Smart technologies adopted in parking management

In order to work, RFID technology would need to be adapted over multiple bays to remain cost-effective

Alexander Sophoclis Pieri is the deputy editor of fmME.
Alexander Sophoclis Pieri is the deputy editor of fmME.

If there was one constant theme prevalent across this month’s issue, it is that of smart parking. We’ve had two contributors, Nahla Nana and Imran Akram, touch on the subject, as well as a full feature on parking management.

As one of the most pressing challenges in parking management, enforcement of assigned parking is still a tricky issue. Despite the benefits of smart technologies in helping streamline the process for both operators and motorists, there is still a need for enforcement officers to prowl the parking areas and respond to complaints. So how can the human factor in parking management be further reduced?

One idea would be to utilise radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to monitor bays and ensure motorists park in their assigned spots. RFID technology to oversee access to parking facilities is already utilised, so the same electronic passes could be associated with certain parking spots.

If an individual who isn’t assigned to a specific bay parks their car there, an RFID flags an issue on the system. The motorist would then be informed of their error via SMS or an in-app notification. The obvious benefit of this approach lies with the immediacy by which the system can relay to motorists that they’ve parked illegally. If fast enough, the message can be relayed before the offender even gets a few paces away from the vehicle. More importantly, the incident could be rectified well before the real owner is aware that a transgression took place.

Of course, the RFID sensors would need to be designed and installed in such a manner as to cover multiple bays, in order to be cost-effective.

Taking it a step further, the fining process could also be streamlined. A fine could be issued automatically to the user’s account following a warning. Of course this would require the vehicle’s details, which may already be on file if it is registered in that parking garage. For vehicles that are not registered, a nearby camera could take a shot of the licence plate, after which the system would need to liaise with the local traffic authority in order to issue a fine.
Throw in a few robots to oversee towing and you’ve got yourself a fully automated process.

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