IR sensor system for parking aid

Author: Urban Wadelius


Published on IPQ website: 13th March 2014

• A driver of a vehicle gets assistance in finding the nearest free parking lot.
• Payment of parking lot can be automated.
• Parking attendant only needs to check occupied parking lots where no automated payments have been made.
• Saves time and environment since the drivers/parking attendants can drive directly to the right parking lot. Other benefits
•  A message can be send to driver about fee, parking laws, time restriction etc.
• Only pay for the time you park the vehicle.
•  A parking lot can be marked unavailable for instance cleaning day, snow storage.

When I was driving my car in the city of Uppsala, looking for a free parking lot and after about 30 minutes without finding any, I came up with the idea of a system that keeps track of free parking lots and reports that to drivers and parking attendants.

An IR-camera is mounted high on a pole or a house. The camera is looking at the parking lots. With some image processing it can be decided if the parking lot is empty or not. The information together with the parking lots GPS coordinates is then send to a database/server. A driver subscribes to the service and has possibly a transponder connected to the vehicle. The coordinates and directions to the nearest free parking lot can be send from the database/server to a smartphone with an existing map service. A transponder installed in the vehicle using Galileo instead of GPS gets accuracy down to centimeters. Then it can be determined if the vehicle is placed within the parking lot. The transponder sends start/stop of parking and the vehicles registration number to the database for instance via NFC (Near Field Communication) and a smartphone.

Easier and cheaper installation and maintenance than using sensors at each parking lot.