Parking is one of those universal challenges most people can relate to. Parking causes congestion on our city streets, contributes to pollution, and causes motorist frustration in most cities around the globe. As we look at ways to apply technology to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing our cities today, parking is ripe for innovation. Here are a few interesting facts:
- 20 minutes is the average time spent looking for a parking space globally
- 30% of city traffic consists of people looking for parking
- 60% of drivers have given up on an activity recently due to the difficulty of finding parking
- Parking is usually the second or third largest source of revenue in a city, however, it is exceedingly difficult to manage due to a lack of granular or continuous data on demand and behavior
Since December 2012 Streetline and Cisco have embarked on a journey to bring together the best of Cisco networking technology with the domain expertise of Streetline to deliver new “connected city” solutions to customers. Streetline has a deep history in sensing technology and award-winning applications that both capture and share real time parking data with city officials, consumers and other stakeholders.
Streetline’s sensors embedded in the pavement of the selected parking spaces detect when vehicles occupy or leave a space and communicate that raw information to Streetline repeaters and gateways, which then channel the data through a cellular gateway to Streetline’s cloud data center. Streetline’s advanced inference technology then processes the sensor data in the cloud to provide the availability of parking spaces. The intelligent network platform captures the data and publishes it via Streetline’s free smartphone application, Parker, which displays real-time availability of these on-street spaces as well as locations of off-street parking garages and lots. The technology is designed to not only help people find spaces, but also to help reduce traffic congestion and improve parking management. Information vital to parking administrators including occupancy, turnover, and length of stay, is then made available to municipal customers through ParkSight, Streetline’s web-based analytics application. In addition, Streetline’s award winning Guided Enforcement (GE) application will now include real time images of the cars in violation, allowing for more accurate enforcement management.
Camera Based Smart Parking Detection
Streetline and Cisco have also jointly developed a new video detection solution, which captures the arrival and departure of vehicles no matter where or how they park. This media rich data is fed through Cisco’s WiFi and sent to Cisco’s Smart+Connected™ City Infrastructure Management (SCCIM) system, where the data is analyzed and unique parking events are inferred and then sent to Streetline’s cloud application infrastructure. Streetline’s applications provide real-time parking information that can be used to help consumers find parking or help parking enforcement personnel more efficiently enforce parking policy.
The introduction of cameras to the sensing portfolio opens up expanded opportunities to sense in a variety of environments. While “sensors” are highly effective for detecting vehicles in individually-marked parking spaces, video can be highly effective for spaces or zones that are unmarked. There are a wide variety of marked and unmarked parking spaces, loading zones, and no-parking zones, being occupied by an even wider variety of vehicles, parking at different angles and occupying different positions within unmarked parking spaces and zones. In such diverse environments, cameras offer a solution that is a first in the industry. With data from these spaces, cities can gather insights that are critical to effective parking asset management. Occupancy using video detection is combined with data from spaces instrumented with individual-space sensors to provide a complete picture of parking behavior in a city’s entire parking ecosystem. Policies and pricing can then be adjusted to optimize demand and parking behavior, making parking more available, easier to find, and better utilized as the infrastructure asset that it is. Because parking touches everything in a city, including merchants, consumers, government, and the environment, it is a low-hanging fruit to address that provides a wide range of benefits for many stakeholders.
Integrated Cisco WiFi and Streetline IOT Gateway
Streetline has also teamed up with Cisco to introduce a new integrated solution that brings together Streetline’s low-power mesh network and Cisco’s Smart+Connected™ City WiFi via the Connected Grid Router (CGR). With this advanced, integrated solution, Cisco WiFi customers can add Streetline’s award-winning, patented smart parking guidance, analytics and enforcement platform to their smart city initiatives. The new Streetline IoT Gateway for CGR essentially “snaps” onto the Cisco CGR, providing Cisco WiFi customers with complete access to a comprehensive parking solution.
As cities consider where to begin on their journey to become a connected city, smart parking has emerged as one of those areas with proven technology and a tangible ROI. Because smart parking generates efficiencies in the system, it allows for other sensing types to be integrated into the foundational parking network in a modular fashion. Streetline recently introduced road temperature and noise sensing, creating an opportunity for cities to build a connected city from the parking space up, and do so in a way that is most appropriate for that particular city. This data, when analyzed and turned into meaningful information by Streetline’s analytics applications, enables cities to gather new insights that can assist in sustainability initiatives, improve responses to noise complaints, and optimize the utilization of city resources.
Parking is an issue that affects cities of all sizes. Streetline and Cisco are already working together to solve parking in cities like San Mateo and San Carlos in California, as well as in major international cities like Barcelona. With this new collaboration, we can help many more cities solve parking challenges. By sensing the street to produce insightful and actionable information, we are helping cities improve quality of life for their residents and visitors, and become more efficient, sustainable, and economically vibrant. Cities that are able to provide these benefits are those that people want to live and work in, and they will be the successful cities of the future