Innovative parking management piloted by a Finnish technology concept
The P-Innovations research project lead by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is piloting automatic vehicle recognition and dynamic guidance in a parking structure. This innovative parking concept takes place in the city of Tampere. The concept, which utilises RFID remote identification and optical license plate recognition, enables floor specific vehicle amount calculation and vehicle-specific parking guidance. This is the first European parking application that uses passive long-range RFID remote identification for vehicle identification.
VTT and six Finnish companies are together piloting innovative technological
and service concepts in the parking structure located in downtown Tampere. The
project tests and compares the applicability of UHF RFID identification and
optical registration plate recognition for automatic vehicle identification
using fifty pilot users. In addition, the project is researching the use of
variable signals, both signposts and audible signals for situation sensitive
guidance and notification in parking structures. The experiment, which started
in late April, will continue until the end of the year 2007.
The objective of the project is to identify products and technologies in the portfolios of the involved companies that can be combined to generate new and feasible concepts for parking management. Through development of these concepts the aim is also to generate new business between the involved companies and improve their market position. The plan is to offer parking customers improved services by alleviating the parking experience and supplementing the signalling.
For the pilot project, floor-specific vehicle monitoring and passage monitoring for contract customers for comparison was implemented using both passive RFID identification and registration plate recognition. In addition, guidance for the automatic cashier used to pay for the parking was implemented using smart speakers that react to a presence and an FM radio channel that is limited to the inside of the parking structure was installed. The radio channel can be used to distribute notifications related to parking and, in practice, advertising time for local entrepreneurs could be sold.
In past years Finland has shifted increasingly towards a professional service business in the management of public parking, which includes expansive utilisation of technology, high-quality customer service and efficient business operations. The customer is offered wider service entities where parking is part of a service chain. In the past few years technologies that automate different stages of parking have been actively sought to make parking management and the actual parking experience easier.
There is an increasing need for parking spaces and competition is tightening. Parking companies are seeking ways to manage their operations more efficiently and professionally. The targets are lower costs, faster information flow, automation, safety and an increased offering of auxiliary services. Better service also includes flexible pricing whose enabling concepts include, for instance, the automatic identification of vehicles and dynamic signalling that are being piloted.
In addition to VTT and Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation), Tampereen Pysäköintitalo Oy, Idesco Oy, Audio Riders Oy, Vidamin Oy, Finnish LED-Signs Oy and Ramboll Finland Oy are funding the project. Information about the organizations
Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) refers to the identification of a vehicle’s identity when it passes or stops at a certain point.
Automatic Vehicle Monitoring (AVM) refers to external vehicle identification and determination of a vehicle’s position at desired precision or point in time using AVI.
License Plate Recognition (LPR) refers to automatic deduction of a vehicle's registration number based on a digital photo.
Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) is a method for distance reading of information using specialised RFID identifiers or tags and scanners. There are both passive and active identifiers. Active identifiers have their own battery while passive identifiers use the energy that radiates from the scanner. A passive identifier only costs a fraction of the cost of an active identifier.
Automatic vehicle identification and situation sensitive signalling are central themes in the Tampere parking experiment.