Unique Car-to-Infrastructure communication in multi-car parking facilities

High traffic volumes, growing need for parking space and, as a result, increasing search for parking options call for innovations in parking management. Modern infotainment systems having navigation features can no longer be dispensed with in motor vehicles in present times. Wireless communication between motor vehicles and the parking infrastructure has been implemented for the very first time in the Travolution project that is being implemented in cooperation between AUDI AG and Scheidt & Bachmann GmbH.
travolution[1].jpgAt the time of approaching the parking facility the car driver gets useful information via the MMI on-board monitor regarding the number of vacant parking slots available and the parking fees payable. If the car driver decides to enter the car parking facility, he / she simply confirms this via the car on-board computer. The entry into the car park takes place comfortably and quickly without a parking ticket.

The time-consuming payment procedure at the car parking facility is also dispensed with. The motor vehicle is used as the unique identification of the car driver and thus enables the payment, e.g. via a credit card or direct debit mandate. Payment is confirmed comfortably using the MMI control knob. The dispatch of the receipt via e-mail is initiated automatically in the background. The customer can leave the car parking facility comfortably and quickly.

This means sustainable benefit of comfort for the car driver. The customer can neither lose / misplace parking tickets nor is he / she required to wait in queues at the pay stations. The need to have the right amount of change or to request for a receipt at the pay station in order to bill the travel costs is thus circumvented. And last, but not least, dispensing with the need for cash at the pay machines at nights enhances the feeling of security on the part of the customers.

The so-called Car-to-Infrastructure technology also provides value addition to the operator of the car parking facility in many ways. To begin with, the MMI car on-board monitor is used as a communication platform for the car parking facility and facilitates addressing customers in a targeted manner. The payment feature at the exit enables transparent and fair billing of the parking period correct to the nearest minute both for the car driver and the operator of the car parking facility.

The payment feature also has a favourable impact on the traffic flow within the car park: Queues at the exit, caused by car drivers who have forgotten to pay for the parking ticket at the pay stations, are prevented. Moreover, the operational costs of the car parking facility can be reduced in a sustained manner in many ways, by working without parking tickets, decreasing the number of pay stations in the car park, and by cutting down on the service effort resulting from fewer cash receipts. Pay stations tie up capital resources both at the time that they are procured and during operation, and are the primary targets of vandalism and break-ins.

Apart from the enhanced levels of comfort for customers and the favourable impact with respect to increase in sales revenue and cost reduction, the improved CO2 balance is the decisive advantage of the Car-to-Infrastructure technology. The efficient organisation of the traffic flow for cars looking for parking spaces both outside and within the car parking facilities and the quick turnaround times for entry, payment and exit leads to sustained reduction in the emission levels and makes a meaningful contribution to environmental conservation and the future of the motor vehicle.
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