About IfV


The Institute for Transport Studies (IfV) looks back on a long tradition since the foundation of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KITI as polytechnical school in 1825. In 1912, the department of Civil Engineering, which encompassed not only town planning, but also sanitary environmental engineering and traffic infrastructure planning and construction, was divided into the two fields of Highway and Railway Engineering and Urban Planning and Civil Engineering. In the 1950s the department was restructured into a total of five different institutes, as one of which the Institute for Transport Studies was founded in 1962 under direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wilhelm Leutzbach.

A short history of the institute's building can be found here Stadtwiki Karlsruhe (in German language)


Main areas of research

transport planning

  • transport and mobility behavior research mainly based on transport related surveys
  • development of survey methods
  • development of transport planning tools (activity-based micro-simulation approaches)
  • transport demand forecasts
  • relationship between transport and communication
  • transport planning (different modes, passenger and freight transport)
  • modeling transport demand
  • evaluation of measures and networks

traffic engineering and control

  • empirical and theoretical research on traffic flow
  • traffic safety and capacity
  • traffic control and management
  • micro-simulation and control of traffic flow
  • intelligent vehicle/highway systems
  • environmental impacts of traffic control measures
  • transportation informatics
  • transportation telematics


Key themes of the Institute for Transport Studies

Empirical mobility research

Knowledge about basic relationships of transport demand and travel behavior is necessary for a human- and environmental-related transport planning. The Institute's fundamental research covers the analysis of causes and extent to travel due to external (socio-economic) and internal developments of transport systems, investigations for motives of travel behavior and interdependencies between transport supply and demand including currently unknown relations between physical transport and telecommunications as virtual mobility. In this research field the focus is on a systematic analysis of individual behavior concerning activity patterns and mobility For this purpose the classical cross-sectional surveys of mobility behavior on single days, which are of limited esplanatory power, are supplemented by longitudinal surveys over longer periods. Through these surveys, which were carried out as a mobility panel at regular intervals since 1994 with mostly identical persons and households, changes of demand in the population can be better explained and better forecast. the corresponding analysis based on these data constitutes a large part of the Institute's work.
Transport planning and forecasts

Especially the interlocking of land use patterns and the provision of transport services is a classical recurrent problem which is considered too isolated in many cases. The complexity and the dimension hinder a tentative realization of measures in most cases. Thus a responsible estimation of the impacts of measures is nowadays one of the indispensable elements of each public or private intervention by which a significant change in the traffic pattern can emerge. In this context, the Institute forms a centre of competence by its integrative consideration of demand and supply as well as the incorporation of socio-economic and societal aspects. Due to intense research activities new data resources are at hand that allow a new generation of models for considering current fields of interest.
Transport concepts and application

Exact knowledge of the determinants of travel behaviour allows for the assessment of concrete plans and measures due to their effects. Thus the Institute for Transport Studies supports private and public investors during the design phase in planning as well as in the scientific evaluation of ventures.