The rise of Internet of Things has brought many smart services into the spotlight and Smart Parking is definitely one of the stars, with the parking problem being one of the top issues for cities all over the world.
Humanity has come a long way when it comes to urbanization and living within cities, however, it seems that new challenges and problems arise all the time. The Internet of Things, with its Smart City vertical, is one of the breakthroughs that have promised to solve at least some of these problems. One of the most painful issues for cities all over the world is the ever increasing number of cars. If you are living in a fairly large city and you drive, chances are that you have been at least once in that frustrating situation of having to search endlessly for a parking space. Well, things are about to change.
One of the most popular Internet of Things technologies, LoRaWAN and associated network server, has taken the lead in providing Smart City solutions all over the globe. A Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) specification intended for wireless battery operated Things, the LoRaWAN network enables bi-directional communication with devices deployed all over the city limits, sensing for data that can be turned into actionable information. LoRaWAN enabled parking sensors are able to detect and report, in real time, the status of parking spaces all over the city as well as to monitor key spaces that should be left unoccupied (e.g. evacuation areas, fire brigade access, etc.). Information received from the sensors can be made publicly available so that the general public is able to find a free parking space instantly. Many large cities are already rolling out this service using one of the many solution providers out there. “But wait a minute,” you could ask, “Will this network infrastructure really improve our experience or the availability of the parking spaces? Will it make more spaces available?” Or could it be more to this? We believe there is…
Information received from the sensors can be used not only by the drivers looking for a parking space, but also by city halls or parking administrators. As cities get smarter, integrating this information into other systems will mean that adaptation to real time or statistical data will be at reach. New parking spaces could be planned more efficiently. Private spaces could be shared seamlessly with other people, increasing the overall parking lot. Parking prices could adapt in real time based on demand or, using statistical data, it could be used as a mean to keep a constant level of demand and in turn control the crowdedness level. Fair usage policies could be enforced more easily. Paying for the parking space could be a click away. Historical versus real time statistics could show unusual situations around the city. Intelligent street signs could be used to divert traffic towards less crowded areas. Parking time could be estimated based on statistical data so that your phone will not only show you how long it takes to get to the destination, but also how long before finding a parking space!
“What gets measured, gets managed” sounds like a proverb and we are here to prove that right. Simfony has partnered with Libelium, one of the top device manufacturers in the IoT space, to provide customers all over the world with a truly Smart Parking solution that does much more than just count free parking spaces. Try out our kit here or contact us directly for details and a live workshop and demo of the Platform.