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An intelligent system accessible with a smartphone app allows drivers to identify vacant parking spaces and navigate to available and pre-assigned parking spots, facilitating their parking process.
If you are a driver, you will probably recognise these experiences. Making it through the afternoon gridlock, you find that your usual parking lot is full. You then start to search for any available space and find one in an unfamiliar lot. Perhaps after shopping, you look for your car, but forget which floor and which bay you parked it on.
Is there an easier way of doing this? Dr Andrew W.H. Ip and his research team at PolyU's Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering have a solution. Supported by Sino Parking Services Limited, they have developed the IoT-based Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation System.
Integrating various emerging technologies including an IoT-based cloud service, wireless sensors and middleware through powerful big data analytics, the system operates through a mobile app and offers real-time information. Drivers can easily identify nearby car parks with vacant spaces, and can also use the app to navigate via GPS to the preferred parking lot.
The system is currently in use in Sino car parks incorporating with near-field communication and other customer relations management protocols. Drivers can settle parking-related payments and receive notifications of the latest promotional deals from Sino via the app. In addition, the system can be connected to environmental sensors to monitor conditions such as temperature and air quality within the car park. When certain levels are reached, exhaust fans are turned on to freshen and cool the air.
This smart system has won various awards, including a Gold Medal with the Congratulations of Jury and a Special Merit Award at the 43rd International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, two Silver Awards on Implementation Excellence and on Application Innovation at the Hong Kong Internet of Things Awards by GSI Hong Kong, and Big Data Analysis Awards 2014 on Variety by the China and Hong Kong Enterprise Market Development Association. ♦