New management – review and outlook

Gerhard Greiner

Gerhard Greiner (c) ALP.Lab

Having reached the regular retirement age, I have decided to gradually step back from operational activities at ALP.Lab and place the role of Managing Director in younger hands. 

I am delighted that my long-standing colleagues and employees Christoph Knauder and Martin Aichholzer have been appointed as the new Managing Director and authorized signatory of ALP.Lab GmbH by the General Assembly. Together with Managing Director Jost Bernasch, they have formed the management of ALP.Lab GmbH since June 1, 2024.

 A brief look back

ALP.Lab was founded in 2017 by the automotive companies AVL List and Magna Steyr as well as the research institutes TU Graz, Joanneum Research and Virtual Vehicle Research. The founding of the innovation lab was supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) as part of the “Mobility of the Future” program, which is the responsibility of the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK).

I myself joined ALP.Lab in 2018 and have not only been able to experience exciting developments, but in many cases also help to drive them forward.

The personal highlight for me was certainly being awarded the State Prize for Mobility for “The highway as a sensor”. Together with ASFINAG, the idea of installing radar sensors along the road to detect objects and thus record trajectories independently of vehicle sensors was tested. (Further information about the possibilities to use this special infrastructure can be found here.)

This approach was then further developed with LiDAR sensors for the first time in the innovation lab. This innovation was also awarded – with the European TechAD Award. The development of software integration expertise now enables us to use systems with combinations of LiDAR, radar and optical sensors for traffic monitoring. First tested in Graz, Salzburg and other cities use this high-precision real traffic data acquisition for traffic flow planning. The data also serves as training data for AI algorithms and simulations to validate and improve AD driving functions.

The central aspect of ALP.Lab’s activities has always been to increase road safety by testing intelligent assistance systems (ADAS, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems), intelligent and digital road infrastructure, V2X communication, user-reflective traffic flow optimization and traffic management. The development of prototypes, Proof of Concepts (PoCs) and experimental technology carriers for testing automated driving functions and technologies with the aim of sustainable and networked, automated mobility (CCAM: connected, cooperative automated mobility) complemented the implementation-oriented offering for customers. With Periscope, we demonstrated how LiDAR sensor technology can send out standardized C-ITS warning messages for invisible (vulnerable) road users.

Austria is now also a member of Euro NCAP, the New Car Assesement Program for vehicle safety, and ALP.Lab – as part of Safety Labs Austria – is the accredited Austrian laboratory for testing assistance systems. These must be installed in all newly registered vehicles from June. Development tests have also been carried out throughout Europe by our experienced testing team for global customers for some time now. This also includes driver status systems, which detect attention and distraction while driving.

A look into the future

From July 2024, I myself will retire to a supporting and advisory role and will continue to be available for selected ALP.Lab agendas. In any case, I can be reached via my usual contact details (+43 664 3769488, until the end of 2024, albeit increasingly from my home office, sitting above the rooftops of Graz with a far-reaching view across the border to the south😉. The right place for a further exchange and to develop thoughts on the mobility of the future.

ALP.Lab will become even more involved in an advisory capacity in the future and support mobility operators and mobility providers in implementing customized solutions on the market. Although automated mobility is not – yet – possible out of the box for all applications, efficient and safe solutions are already available in some areas when the right components are combined.

I would like to thank you for the many contacts, stimulating discussions and the support of partners, friends and supporters for the six years that have flown by.

In this sense, the next few years will not only mean a step forward for ALP.Lab, but also for me personally in developing mobility in a more sustainable and inclusive way.

Gerhard Greiner, Managing Director in unrestful retirement


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