Germany’s Public Broadcaster Hessischer Rundfunk and Innovation Thinktank Fraunhofer IAO Partner to Tackle Future Transportation Challenges During “Wunderbar Together” (German-American Friendship)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Sept. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hessischer Rundfunk  — Germany’s largest public broadcasters — in conjunction with renowned research institute and business technologies innovator Fraunhofer IAO, invites the public to explore a vision for public transportation in the year 2049 through a unique transmedia virtual reality experience. A Ride in 2049 will be available during a limited engagement at San Francisco’s Exploratorium as part of its Transportation / Transformations community event on Saturday, September 21, from 11:00 AM until 1:30 PM, in Osher Gallery 1, Black Box. Tickets are available at

A Ride in 2049 is a brand new VR project that takes users on a virtual tour of future urban centers to examine the potential changes needed for mobility in an increasingly cramped urban environment. This interactive transmedia experience allows users to explore virtual versions of Frankfurt, Chicago, and Los Angeles — beginning with the present and moving forward in time — based on the research of international scientists; among others from Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Senseable City Lab. A Ride in 2049 is part of the Wunderbar Together campaign — a celebration of German-American friendship — that travels across the U.S., bringing with it a collection of events and exhibits revolving around business and industry, politics, education, culture, and science, to highlight the unique importance of the two nations’ relations.

A Ride in 2049 offers users a glimpse at potential concepts and innovations that scientists and tech innovators are considering for the future of transportation and mobility. However, in order to innovate, feedback from participants is paramount and participants are asked to complete a quick survey after the event to provide much-needed feedback. Summary results of the survey will be published and available for public discourse later in the year, providing decision making input toward solving individual mobility and mass transportation challenges of the future.

“We are delighted to bring this project to the Exploratorium and offer participants a chance to help shape the future of transportation in Germany and the United States,” said Bettina Oberhauser, Commissioning Editor at Hessischer Rundfunk. “The event in San Francisco is an amazing opportunity for users to see the potential for change and innovation in our urban environments.”

“The feedback we got from visitors who tested the VR experience at the re:publica conference in Germany was extremely positive. Obtaining opinions on paper is vital to our research, but we need to also observe how people from diverse cultures react emotionally to the various scenarios,” said Patrick Ruess, Project Manager at the Fraunhofer IAO. “We are excited to hear impressions from our upcoming event in San Francisco to compare American reactions to our proposed innovations.”

Located at Pier 15, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, the Exploratorium is a public learning laboratory investigating the world through science, art, and human perception with hundreds of explore-for-yourself exhibits, a website with over 35,000 pages of content, film screenings, evening art and science events for adults, plus much more. The Exploratorium also provides professional development programs for educators, and are at the forefront of changing the way science is taught.

Those who can’t make it to the event can still be part of the experience. A Ride in 2049 is free through the Oculus store and the survey can be filled out at

A press kit with screenshots, teaser trailer, and logos is available here:

More information about Exploritorium’s Transportation / Transformations Community events can be found through the official website, here:

About Hessischer Rundfunk

A  member of the national consortium of German public broadcasting corporations, Hessischer Rundfunk (HR) is the German federal state of Hessia’s public broadcasting corporation and region’s top public broadcaster.

Founded in 1948 and based out of Dornbusch Broadcasting House, in Bertramstraße, Frankfurt, Hessischer Rundfunk has additional radio and television studios in Kassel and Wiesbaden, as well as, further radio studios in Darmstadt, Fulda, and Gießen. More information can be found at

About Fraunhofer IAO

Based in Stuttgart, Germany, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (Fraunhofer IAO) works in collaboration with companies and public sector bodies and institutions to develop strategies, business models and solutions for modernizing long-established practices and processes for the digital world. Since 1981, Fraunhofer IAO has handled questions of technology and innovation management such as business innovative product and service developments, software technologies, the optimization of business processes and the exchange of experience and knowledge between research and practice.

Research and the development of innovative products and services are the major focus of the Fraunhofer IAO’s work, focusing on a holistic system approach in the areas of technology and innovation management, cooperation in virtual enterprise structures, customer management, product design, ICT support, and New Work Development. More information about Fraunhofer IAO can be found at their official website:


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Mario R. Kroll and Lisa Mior