Parking lots, especially the multi-story variety, can be a difficult place. There is poor lighting, small spaces, and endless driving around trying to find a parking space. Well, automation may not be able to help with the small spaces nor the poor visibility, but it can help you find a space.
We're all used to misguiding and often inaccurate signs that tell you how many spaces are available, but they're only of limited help. What drivers really need to know is where the available spaces are located. Thanks to some exciting technology,this is a real possibility.
Through the use of new technology drivers are automatically assigned a parking space the moment they collect their ticket at the gate. Once the gate is lifted, a series of LED panels will direct the driver to their space. The spaces use a series of sensors to tell the controlling computer when a space is taken or available. This not only improves the speed at which drivers find their space, but also ensures that during peak times, drivers follow the correct route to their space, thereby ensuring the parking lot is quite free from congestion. That’s a great idea for dedicated parking in large lots, but what about finding spaces on streets. riving around for what seems like hours looking for a space can be frustrating and time consuming. Now, companies have been promoting the use of sensors on the roads which, determines when a car is occupying the space and then sends that information to a cellphone app. Because this is done in real-time and is local to a specific area, the app will also include maps, so if the space is taken before the driver gets to it they can be informed and rerouted.
For on-street parking, a new system, AutoChalk, has been developed to replace the traditional and easily abused system of making a chalk mark on the tire wall to indicate whether or not the car has been moved since the chalk mark was first made. With the AutoChalk system, the parking attendant drives around their route and takes several time-stamped pictures of the cars which amongst others include the car’s registration plate. A GPS system details the cars position and optical recogntion software analyses the vehicle and assesses its shape, size, and color.
When the attendent returns, the system will automaticially asses the cars parked along the route and, if there has been a violation, it will offer the chance to either print a ticket or send the details to the office where the cars' details are matched to a database and then automatically sent to the drivers address.
These systems, and others like it, help traffic officers make more accurate assessments of parking violation and because of the images take and their level of detail, drivers' have less recourse to dispute their ticket.
New parking systems are a huge advantage to all car drivers and they'll even help local authorities raise revenues, so all-in-all, it's a win-win situation.