ITS Projects

The Project overview

MOZART - traffic management with traffic signal control using quantum-inspired optimization
Echo 1
RoboVaaS - Robotic Vessels as a Service
SmartBRIDGE Hamburg
DLSAi - Digitalization Traffic Lights and Infrastructure in the Port of Hamburg
homePORT - HPA's real-world laboratory as trade fair grounds in the heart of the port

The Port of Hamburg continues to evolve with the changing times. We are managing the port of the future efficiently and with foresight and are driving forward the digital transformation. Our goal is to be CO2 neutral by 2040. You can see which digital solutions are already being used and which are already planned here.

MOZART - Mobility OptimiZation and Analysis in Real Time


  • Coordinated and flexible traffic signal control is expected to increase capacity on existing infrastructure and reduce expenditures for road expansion.
  • Improved traffic light control also reduces unnecessary braking and acceleration of vehicles and can thus reduce energy consumption and pollutant emissions.
  • The traffic model as a digital twin provides an improved overview of the traffic situation and approaches for improving traffic management.
  • The implementation should provide insights for further traffic networks that could be optimized by the innovative approach.


  • Fixed-time and traffic-dependent controlled traffic signals are to be supplemented by a network-wide, continuous real-time traffic light program control.  
  • Real-time traffic control is achieved by recording all traffic in the network under study, and mapping it in a traffic model.
  • Based on this, decisions are made about coordinated traffic light controls .
  • Since the computational effort is already very high in small networks and an optimization would take hours or days, innovative processors are used that exploit insights from the field of quantum computing. In this way, optimization decisions for traffic lights can be made in a few seconds.
  • After preparatory feasibility project phases, the MOZART project ("Quantum Annealing for Traffic Flow Optimization") is now being continued as part of the SANTANA project portfolio traffic flow optimization") is being continued. 
  • The aim is to commission the innovative network control at 5 traffic light intersections in the Neuhof area and on the main port route.

In particular

  • Traffic is recorded in the port by sensors and the road network is modeled in detail in a traffic model.
  • The currently measured traffic volume is used to forecast the volume at the traffic light intersections. 
  • Optimization potentials of the control system are calculated and compared with their effects for neighboring traffic lights.
  • Results, such as extensions of green times, changed sequence of traffic light phases are sent to the traffic lights as a result.
  • Traffic is measured continuously, creating a network-wide control loop for recording and controlling traffic.

Technology & trends

  • Quantum annealers and digital annealers are novel processors for optimization methods. Conventional processors take too long to calculate a concrete result for an ideal value. 
  • With the innovative calculation methods, approximation methods are sufficient to achieve an optimal result in practice. The field of traffic control is highly suitable for these new technologies.


  • Optimal trafficlight switching: tapping into capacities of the constructive as well as technical infrastructure of the heavily loaded port network
  • Plus a reduction of harmful emissions through an optimised way of driving (breaking and accelerating behaviour)
  • On top of this, an improved understanding of the interactions between the traffic situation and network control is created; network situation picture, bottleneck analysis, integration of third-party data, Car2X independent of traffic lights, open for Human2x, Bike2x, priority for police, fire brigade, public transport, etc.
  • A flexibly controlled network is expected to provide savings in maintenance, personnel and investment
  • Sensors used geographically flexibly, future-proof for upcoming detection processes


Image films of the concept of FUJITSU



  • Testing and introduction of a teleoperation control center for controlling drones and mobile sensor systems (UAV, ASV, UUV & Rover).  
  • Introduction of a drone-based situational awareness service for disaster control in the port of Hamburg  
  • Intelligent port infrastructure management 
  • Increasing safety and efficiency in the Port of Hamburg  

With the PORTwings drone control center (PTU - Port Teleoperation Unit), the HPA is evaluating how teleoperated drones (UAV, UUV, ASV & Rover) out of sight (BVLOS[1]) and mobile sensor systems can be used in the future to increase safety in the port area, through the introduction of a large-scale operational situation awareness service.

