration between German and Indian scientists and engineers.
  • This project aims to enable this at an early stage by training Master’s, Doctoral, and Post-doctoral candidates on sustainable transportation solutions that combine India’s unique requirements and constraints with German engineering technologies.
  • Training German students on India-specific transportation issues early on, they will gain insights that will be useful when these students are later employed in German companies who intend to develop vehicles and solutions targeting the Indian market.
  • Students and researchers from India will get a better understanding of German engineering and technology, which will be helpful if they are employed by German companies that have extensive operations in India, especially in the transportation segment.
  • This training mechanism is supported by involving people exchange between the two countries at Master’s, Doctoral, and Post-doctoral levels through the DAAD funding for different periods. 

Research topics

  • Future Modular Battery Systems for Electric Vehicles
  • Second-life Use of Electric Vehicle Battery Packs
  • Smartphone-based Vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANETs)

Open theses topics are now available, offering students a stipend for up to four months, starting October 2021, and until January 2022. Read more about it here.

External Links

For more information regarding the project: 'A New Passage to India'