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Innovation in Automatic Parking Enforcement by Worldsensing due to IMPACT Connected Car accelerator program

In 2018, Worldsensing was selected out of 500 applicants as one of the top 15 startups to enter the first batch awarded by the IMPACT Connected Car acceleration program. IMPACT focuses on responding to the industrial needs in the automotive industry and offers acceleration, mentoring, training and equity-free funding.

Within the IMPACT accelerator program, Worldsensing conducted a pilot project to validate the effect of an innovative parking enforcement feature which aims to increase the value of traditional Smart Parking solutions.

Traditional Smart Parking solutions
On-street parking management solutions typically include wireless sensing devices such as sensors which detect if a car is occupying a space through detection technologies like infrared, magnetic field variation, and radar. In order to transmit real-time parking occupancy data from the sensors to a server, these solutions run on a wireless communication network. If a parking management solution is advanced enough, it provides cities and parking operators with processed and analyzed data which they can then use to make decisions or improve services for drivers or clients.

New automatic parking enforcement feature
For the IMPACT pilot project, Worldsensing used its existing dual-detection Smart Parking sensor, FastprkDuo, and added an “automatic parking enforcement feature”. Due to this add-on, parking operators can now monitor parking behavior in real time and act accordingly:

  • To identify areas where most parking infringements occur,
  • And to allocate staff in real-time to manage situations e.g. parking agents can be sent to areas with high discrepancies between real-time payments and occupations.

The challenge with geolocation tracking
Being able to integrate devices with geolocation capabilities in a Smart Parking solution such as smartphones, trackers or even the vehicles themselves – once connected cars become a widespread reality – will open up even more possibilities. Operators will then be able to run even more advanced analysis and perform actions based on real-time parking occupation information, payment data, and driver behavior.

“For our current project it was difficult to get access to connected cars’ location logs. We had to come up with a workaround and decided to use commercially available GPS trackers” explains Andrea Bartoli, Head of Worldsensing’s innovation department.

Although commercial trackers are less accurate than other GPS-based devices, mainly because they run on batteries and consume a lot of power which means they can’t be configured to work in a ‘always-on’ mode, “they turned out to be able to provide enough data granularity to be used within a smart parking solution” Andrea concludes.

Smart Parking - Automatic enforcement solution
A feature which can be used by parking or city operators: Fastprk parking management solution showing the payment status developed by the Fastprk2 innovation team.

Yielding new benefits for parking operators
Despite having to work with commercial trackers throughout the project, the team was able to develop a pre-commercial version for automatic parking enforcement. While they were initially able to obtain data accuracy for distances of close to 10-12 meters, the project team later achieved to decrease this distance to 5-8 meters by means of software updates. Based on these new functionalities, the commercial Fastprk solution now provides parking operators with added value related to enforcement management such as being able to reduce infringements by 10-20% and increase fee collection by 10-20%.

The project pilot and lab-test experiments have been conducted using synthetic events which have not involved the participation of citizens and do not entail the use of personal data.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme under the grant agreement No 731343.

About IMPACT Connected Car

IMPACT connected cars launched its first open call in October 2017 where 500 startups and SMEs from more than 40 countries were selected. 25 projects went through a smartization programme which started with a Disruptive Bootcamp, the first programme stage, which was held in Vigo (Spain) in April 2018. Ultimately, 15 companies (including Worldsensing) were selected for the Ignition Plan, the second stage of the IMPACT Connected Car program which ran until December 2018.

About Worldsensing

Worldsensing is a widely recognized global IoT pioneer. Founded in 2008, the Barcelona-based technology provider delivers Operational Intelligence to traditional industries and cities. With over 90 employees and offices in Barcelona, London and Los Angeles, Worldsensing is globally active and has already conducted projects in over 60 countries across 6 continents.