The smart monitoring system promises to save drivers time and makes parking easier by monitoring space occupancy for on-street and indoor garage parking spaces without adding expensive infrastructure.
Analog Devices (ADI) and Cambridge Consultants have developed what they describe as a cost-effective, smart monitoring system that helps improve the process of parking for drivers. The system promises to save drivers time and makes parking easier by monitoring space occupancy for on-street and indoor garage parking spaces without adding expensive infrastructure.
This technology affords a number of significant parking improvements. For example, drivers can be assigned a parking space as they enter a garage, enabling them to go straight to their allotted spot. Or they can request a specific space in advance if they plan to shop at a particular store. If the data from the occupancy sensor is combined with number plate recognition, drivers can also be offered automated payment and help with locating their parked car.
The smart system is enabled by ADI's Blackfin Low Power Imaging Platform (BLIP), which is a low-cost, low-power embedded computer vision platform targeting an array of real-time sensing applications. Using a highly sophisticated algorithm designed by Cambridge Consultants, BLIP can visually detect which parking spaces are occupied or empty. This is a significant improvement over costly alternative solutions, which involve digging up roads and parking lots to install individual sensors under each parking space. Parking surveys regularly report that the search for a parking space can often take up to 20 minutes with the average motorist wasting thousands of hours during their lifetime trying to find a vacant spot. In addition to the economic cost of this wasted time, it adds to pollution and congestion on the roads.