A new parking management system being developed at the University of Adelaide should help smooth the parking process for both local councils and drivers. The automated system, 'SMART ePark', aims to replace most parking inspectors and help councils maximise on-street parking spaces.
SMART ePark is being developed by electronic engineering PhD graduate Dr Jega Balakrishnan and colleague Indrajit Majumder, based at the University's business incubator, ThIncLab.
Their company, eSMART 21, and parking system were born in the University's eChallenge business plan competition. They have just signed a trial contract with Charles Sturt Council.
"In cities across Australia there is a proliferation of cars. Finding vacant parking spaces is becoming more and more difficult as well as creating congestion problems with cars circling the streets," says Dr Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer and Director of eSMART 21.
"Our intelligent automated system is one-of-a-kind, and will increase parking monitoring efficiency and help councils improve the use of parking space."
Current parking management is based on a manual system relying on parking inspectors to monitor usage and issue infringement notices.
SMART ePark is an electronic system using wireless sensors, cameras and purpose-built software to monitor usage, and automatically issue infringement notices by mail to offenders.
"There will be no more tickets left on windscreens or dodging inspectors. Overstaying in car parking spaces will be significantly reduced, freeing up more spaces for shoppers," says Dr Balakrishnan.
The sensors log times in and out of parking bays and will automatically generate a list of 'overstayers'; to be checked against specially marked video footage for identification of numberplates.
eSMART 21 has a demonstration site set up at the University's Thebarton Campus business incubator, ThIncLab.
ThIncLab is run by the University's Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre, to provide assistance to students and alumni to commercialise products, services and research.