“Developing smart gas sensor solutions is a big topic to create a ‘third living space’ in the car of the future.”

How are smart gas sensor solutions related to the change in mobility? Dr. Thorsten Graunke, Senior Scientist at Fraunhofer IIS, clarifies for us in our interview the significance of these sensors in the field of mobility.

Dr.-Ing. Thorsten Graunke studied chemistry at the Eberhard-Karls-University of Tübingen and received his diploma there in 2008. He then worked as a research assistant in the Sensor and Microsystem Group of Prof. Udo Weimar at the Institute for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry of the University of Tübingen. From January 2010 to June 2019 he worked as an R&D Engineer in the Environmental Sensors Division of the ams AG in Reutlingen. At the same time, he began his PhD at the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg at the Laboratory for Gassensors of Prof. Jürgen Wöllenstein. In July 2019 he joined the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen. He works as a senior scientist in the research field “Smart Sensing and Electronics” with focus on methods for gas analysis.

What will happen if we don´t shift our mobility behaviour?

TG: There will be more traffic jams in the future. This will result in more stress and more emissions of pollutant gases.

What do we have to radically invent, improve or change to realize the turnaround in transport policy?

TG: I see three essential aspects here. First of all we need to improve car sharing possibilities. Secondly, we must continue to work on autonomous driving. And thirdly, we need to focus even more on environmentally friendly technologies.

What is the most hyped buzzword in terms of mobility which has in your opinion no impact on the real issues of mobility?

TG: In my opinion the term “hybrid” – conventional gasoline engine and electric motor.

Let’s now take a look at the future of mobility. What will be the most important thing in 10 years from now about “mobility” that comes to your mind?

TG: In 10 years, hopefully the most important question about mobility will be for me: “How does it smell in this autonomous taxi?” But to be honest, I will forever prefer riding my bicycle.

Why are smart gas sensor solutions fundamentally important to shape the future of mobility?

TG: First of all, smart gas sensor solutions could improve safety, e.g. regarding air conditioners with refrigerant CO2, fire safety for batteries and fuel cells. Further, feeling comfortable is strongly linked to familiar smells. So, developing smart gas sensor solutions is a big topic to create a “third living space” in the car of the future.

Which mobility best cases particularly impress you and why?

TG: I am very impressed by the possibilities of connectivity and user experience in the car of the future. To get the full experience, I’m sure we will also need smart gas sensor solutions.