Street lights help to find parking spaces and wrong-way parking


42 street lights with detectors are now helping to find a parking space in Düsseldorf’s inner city street Fürstenwall. At around 170 parking spaces on the roadside, sensors on the lanterns are used to record the occupancy and transmit it to the Internet. In this way, drivers can use their smartphones to see where there are free parking spaces. This is supposed to protect the nerves and the environment – traffic looking for a parking space has a significant share in inner-city districts, according to Düsseldorf. The data is also shown on a display at the Fürstenwall / Kronenstrasse intersection.

The new street lights should also be able to recognize administrative offenses, i.e. whether fire service entrances are being parked or whether cars have been parked in the second row. They should be able to count road users and classify them into two-wheelers, cars and trucks. The flow rate and the dwell time are also determined. This should allow the quality of traffic to be assessed and the traffic to be controlled.

The data acquisition is based on the recognition of MAC addresses, which are recorded pseudonymized and converted into a time stamp. Four signs with data protection notices have been placed on the Fürstenwall for this purpose. Other sensors record environmental and weather data.

Vodafone is testing a 5G antenna on a lantern. The mobile phone technology is inside, the antenna and a technical component are visible from the outside. “Here in Düsseldorf, for the first time in Germany, 5G cells are not only installed on roofs, but also in a street lamp,” said Vodafone boss Hannes Ametsreiter.

Compared to 5G masts on roofs, “small cells” in lanterns cover a smaller area, but should provide more bandwidth and stability. Data protection requirements are observed: no people or license plates are recorded, the flow of traffic is recorded with thermal imaging cameras instead of video.

The Fürstenwall was selected by the North Rhine-Westphalian state capital as the “street of the future” and as a test field because the previous street lighting, which was tensioned by cables, had to be replaced anyway. The new lamps also offer charging options for electric cars at five wall boxes; In addition, the status of the parking spaces for e-vehicles is transmitted to the common charging card providers.

The eight meter high lanterns should also according to a message from Düsseldorf Donate “pleasant warm-soft light” via LED. The lamps can be dimmed at night when there is less traffic. The light can be set brighter in emergencies.

The test should initially last a year, and the project should be evaluated shortly before the end of the test phase.


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