The concept of the intelligently connected city is currently experiencing its breakthrough in Germany. All political levels now support digitalization strategies and corresponding funding programs.
Meanwhile, there are some good examples in Germany - above all the digital city "Digitalstadt Darmstadt" (in German). Winning the digital city competition of Germany’s digital economy association Bitkom, the Hessian city is pursuing an ambitious goal: establishing a digital model city with a lighthouse character for Europe. Above all, this means pooling the region's resources and developing local partner networks. In Darmstadt, the specially founded corporation "Digitalstadt Darmstadt GmbH" coordinates the projects and stakeholders.
Deutsche Telekom considers the digital city initiative as the currently most comprehensive Smart City project in Germany. The company supports the the Bitkom competition, therefore Deutsche Telekom is one of the main partners. The Group will implement a double-digit number of innovative projects by the end of 2019. Initially, the focus is on environment and mobility. At “Darmstadt Konferenz” on June 12 and 13, Deutsche Telekom together with its partners provides insights into ongoing projects.
In order to be sustainably successful, Darmstadt is primarily promoting a cultural change. This is a long-term process and an order addressing all areas of the city. To this end, the urban project corporation works closely with all stakeholders in the city. Darmstadt recognizes the advantages of state-of-the-art IT and network infrastructures as a basis for progress. As the first city in Germany, Darmstadt plans, for example, a data platform for the city.
Why does Deutsche Telekom take part in this project?
Germany needs cities that lead the way as "innovators". Telekom regards the digital city project as a great opportunity to spark a competition of best ideas. Deutsche Telekom’s guiding principle: "We make the urban living space more intelligent. For more quality of life. We do not just connect people. But also cities, regions and data. For more appeal, efficiency and sustainability through digitalization.” A first highlight: after Berlin and Hamburg, Darmstadt is Telekom's third site with a 5G test field.
"Environment and Mobility" - our focus in Darmstadt
As a partner of the digital city of Darmstadt, Telekom is implementing innovative solutions, starting above all in the area of "environment and mobility". We attend the first "Darmstadt Konferenz" and give an insight into Telekom's current projects.
The sensor station - Germany's first digital measuring network for air pollutants
Together with the digital city of Darmstadt, Deutsche Telekom operates Germany's first digital measuring network for air pollutants. The digital solution continuously collects valuable air quality data at 12 points in the city. Telekom developed the measuring network together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, Application Center Wireless Sensor Technology in Coburg.
For the first time, the new sensor stations collect data on air quality in real time practically city-wide. The clou is that the sensor stations make clever use of existing infrastructure. In the future, they will be part of Telekom's multifunctional cabinets, the so-called "grey boxes" on the roadside. They record the pollutants NO2, NO and ozone and the concentration of particulate matter. The values are sent to a data center via mobile or fixed network. Here, algorithms calculate the level of pollutants. In the future, smart technology will complement the existing analogue measurement method. Certification by TÜV Rheinland is currently underway to meet the requirements of the German Federal Immission Control Act (§39 BlmSchV).
The CityTree - Healthy urban climate with intelligent air filters
The utility HEAG AG, Deutsche Telekom and the start-up Green City Solutions are testing new ways of sustainably improving air quality in Darmstadt. CityTree is the world's first biotech air filter: various types of moss bind environmental toxins such as particulate matter while simultaneously producing oxygen. Telekom adds mobile communications and network technology to CityTrees. In this way, street furniture improves air quality and digital infrastructure in city centers at the same time.
The 5G partially automated tram - Experience the future of mobility in Darmstadt
The cooperation between HEAG, HEAG mobilo, the Technische Universität Darmstadt and Telekom is researching the potential of automated trams until 2021. The so-called " teleoperated " tram, i.e. a partially automated or remote-controlled tram, is a possible long-term goal of the feasibility study that has now been started. Extremely powerful and reliable communication is indispensable for this. The existing 4G mobile communications network and Telekom's new 5G test field offer ideal conditions. The MAAS project (feasibility study on the automation and assistance systems for trams) goes beyond tests previously known in Germany.
There is no doubt: Digitalization has arrived in society. The "Bitkom Smart City Atlas" (in German) provides an up-to-date picture of the situation. And it is much more than a technical megatrend. The new opportunities are driving social change. Integrated Smart City approaches consider all areas of municipal action and economic activity with a view to the benefit of citizens. More quality of life and efficiency - Darmstadt shows how it works.