Streetline has designed a wireless sensor technology that can be installed at parking spaces to detect the presence of huge metal objects in the vicinity.
When a vehicle is parked near the sensor, it registers the metal increase and when the metal content shows a drop it would signify that the vehicle has left the parking space. The data is then communicated through wireless network to indicate the availability of a parking space, Based on the data, cities can decide on the rate of parking slots. Availability of the parking space information not only increases the revenue, but also prevents traffic congestion.
Donald Shoup, Professor of Urban Planning at ULCA, is expecting significant improvement in urban transportation by implementing this technology. He however expects that city governments take longer time in adopting this technology. As of now, this technology has been installed in some areas of Los Angeles, Roosevelt Island and the parking lots at the Fort Totten metro Station in Washington. Streetline has also devised an iPhone application, Parker, which gives an indication to drivers on the number of vacant parking spaces available on the blocks within the sensor network.
The feedback from the pilot phase program carried out in Hollywood was quite positive. Based on the positive feedback, the Los Angeles transport agency is planning to extend the sensor network to 200 more parking spaces to manage the traffic congestion.
The University of Maryland’s College Park campus also came forward to implement the sensor technology to appraise electric car drivers about the availability of charging stations. They have planned to extend the technology to indicate the availability of parking spaces for handicapped drivers and emergency parking slots.