Merklingen train station, world’s largest electric vehicle charging park, Germany

Driving efficiency at the world’s largest electric vehicle charging park with AI-powered cameras.

 With an impressive 259 charging points and locally generated solar power to charge vehicles, Merklingen train station is the world’s largest electric vehicle charging park. Situated between the cities of Stuttgart and Ulm, Merklingen was inaugurated in December 2022. The new train station serves approximately 1000 to 1300 passengers daily. It has benefitted local hospitality, retail, and tourism since it opened, with the state Ministry of Transport calculating that it will eventually generate an annual economic benefit of 4.8 million euros for the region. 

As a transport hub for the local municipality of Merklingen, it is important that visitors feel safe and operations run smoothly. Because of this, the management team of the Zweckverband Schwäbische Alb contacted Reif GmbH looking for a new, intuitive video system that was futureproofed and could support the management of the station’s innovative electric vehicle charging park. Existing systems on the market did not meet the customer’s requirements, specifically National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) compliance, which was important from a GDPR perspective. The customer also wanted an easy-to-use video management system (VMS) to help daily operations and with event investigations.

A new intuitive video system

Hanwha Vision was chosen thanks to its intuitive WAVE VMS, NDAA compliance, open platform, and camera features. As a Diamond Partner, Reif GmbH was also able to offer a 5-year warranty on the Hanwha Vision cameras. 

In total, 37 cameras are installed around the station’s car park along with WAVE VMS, enabling continuous monitoring of the building and surrounding locations. The cameras include the QNO-8080R, a 5MP Network IR Bullet Camera, a TID-600R Intercom and the XNO-9082R, a 4K IR Bullet Camera with the Wisenet7 chipset and powerful video analytics including directional detection, audio detection, shock detection, and face/upper body detection.


The benefits of an open system

Hanwha Vision’s open platform offered the flexibility and futureproofing needed by the operator team, notably in supporting an integration with a custom in-house AI parking control system that was developed in partnership with a regional software company. This system automates parking management, removing the need for personnel to issue access, exit, and parking fees for the station car park. 

The open platform also supports future expansion of the station video surveillance if needed, or additional features and uses.

Crucial evidence and insights

The cameras work with the in-house parking management system to prevent unauthorised vehicles from entering the premises. They have also captured footage that was later used to investigate damage to property, helping operators to resolve such cases clearly and effectively with the video evidence. The XNO-9082R shows excellent performance in different lighting conditions thanks to Wisenet7, delivering clear images back to operators to help with situational awareness day and night. IK10 water and vandal protection was another selling point for the station team, as the cameras are all situated outdoors.

Meeting GDPR requirements

Hanwha Vision cameras are NDAA compliant, meeting the GDPR requirements for the station. No productive data is passed on to external third parties and the system can be operated completely on-premise to meet data protection regulations. Data can only be viewed by explicitly authorised individuals. 

Due to the WAVE VMS, maintenance staff can access the on-premise server in an emergency or malfunction with remote access through WAVE Mobile.

“The performance and quality of Hanwha Vision cameras along with the open WAVE VMS that could work with the in-house AI parking management system made it the logical choice for the Merklingen station project,” explained Andreas Baumann, Managing Director at Reif GmbH.