  • In its sovereign areas of responsibility, the HPA is planning to use drones, especially in the areas of "prevention and management of special events" and "water surface control", in order to make existing processes safer or optimize them and to introduce new services. In the context of the disaster control HASTA, for example, it is investigated how to support large-scale situations, e.g. storm surges, accidents or other ad-hoc incidents with high-resolution real-time situation images. Especially in these very time-critical areas, drones represent a significant improvement in efficiency.
  • In addition, various smart port infrastructure management services specifically adapted to the Port of Hamburg's infrastructure and individual use case environments are being tested and developed. In the medium term, the HPA will make parts of infrastructure management more intelligent and sustainable in this way. In this way, the HPA is following a digital strategy on the topic of intelligent port infrastructure management. Here, too, the HPA is primarily interested in "increasing safety", for example by means of maintenance routines in the inspection of structures and the associated possibility of early damage detection or damage development forecasts (predictive maintenance), as well as in "more sustainable and efficient infrastructure management".  


  • Security enhancement through drone-based real-time situational awareness service for ad-hoc situations and large-scale situations throughout the port area. 
  • Creation of automated sensor data sets to support water area and pathway controls, as well as intelligent infrastructure management (maintenance routines, structural inspections, "predictive maintenance"...) 

Technology & Trends

  • Drones - aerial drones (UAV), floating drones (ASV), diving drones (UUV), rovers
  • Teleoperation Control Center 
  • Automated traffic control 
  • Data set productions for digital twins



  • The objective of the project is to reliably identify and prioritise heavy traffic at select traffic light crossings with the use of V2X, with the aim to increase (intermodal) traffic flow and traffic safety, as well as to lower emissions.


  • Field test around Kattwydamm, whereby all transport modes, incl. movable infrastructure, are taken into consideration, with the aim to find intermodal interaction in which technology can generate a high level of added value, especially in terms of traffic safety and flow.
  • Initially, 200 trucks will be outfitted to test the networked capture of detailed information about traffic, in high quality and real time.
  • The traffic light control can be optimised on site in order to minimise breaking and accelerating of heavy traffic at crossings. Logistics companies can drive through the port more smoothly and more predictably.
  • Stabilisation of heavy traffic benefits all participants and helps to lower emissions.


  • Use of the ITS installation in additional ITS projects. Trucks as rolling ITS vehicles in Hamburg
  • Roll-out of vehicle priority switching to additional junctions as well as other user groups
  • Bus acceleration and priority

Technology & trends
Technology leveraged:

  • C-ITS, WLAN 802.11p / ITS-G5 (SPaT/MAP, DENM, CAM, IVS)


  • Traffic-dependent prioritisation of heavy traffic to increase overall traffic flow

Data sources, if needed

  • Existing loop in the port area for non-networked traffic and DENM/CAM messages from the networked trucks to the infrastructure

Technology trends

  • Internet of Things
  • Automation


Echo 1


  • Echo.1 is the first unmanned surface vehicle officially approved by the Oberhafenamt for the acquisition of basic hydrographic data in the Hamburg port area. In addition to its operational use in HPA water depth maintenance as an additional tool in watercourse measurement, this platform serves as a pioneer for autonomous water vehicles in port operations. In addition to water body measurement, the modular measurement platform will be upgraded and used for other applications in the Port of Hamburg in the future. 


  • Despite its small size of 1.65m in length and a total weight of approx. 50kg, the battery-powered device is equipped with high-performance navigation and measurement technology. In addition to a powerful multibeam echo sounder, Echo.1 has an interference-insensitive satellite positioning system, an AIS transponder, a collision avoidance radar, and much more, while being highly maneuverable and nimble at up to 10kn. - This vessel will initially support the hydrography of the HPA in harbor areas that are difficult (only at certain tide times) or impossible to reach for the classic sounding vessels. It is also possible to use the ASV as a (force multiplier) automated "dinghy" to the ships in order to hydrographically survey certain harbor areas even more efficiently. The data is sent automatically to the office via the Internet, hopefully soon also via 5G, as on the classic sounding ships, where it is checked for plausibility and then made available to all users via the peildesk application also developed at WI.


