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Smart Cities: one bold vision – many challenges ahead. Meet the Bavarian companies shaping the future of urban life.
How can datafication, blockchain, quantum computing, extended reality, and digital twins contribute to improving the quality of life in cities? What can cities do to transform a crisis into an opportunity to move towards more sustainable, human-centric urban mobility systems? How can city governments respond to safety and security challenges in a manner that directly improves people’s lives?
Cities, regions and companies in Bavaria are working together to address precisely these issues and to help build the smart cities of the future. Meet some of them in this article, or in person at the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCWEC) in Barcelona, Spain, from November 15-17, 2022. SCEWC brings experts together to empower cities and combine forces to drive urban innovation across the globe.
What is a smart city? Here is a short definition.
The collective term "smart city" describes ideas and concepts for urban spaces to make cities more efficient and thus more climate-friendly and liveable through the use of modern technology. Today, more than 50 percent of the world's population already lives and works in cities. That is why cities play a central role in the challenges of global warming and demographic change, requiring the provision of the right resources at the right time.
To accomplish this in growing cities, there is a need for products, services, processes, and infrastructure supported by highly integrated, networked information and communication technologies.
Smart Cities in Bavaria
In Bavaria, multiple inter-municipal partnerships, individual municipalities and regions have extensive smart city initiatives in place. As a result, both national and international rankings regularly feature Bavarian cities. For example, in Kearney’s 2021 forward-looking evaluation, the Global Cities Outlook report, Munich climbed to third place. Other Bavarian cities making headlines thanks to their future oriented planning initiatives are Nürnberg, Augsburg, Regensburg and Ingolstadt. Many of their projects are backed by the Bavarian government. Its ”Smart Cities – Smart Regions” program aims to support collaborative smart city planning projects – not only in big cities but also in smaller urban agglomerations.
Consequently, Bavaria provides many opportunities for companies in the field, by collaborating with municipalities, government agencies and R&D partners. Meet some of the key players in this article.
MOBILITY: These players are joining forces to build intelligent mobility concepts
Audi AG with the Save Now Research Project
Autonomous driving is on the rise. But what does this mean for traffic infrastructures and how will future traffic models be affected? The SAVeNoW consortium, led by Audi AG, is simulating these questions with a digital twin of urban traffic using Ingolstadt as an example.
Bavaria’s leading network for mobility and logistics, the Cluster Mobility & Logistics, is working to find intelligent answers to upcoming social and technological challenges of a radically transformed mobility landscape. The Cluster organisation is based at TechBase Regensburg and is managed by R-Tech GmbH, a subsidiary of the city of Regensburg.
ZD.B Networked Mobility
Bayern Innovativ fosters innovation by facilitating cooperation and knowledge transfer between all stakeholders from the mobility ecosystem across Bavaria - and beyond. We provide funding schemes as well as platforms for experts to meet, exchange ideas and jointly work on innovative solutions for the future of mobility.
SAFETY: These companies are building holistic and people-centric safety concepts based on advanced sensor technology
Beijing based LiangDao specialises in smart city and automotive sensor systems.
With the support of Invest in Bavaria, LiangDao opened a Bavarian subsidiary in 2018. Together with the city of Ingolstadt, Ingolstadt University of Technology and other Bavarian partners, LiangDao is building the next generation of Vehicle to Everything (V2X) sensor technology.
Blickfeld develops LiDAR solutions for a safer, more efficient world. Their sensors are used in various applications every day such as visitor guidance, track monitoring, coastal observation and people flow prediction.
LiDAR sensors capture high-resolution 3D data to precisely detect objects’ size, direction, and velocity, outperforming current security devices regardless of lighting and atmospheric conditions. In addition, they are very hard to compromise or hack. The complementary “Percept” software analyses the high-resolution point clouds in real time to enable easy definition and monitoring of boundaries and zones and to detect objects accurately. Taken together, these qualities make Blickfeld’s technology a perfect fit for many security applications.
Enabling technologies: Bavaria has a large number of experts in the fields of data, connectivity and digital services.
5G-Synergiewerk is an innovative tower company that focuses on the implementation of 5G streetlights. They bundle, qualify and market potential locations for municipal utilities and energy suppliers on behalf of mobile network operators (MNOs) and tower companies.
More than 20 municipal utilities and regional energy providers have joined forces to form the 5G Synergy Plant. Ranging from the state of Mecklenburg to Bavaria, they are driving the expansion of 4G and 5G in municipal infrastructure. They identify sites and equip them with electricity and fibre optics and subsequently offer them to telecommunications companies.
Together with industry partners, the 5G Synergy Plant offers a modular building block system with different levels of value creation.
The Munich-based company Hawa Dawa (“healthy air” in Arabic and other languages) is working on a digital measurement network that will be linked to weather, traffic and satellite data. The start-up is a showcase for cross-industry innovation. Its interdisciplinary team combines comprehensive expertise in areas such as traffic management, smart city, healthcare, big data, AI and machine learning. It received the "Digital Start-up of the Year" award in 2020.
You will find some of the above-mentioned companies at Smart City Expo World Congress 2022. The City of Munich, European Metropolitan Region of Munich, as well as the ”Smart Cities – Smart Regions” initiative, will also be represented.
At the congress, you can learn more about how they are collaborating both nationally and internationally to turn bold visions into reality. Smart cities yet another example of how cross-industry innovation in Bavaria is helping to build a more livable world. For more information, visit our event page.