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Italian City Employs 'Smart Parking' to Guide Drivers to Open Spots

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June 25, 2014

Italian City Employs 'Smart Parking' to Guide Drivers to Open Spots

By Matt Paulson, TMCnet Contributing Writer

The era of searching for open parking spaces may be coming to an end, starting with the city of Pisa in Italy. In a joint effort with Deutsche Telekom (News - Alert) and Kiunsys, the Italian city has designed and installed an intelligent parking system on the Piazza Carrara which will help drivers find open parking spaces almost immediately, and even pay for their spot through a smartphone.

The parking system is actually remarkably simple. Sensors on the floor for every parking spot in the Piazza are able to detect whether or not a vehicle is currently parked in that position. From there, this information is interpreted by several data units as well as the city's server infrastructure via Pisa's existing mobile network. From there, this data is then transmitted to several indication panels throughout several parking lots which will guide motorists to an open spot.

“The new parking system integrates seamlessly into our intelligent transport system (ITS),” stated Pisa's mayor, Marco Filippeschi. “It eases the flow of traffic and helps to cut CO2 emissions... Indeed, drivers looking for a parking space make up some 30 percent of inner-city traffic. So the easier it is for them to find a spot, the less traffic there will be.” Clearly, if cities like Pisa can implement a working service like this to reduce traffic congestion as well as parking frustration, the process could be repeated elsewhere.

Pisa has already integrated many parts of its infrastructure with Kiunsys, such as the Tap&Park app which allows users to pay for parking spaces with their smartphones. As a result, the sensors that make up the parking system have been reporting traffic data for years. The city plans to integrate this data with big-data analysis techniques in order to gain a better understanding of traffic patterns and more efficiently design future infrastructure based on those findings.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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