Automotive engineering

The vehicle is a specialized field of mechanical engineering, engineering science whose focus is on the production of vehicles and the techniques used for this purpose.

Demarcation of Vehicles and Traffic Engineering

This focus differs substantially from the engineering focus of automotive engineering, which deals with the techniques of in and on vehicles. The traffic engineering is a related issue, but is concerned with techniques for traffic control and related topics.

Topics of vehicle construction

Engineers, designers, car designers and car manufacturers deal with the various techniques related to the development and construction of vehicles and the associated sub- areas of technology such as the wagon, factory automation and manufacturing optimization, robotics, and related topics. Related to, but usually not counted for automotive, the aerospace industry.

Among the topics of vehicle construction include, for example:

  • Vehicle development
  • Construction of two wheelers, car bodies, cars, etc.
  • Physical and mathematical foundations for the design of vehicles or vehicle components such as steering, brakes, tires, etc.: Mechanics / forces, moments
  • Strength of Materials
  • Dynamics

Technical specialization is done for example in the direction of vehicle development

  • Vehicle design, body development, engineering design, technical drawing

Design of vehicle components, systems or subsystems ( modules)

  • Engine and transmission design, transmission design

Or in the direction of factory design

  • Factory automation, factory optimization
  • Hydraulics, pneumatics, electromechanical in factory automation

Overlap of Vehicles arise in areas such as:

  • Drive concepts, such as four-wheel drive vehicles, alternative engine concepts
  • Driving dynamics and stability
  • Passive safety, crash behavior
  • Power and energy requirements

Therefore vehicle manufacturers, vehicle manufacturers, vehicle technicians often work hand in hand, which can easily lead to be considered specialists in the respective sub-region as an expert in all techniques around the vehicle.

Jobs in vehicle

Designers in the automotive industry to develop new product ideas and concepts to create it for completely new vehicles or vehicle studies. In the next step, this may be realized by bodybuilder in a prototype before sometime the first Erlkönig is sent to the elk test.

Another important task of developers and engineers in the automotive industry is the development of existing products and the testing and development of new concepts for vehicle technology. Overlap in the work of various specialists are also essential, meaningful, and therefore also quite intentional.

Especially in the area of the driving test alongside the bench testing, the testing part of the motor vehicle on test tracks in Germany (eg in Papenburg ) and winter test (usually in northern Sweden / Lapland ) to the tasks of the engineers.

In addition to the pure vehicle there is still the engine development. Here, the main focus lies more in thermodynamics and in the concepts of internal combustion engines.


The study of the automobile industry is - apart from the University of Stuttgart, TU Freiberg, TU Munich, TU Braunschweig and the University of Siegen (since winter semester 2008/2009) - taught in Germany exclusively at Fachhochschulen ( FH). At technical universities in the tray is usually major in mechanical engineering. The course usually takes at FHs eight semesters, including one or two practical semesters at universities nine to ten or a bachelor's degree in seven semesters.

Employment opportunities

Automotive engineers usually work in wagon construction companies, car manufacturers, car body work, trailer manufacturing, commercial vehicle or rail vehicle.