Smarter Parking, Smarter City
By Mark Dwortzan
Imagine, just before your morning commute, you enter your office location and a price range into a GPS or mobile device, and it returns directions to the vacant, appropriately priced parking spot that’s closest to your office, reserved just for you.
This “smart parking” scenario may be a click away, thanks to technology that Professor Christos Cassandras (ECE, SE) and systems engineering graduate student Yanfeng Geng are developing. In early August, the research team completed their first live test of a preliminary version of a smart parking system in the lower level of the 730 Commonwealth Avenue garage beneath 15 Saint Mary’s Street.
In the test, a ceiling-mounted, computer-linked sensor network continuously monitored parking spot activity and incoming reservation requests. Before entering the garage, a smartphone-equipped driver submitted an ID number and reservation request through a website. After validating the ID, the system updated a light indicator on the spot (and on a map displayed on the website) from green (unoccupied) to yellow (reserved), and, when the driver parked, to red (occupied). Once the driver departed, the system switched the light back to green and charged a parking fee to the driver’s account.
From the moment he entered the garage, the driver navigated his way to his designated spot in only about five seconds.
Read the full article on BU’s Center for Information and Systems Engineering website: Click here.