Dresden Is Developing into a Smart City

More efficient, technologically progressive, environmentally friendly, and inclusive: “Smart City Dresden” envisions communication among everyone and everything – to improve the quality of life for the entire population.

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When overflowing trash bins automatically send a message to the municipal sanitation department. When navigation systems recognize traffic jams and dynamically calculate new routes for their owners. When solar power systems on public buildings contribute to the municipal energy supply. These are the hallmarks of a smart city.

Dresden is developing into one of Germany’s leading connected cities. One major aim of the capital of the state of Saxony is to make traffic cleaner, quieter, more convenient, and safer. Volkswagen Sachsen and municipal agencies are working to achieve this aim, for example by pursuing joint research and development projects and by supporting qualified young people. Dresden aims to become a model city for electromobility, digitalization, and innovative fleet management. And Volkswagen’s Gläserne Manufaktur is playing a key role as a “Center of Future Mobility”.

Signs of success are already evident. In August 2017 a start-up incubator opened in the Gläserne Manufaktur. Together with the economic development office of the capital of Saxony, Volkswagen is supporting young start-ups in the future-oriented fields of fleet management, car sharing, concierge services, navigation/park services, and smart home services.

The Gläserne Manufaktur is more than an exhibition space and a place to explore future approaches to mobility. Its premises are providing ever more actual mobility services that make it simpler and more sustainable to get around in Dresden.

  • It already has Dresden’s largest charging station for electric cars.
  • Cyclists can charge their e-bikes here.
  • Visitors can test drive electric vehicles, and rent cars from our partner company Carl & Carla. Additional joint projects with car sharing companies are planned.
  • There are also plans for rental services for e-bikes and standard bicycles.
Streamlining traffic and the search for parking places

Another milestone on the road to becoming a smart city is the UMA Navigation app. Created as part of a joint project between Volkswagen Sachsen and the city of Dresden, it was developed by Wolfsburg AG. The app is tailored specifically to Dresden. It checks current traffic levels at short intervals and also takes historical traffic data into account. A special feature is an algorithm that utilizes swarm intelligence to coordinate users’ routes – anonymously, of course – in order to minimize or even prevent congestion on the route selected.

Joint efforts by industry and research

Thanks to its technology and innovation-friendly environment, Dresden has great potential as a smart city in other fields as well. One example would be the “Silicon Saxony” industry association, whose members include the city of Dresden, Saxony-based companies in the microelectronics, semiconductor, and photovoltaic sectors, and research institutes like the Technische Universität Dresden and the Fraunhofer Institute. One of the association’s aims is to develop solutions to future challenges such as the demographic shift, climate change, and energy transition.

Joint projects by companies and research institutes are helping Dresden move forward. And the vision of a smart city is taking ever greater shape.

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