New smart technologies for parking
Nivi Group won the call of the Region of Tuscany, co-funded by EU for Research and Development Projects of SME (POR FESR 2014-2020) thanks to TESEO project.
Teseo project has as its objective the application of different technologies coexisting and interfacing on a single computer system and enabling a smart management of public fee-parking areas. The technologies chosen will be installed in a demo area identified together with the Florence authority: Piazza Tasso’s parking, in the middle of the town.
The innovative system PMS (Parking Management System) includes a smartphone App named “Touch&Park”, in co-operation with Vivido Srl. Its features enable to notify the nearest free parking space, possibly the faster path to reach it and finally to pay the parking fee.
Teseo shall facilitate the parking management; the supervision operators will be aware in real time through the device of how many spaces are free, which ones are occupied and more importantly which ones are in breach of the parking regulations. The central control system shall check the operating state of the parking area and detect anomalies through the T&C application and Touch monitor.
Currently in Italy the most widespread technology to report the status of a parking space is based on traditional systems using magnetic sensors in the road surface. This method is effective but incomplete. The advanced PMS (Parking Management System) uses the RDFID* technology, which shall communicate with Reader repeaters sending the data to a concentrator and the to a specific back end server. The processing of this information gives the status of the parking space as free/occupied.
The new technologies currently on the market enable the fee-parking management to be more effective. Such as the use of optical sensors, devices that can detect the use of the parking spaces with aerial installation with no need of roadwork. The optical sensors may be installed on the light poles and their technology enables to detect the presence of a vehicle and its dimension in any climatic context.
In a spirit of integration and exhibition of technologies for the management of fee-parking areas, the Teseo project also foresees the installation of artificial intelligence cameras. The software, developed by the Engineering Department of Florence University, MICC, headed by Professor Alberto Del Bimbo, tracks the route of the vehicle and detects the position in the parking space, thus reporting its status – free or occupied – to the system. Another innovative function of the video-analysis is the detection of abnormal events within the parking area. The events considered as “abnormal” are those characterized by appearance or movement pattern statistically infrequent (e.g. vehicular collision, long stop of a subject close to a vehicle, fight or violent acts).
Lastly, the system enables the recording of entrance and exit through an advanced technology of number plate reading system; thanks to this feature no barriers are needed.
The data about the occupation status of the parking spaces are matched with those about the payment made by the user on a new generation parking-meter, which also enables the payment by credit card, ATM, cash and contactless.
An example of T&C control interface.
During the PMS (Parking Management System) implementation phase, operation tests on the devices have been carried out, in order to optimize their position on the field and to acquire important operating data with the collaboration of RC PROJECT Company. The other real innovation of Teseo project is the monitoring, management and processing of all the data received from the sensors on the field on a single Cloud Computing platform.
The specific T&C Solution Client offers the possibility of the data to be represented on a graphic 2D or 3D vector multi-user and multi-touch environment.
* (Radio-Frequency IDentification, technology for the automatic identification and/or storage of information).
The initial phase foresees the design of hardware and software architecture of PMS (Parking Management System), with which the communication layers between sensors and data processing software named “subsystem” –Cloud Computing – are defined. The scheme presented shows the devices forming part of the system, Optical Sensor, MICC Cameras, Number Plate Reading Camera, Parking-Meter, RFID Sensor.
Together with the “subsystem”, the module of cameras’ management has been implemented too. It foresees an artificial intelligence using cameras to detect the occupation of the parking spaces and possible anomalies within the parking area. In the last level of the Logic architecture there is the T&C client and its Apps for the payment of parking and the App for the officer in charge.
In the second phase of the project all the details of components have been taken into account, dividing the PMS in two clearly separated operational areas:
- Subsystem area of terminals and sensors
- Area of traffic and parking management
The search for the trial site has taken longer than expected. More than one parking areas have been verified within the city of Florence, since the Lead Company Nivigroup allowed to become aware of the program relating to the Smart Cities’ themes for the research of innovative solutions for the management of parking areas.
The test area of Piazza Torquato Tasso has been identified after a long search and analysis of the features of other sites within Florence, where both for technical-economic and bureaucratic problems, it has not been possible to install all the devices to properly test them.
Thanks to the geometrical features and the presence of elements in elevation enabling the easy installation of the sensors, in addition to the features of vehicle transit and the overcoming of the bureaucratic processes, the area of Piazza Tasso resulted a very good place to test a system consisting of several components, in order to evaluate its behavior. In the third phase, after the tests in the demo area for the verification of functioning of the components, the installation of the optical devices in elevation and of the RFID sensors on the road were carried out, as indicated on the following scheme.
In January the PMS became operational for a trial period that will last for 5 years.
In 2017 the Lead Company NIVIGROUP participated in the fair “Riccione 2017 –Le Giornate della Polizia Locale”.
At the stand properly set for Teseo Project, the optical technologies of Smart Cities, including the PMS part, have been presented.
For further information on Teseo project and on the participation of the company to the event you can refer to the news on Linkedin and on the website of the Lead Company.
In 2017 following the development of the T&C interface, tested and validated by RC Project, the Lead Company considered as possible clients the Italian municipal authorities, including the one in Florence, given the development of relationships necessary to the achievement of TESEO project