Deutsche Telekom deploying NB-IoT technology in Hamburg’s new parking system


Deutsche Telekom (DT) is now rolling out a new wireless sensor network for the City of Hamburg’s digital parking management system, with the scheme seen as a key demonstration project when it hosts the ITS World Congress in 2021.

DT has started installing the new sensors on parking spaces in downtown Hamburg, with the first 100 units being deployed in the Wandsbek district, and up to 11,000 sensors planned for the entire downtown area by the end of 2019.

Using innovative new wireless technology, the sensors provide information on free parking spaces through DT’s Park and Joy smartphone application, which has been available for download since last autumn.

Since then it has been used for billing parking by the minute in Hamburg, with users now able to pay for their parking ticket with a cell phone, saving them a trip to the nearest pay station. The new Parking Space (P) function was added to Park and Joy in early 2018. The ‘P’ function highlights those areas in gray where users are likely to find a parking space near their destination.

Various data sources, such as anonymized Deutsche Telekom network usage information, weather or calendar data are fed into the prediction. To provide a high-quality predictive service, DT is installing the new parking sensors, which send information on parking space occupancy via a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) radio technology, known as the NarrowBand Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network.

The information from the parking sensors should be incorporated into the system before the end of this summer, providing easier and more accurate information on where to find a free parking space. Sensors for NB-IoT use minimal amounts of power yet have a long range. DT is looking to roll out the digital parking management system this year in conjunction with other German cities, including Bonn, Darmstadt, Dortmund, Duisburg, Hagen, and Moers.

“Residents and the city administration benefit from digital services such as our parking app. We spend an average 20 minutes looking for a parking space. This clogs up roads and increases exhaust emissions in the city center,” said Oliver Bahns, head of connected mobility at DT subsidiary T-Systems.

“Here we aim to provide a solution with Park and Joy. We are delighted to use our new parking sensor network extensively for the first time in Hamburg. Other major cities are also set to benefit from the new service. The aim is to make the app usable throughout Germany.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).