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Image by Alexander Henke

 Smart Parking  in Dresden 

Sometimes, it’s easier to recognize the benefit of something once you can really picture it. So, here’s a fictional tour of the smart parking potential in Dresden, a city where we believe our tech can make a difference.

This is a page demonstrating what smart parking can achieve.

This page is made by SONAH to demonstrate how our products could add value in real-life scenarios. They are not implemented projects nor is this page connected with the city of Dresden administration; we simply chose to highlight Dresden due to its innovative reputation.

Dresden's Smart City Vision

Dresden: One of Europe’s leading high-tech hubs and populated by an increasingly IT and tech-based workforce. It has been making impact in Germany beyond for many years now, transforming into an ever smarter city through multiple ambitious projects. Through these initiatives, Dresden is harnessing the potential of advanced digital infrastructure and sustainable practices to maximize efficiency and enhance the quality of life for its inhabitants. 

Smart Parking in Dresden is important. Image by Andres Garcia

112 Park & Ride Spots Without Data?

At SONAH, we use camera-based sensors. This enables us to offer certain services - and multiple services at once -  to cities. Here, we’d like to showcase how this could allow the already advanced Park & Ride (P&R) scheme in Dresden to improve even further. Let's look at one smaller example in Gompitz, where 46 parking spots in a commercial car park are designated for P&R.

This case is an excellent example of innovative P&R. It's just a little way away from a busy street, but a long way out from the city center. It isn't solely for P&R, but rather constitutes a few spots in the supermarket's car park, allowing the parking asset to be fully in use and reducing the need for  building parking spots. However, unlike other parking lots in Dresdens' P&R scheme, the occupancy of these spots can't be found online. And wherever parking relies on spot sharing without occupancy data, the following occurs: parking search traffic, the number of cars on the streets, and the frustration of drivers all increase.

What's at stake in Dresden?









Use Case 1: Single Parking Spot Detection

Our camera-based sensors are capable of detecting multiple marked and unmarked single spots at the same time. You can check out the range and pricing for this here. Check out the map to the right here: clearly, the car park is in use by a lot of people, and the amount of parking spots is high. But if you can't check the occupancy of those specific spots, it will involve more searching than expected - potentially, you may have to drive to a whole new area. Luckily, this car park is also lit by streetlights, which solves two things: a high mounting point for optimum vision and a 24/7 power supply. It’s perhaps worth mentioning that even where the lamp posts are not able to be used as power supplies, batteries can fit well. Check out this  URBAN LEGEND to hear about how the city of Wuppertal used this method.


We can also install solar-powered autarq systems. But no matter the system, the 24/7 power supply is needed in order to transfer live data via APIs to both operator and end-user frontends. More on that below.

Use Case 2: Balancing Systems

Reservierte Stellplätze Teilen

As well as single spot detection, we also offer counting systems. It’s the same sensor for both, so the points above are the same here regarding installation. But Dresden already has counting systems in its inner city car parks, no?


True. But there's always improvement potential, especially when it comes to the bigger, multistorey assets. Dresden has its share of larger car parks where knowing (and displaying - check out the next use case) the occupancy of specific types of spot can make all the difference. Disabled parking, first floor spots vs fifth level spots, or even reserved spots which the owner has currently listed as unused... it's all possible without installing an entirely single spot detection system. The trick: A cost effective combination of single spot detection and counting systems. Check out how we achieve use cases such as the ones above - and more - through the button below. 

Low-cost parking management system with individual spot detection and spot-sharing?

Use Case 3: Parking Guidance Systems

As hinted at above, a lot of the benefits come from how live data is used. For parking lots/multi storey car parks, a parking guidance system can be LED/LCD signs that display information such as where or how many spots are to be found. 

Alternatively, digital parking guidance systems on mobile apps could be perfect for Dresden's P&R scheme. By setting up the API and transferring the live data to a citizen-facing platform, drivers can make informed decisions, reduce parking search time, and save on fuel (and thereby, emissions!). 


Check out how we and SWARCO supported the city of Wuppertal in shaping their mobility offering through the PARCO app.


Our LED signs act as part of the parking guidance system

Camera-based Sensors: Maintaining Privacy in Cities

These are camera-based sensors - not CCTV cameras. They digitise parking spaces from above to generate live occupancy data, and, unless programmed to perform other tasks, that's it. No personal data collection.


How can the system be compliant with the GDPR?


 STEP 1:  The computers in the sensor get an image, blocking out all irrelevant parts first.

 STEP 2:  The detection process takes place in the computer of the sensor itself.

 STEP 3:  This means that no images are stored or sent to third party systems.

 STEP 4:  Occupancy data alone is communicated i.e. '90% of all parking spaces are occupied'.


No personal data is created, therefore NO personal data can be stored, processed or sent.


We use GDR-compliant, camera-based sensors. How does that work?

Interested in Seeing What Parking Guidance Systems Could Do For Your City?

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