  • Since the safety of shipping traffic in the port is paramount, the basic rules and requirements for the operation of such systems were developed together with the Oberhafenamt. These are now being tested and will be continuously developed in line with the state of the art in the future. It is important to mention that even in autonomous measurement mode, the unmanned vehicle is always monitored by a person (the so-called "wo/men in the loop") within visual range, can be reached by radio by port shipping, and thus safety is always guaranteed. - Future further development of sensor technology to optimize so-called "situational awareness" in combination with the adaptation of collision prevention algorithms will enable such systems to achieve a higher degree of autonomy in the future and thus increase efficiency during deployment. 


  • A risk analysis was prepared for the operational use of Echo.1 in the Hamburg port area, which is continuously adapted to the state of the art and processes. Certain risks have been additionally minimized by the nautical framework conditions listed in the shipping police permit, so that safe deployment of this vehicle is ensured at all times. - In the initial phase when introducing such technologies, it must be expected that more human resources will be required and thus an increase in efficiency will not be immediately apparent. Likewise, care must be taken to ensure that the port industry can adjust to unmanned watercraft and gain good experience in dealing with this technology, which will eventually lead to acceptance. - Classic ship crews in particular are understandably skeptical about the topic of "unmanned watercraft." Here, it is essential to involve and inform colleagues from the outset, as the job description of shipmasters will certainly change significantly in the medium term.

Strategy goal

  • Strategy goal
  • Evaluate technological innovations Medium
  • Increase process efficiency High
  • Promote collaboration, break down silos Medium
  • New business models / fields (new customer structures or revenue streams) Low

Technology & Trends

  • Despite its small size, this new vehicle is also suitable for other applications in the Port of Hamburg and can be equipped with additional or replacement sensors on a modular basis. In addition to a current measurement device (ADCP), a laser scanner can also be installed for recording the shore structures. Also different single beam or sediment echosounders for future nautical depth applications are possible. Furthermore, this vehicle or, if necessary, additional vehicles of identical design can be used for collecting surface water samples and measuring emissions.
  • In addition to the use of this new vehicle in the operational water depth maintenance as an additional tool in the water measurement, the Hydrography currently also sees many points of connection with digitization projects already underway or in planning within the HPA. One of these is the cooperation and exchange of experience in the RoboVaaS project (CDO), in which the new vehicle can be used in certain test scenarios. In addition, a preliminary project is just starting for the project "5x5G Initiative Hamburg Leitstand" (HPA, LSBG, etc.), in which the vehicle is planned to be equipped with 5G technology and thus send real-time data with network slicing (high bandwidth, low latency, high reliability) to a control center.
  • Through HPA projects such as WizARd, the interaction / combination between different innovative technologies such as augmented and virtual reality applications in the control and monitoring of Echo.1 is being developed and tested. In addition, there are hydrography-internal evaluation tests in which AI algorithms for automated data plausibility checks are tested in the evaluation of hydrographic sounding data.



  • The goal of the joint research project I2PANEMA is to capture various information from vessels with the use of sensors/IoT and to display and share this information via suitable interfaces.
  • Three business scenarious with different use cases were identified in which the IoT platform to be developed should help to opimise processes.
  • Business scenario 1, in collaboration with the port strategy (HPA-PS) for capturing and transmitting average emission values of ships
  • Business scenario 2, in collaboration with the shore power project (HPA-PE) for capturing and transmitting the average power consumption of ships, with the aim to optimise the use of shore power systems
  • Business scenario 3, in collaboraiton with the ferry operations of HADAG for implementing information for passengers based on real-time data (expected arrival time, notification of disruptions in operations)


  • I2PANEMA stands for Intelligent, IoT-based Port Artefacts Communication, Administration and Maintenance and belongs to the cluster programme ITEA3, as an initiative of EUREKA => Goal: to reinforce software-intensive systems
  • Project consortium consisting of Fraunhofer IML, Fraunhofer CML, Materna, NXP, University of Rostock and NautilusLog, amongst others
  • The project is /financed completely via the Federal Ministry of Education and Research


