ADI, Cambridge to enhance car parking experience

Article By : Michael Delrossi

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.

[Smart monitoring system]

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.

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