Smart Parking

Video: Professor Cassandras and Smart Parking

Studies have estimated that on a daily basis 30% of vehicles on the road in the downtown area of major cities are cruising for a parking spot and it takes an average of 7.8 minutes to find one. In addition to aggravation and the waste of time and fuel for drivers looking for parking, this also contributes to additional waste of time and fuel for other drivers as a result of traffic congestion.

The goal of this project is to implement a test bed for a Smart Parking system. The system determines the best parking space for a driver in an urban environment for any given destination entered through a smartphone app and then reserves the space for the driver. Overall, the system benefits drivers, cities, and the environment.

The innovative elements of this “smart parking” system relative to the state of the art are: (i) The system automatically finds the best parking spot available at the time of a request. (ii) While the driver is en route, the system continuously seeks to upgrade the assigned parking space based on the latest data collected from parking spaces; the driver is guaranteed never to be re-assigned to a worse parking space. (iii) The parking space assigned to a driver is reserved for that driver. (iv) The system ensures that parking spaces are allocated in a fair manner.

Boston University team:

  • Christos Cassandras, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Systems Engineering, College of Engineering


  • Boston University Office of Technology Development
  • City of Boston
  • National Science Foundation


  • Boston University campus