  • Advancing digitalisation in fleet management and calculating (monitoring, control, digital twin)
  • Automation of business processes
  • Capturing of datasets as a basis for future decisions
  • Increase in transparency of processes within the port
  • Increase in efficiency and reduciton of maintenance downtime
  • Increase in safety between people and machines
  • Evaluation of innovations: sensors/IoT on ships
  • Innovation leadership in fleet management and transfer to other ports
  • Low-risk evaluation of new fleet systems (NautilusLog)
  • Extensive integration of the port ferries in the public transport system (HVV app)
  • Support of eco-friendly technologies

Technology & trends

  • IoT
  • Sensorik
  • Retrofitting
  • Smartphone App
  • IoT Gateways

I2PANEMA-HADAG Demonstrator

RoboVaaS - Robotic Vessels as a Service


  • The provision of services based on autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs)
  • Focus on the following services: anti-grounding, underwater inspection of ships, and capturing of environmental data


  • Construction of an ASV as a test platform
  • Integration of a transport platform for ROVs into ASVs
  • Creation of the infrastructure for controlling ASVs and ROVs, as well as the display of data in a charging station or on a ship for an improved assessment of the situation
    Result: testing and provision of the three services and the necessary software infrastructure (anti-grounding, underwater inspection, environmental data capture)
  • Impacts: fast creation of a picture of the situation covering questions such as bathymetry (measurements), ship inspection, and fast and efficient actions based on real-time information

Result: Testing and deployment of the three services and the necessary software infrastructure (Anti-Grounding, Underwater Inspection, Environmental Data Gathering).

  • Impact: faster creation of a situation picture in issues such as bathymetry (surveying), ship inspection, faster and more efficient action due to real-time information


  • Testing and realisation of a bathymetry service
  • Innovation in the area of ship inspections
  • Agile and fast data capture in the port

Technology & trends

  • Control software for ASVs
  • Innovative sonar system
  • Combination of ASVs and ROVs allows for various fields of activity within the port
  • High level of technology is expected at the end of the project, with a market maturity of 3 to 4 years planned after the project has been completed
  • Categories of technology trends: Automation


DLSA – Digitalization Traffic Lights and Infrastructure in the Port of Hamburg


  • Efficient control and use of the existing infrastructure
  • Optimisation of information flow for efficiently controlling the flow of goods
  • Expansion of vehicle detection system for optimising traffic situation analysis


  • Upgrading 28 traffic lights
  • Modernising Port Road Management Center (PRMC)
  • Bluetooth®-based sensors and interfaces (BT)
  • Integration of G4T Connect


  • Reduction of air-polluting emissions and greenhouse gases caused by traffic

Technology & trends

  • OCIT
  • BT
  • Monitoring of green phases
  • PRMC

homePORT – HPA’s real-world laboratory as trade fair grounds in the heart of the port

Just in time for the start of the ITS World Congress (11–15 October 2021), the homePORT container campus is opening its doors.

homePORT is an innovation campus and real-world urban, maritime laboratory located in the heart of the Port of Hamburg. It aims to give innovative and ambitious port players, academics and science, technology companies and start-ups the space they need to try out new things, to experiment and collaborate with other partners and players.

In addition to the container campus, which serves as a meeting point for the community, the real-world laboratory includes access to the port infrastructures. As an urban tech playground, homePORT offers a range of the respective test surfaces covering water, air and land.

During the ITS World Congress, homePORT becomes dronePORT. On the exclusive demonstration stage, various drone demonstrations will be taking place every day throughout the entire week. Whether flying, surface or underwater drones, you can see everything close-up and interact with the projects. In addition to drones, there are also exciting exhibitors and demonstrations on 3D printing and sensors.

If you don’t have a ticket yet for the ITS World Congress, a great alternative is the ITS Public Day on 14 October. On this day, the entire trade fair grounds, including homePORT, is open to the public. You can sign up at: programme for ITS Public Day –

For more information about the location, the programme and the individual projects, please see our website: ITS 2021 @ homePORT – homePORT.

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