University Duisburg-Essen

Located in the heart of the Ruhr metropolis, the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) is one of the youngest and largest universities in Germany. The courses range from the humanities and social sciences over economics and business studies all the way to the engineering sciences and natural sciences (including medicine). It's also wellknown in the international scientific community.

This is reflected by the top positions the UDE has recently achieved in international rankings. In a global comparison of the performance of the best universities founded since the turn of the millennium, the UDE came in third. In the Times Higher Education Ranking, it holds down 19th place among the best 150 universities worldwide younger than 50 years old.

Chair of General Business Administration and International Automotive Management

The chair is focused on research in the automotive industry, especially regarding emerging markets and the ongoing switch to electric mobility. Case studies concerning payment willingness and general acceptance of electric vehicles were made. Further, an assessment regarding demographic changes were performed. For ALFASY, the chair is performing the following:

  1. General project coordination
  2. An assessment of the payment willingness and acceptance of the technology
    • Derive of economical requirements for age appropriate driving assistance systems
    • Assessment of payment willingness and acceptance of already available driving assistance systems
    • Deriving of recommendations for OEMs and the automotive supply industry regarding the correct implementation of age appropriate assistance systems, in terms of additional cost and performance

The expectations are to not only deliver real-world results in terms of customer acceptance and payment willingness, but to assess scientific studies regarding the buying behavior of senior drivers.

Chair of Mechatronics

The Chair of Mechatronics has multiple years of experience regarding modelling and simulating vehicle dynamics. Currently, projects are being performed in close relation to the car industry which require the use of a driving simulator (DRIVEASSIST): The development of a new type of driving assistance system, which support the driver in terms of lane guidance. Simultaneously, the driving simulator gets used in a study concerning the information displayed to the driver of an electric vehicle. DRIVEASSIST is capable of performing Hardware-in-the-Loop-Tests, which can be used in a real-time simulation. Currently, electric powertrains and accumulators are being tested under realistic circumstances.

ALFASY requires special attention to the trial observation (biometrics, assessment of video data) due to the advanced age of the test subjects.

Chair of General Psychology: Cognition

Our research focusses on cognitive and emotive processes underlying decision-making behavior. We aim to understand the processes and mechanisms predicting functional and dysfunctional decision making. For our experimental studies we use, among other instruments, neuropsychological decision-making tasks as well as physiological methods of measurement, such as functional brain imaging. Changes in decision making in regards to age-related degenerations are also a part of our research (Mild Cognitive Impairment).

Regarding ALFASY, we deliver the expertise outlined above. Test subjects of every age group are being tested in great detail concerning their cognitive and neuropsychological status (partially to prevent the inclusion of test subjects suffering from dementia). We also create a baseline for their neurological performance (general awareness, problem solving, memory performance).

Whilst the test subject is undergoing the test in the driving simulator, we gather data regarding psychological (subjective feelings of stress, feeling of safety) and physiological (biological stress reactions) reactions. This allows for the assessment of the causal mechanism of actions of each part of the driving assistance system and a deeper understanding of the interactions between cognitive status of a test subject and certain parts of the driving assistance system.

Over the whole span of the ALFASY study we deliver methodical and content-related know-how. We perform the required psychological and physiological tests and systematically analyze the produced data. From a psychological point of view, we not only expect real-world based results regarding driving assistance, but also conclusions on a basic research layer (i.e. decision making in advanced ages).


Ford Werke GmbH is hosting the only R&D Center outside of the US in Aachen, Germany – the Ford Research & Innovation Center Aachen. A team, consisting of more than 200 experts is focusing on applied research concerning multiple areas of car technology development. The “Vehicle Interior Technologies” team is supporting ALFASY, especially regarding the Human-Machine Interface. Ford is taking the view of an OEM. In addition, Ford builds the prototypes for the driving assistance system and will be implementing those into a real test vehicle for the final test stage.

Go to Ford

HEAD acoustics

HEAD acoustics GmbH in Herzogenrath near Aachen, Germany, is one of the world’s leading companies for integrated acoustics solutions as well as sound and vibration analysis. In the telecommunications industry, the company is receiving global accolades for its expertise and its pioneering role in the development of hardware and software for measuring, analyzing, and optimizing speech and audio quality.

Founded in 1986 by Prof. Dr. Klaus Genuit, HEAD acoustics offers a broad portfolio of products and services covering almost any application in the areas of sound design for technical products and the enhancement of speech and audio quality in the telecommunications industry. The company benefits from the combination of cutting-edge measurement technology with many years of practical experience in these industries. The products and solutions offered by HEAD acoustics are mainly used in the automotive and telecommunications industry.

For ALFASY, HEAD acoustics support the development and production of a prototype for acoustic measurements which serves the purpose of correctly placing and choosing the speakers. As part of the project, it is planned to develop a new technique in predicting the quality of localization of driving assistance systems, based on the proven artificial head technology and microphone array technology. HEAD acoustics offers broad history and expertise in providing know-how to acoustic-based trials. The development of an objective forecasting model is oriented around the various empiric results of the study.

Allround Team

The ALLROUND Team GmbH has many offerings in terms of qualitative and empiric research in the field of automotive Human-Machine-Interface (HMI). A focus lies on driving assistance systems and ecological driving techniques. To deliver on this topic, a team of interaction designers, market researchers and programmers has been made. Every part of a study is covered: Planning, implementation and evaluation is part of the potential. Further, visual display concepts and scientific based HMI implementations are being developed by ALLROUND Team. Many research projects have already been supported, for example the EU-funded “interactIVe“ and „Response3“.

For project ALFASY, ALLROUND Team GmbH is going to deliver its know-how for visual design, implementing and development of integrative concepts on the topic of feedback response and potentially a integration with smartphone/smartwatch applications. Further,  know-how on organization of empiric researches and  public relations is being shared.