As part of our series investigating Smart Cities, we had the pleasure of hearing from Akif Ekin, President of Ekin Technology. Akif shared his expertise on the Smart City topic, raising important questions about the readiness of city infrastructure and the features that are essential for both the driver and the municipality.
As a leader in safe city technologies, we were keen to hear more about what solutions Ekin Technology has to offer municipalities. Read on to find out more about their solutions for locating empty parking spaces and using LPR to manage parking reservation and revenue.
Akif, What Features Do You Think Are Essential For Smart City Solutions?
"The aim of smart parking should be to make it easy for a driver to know where they will park before they have even started their journey. This is essential to ensure that they avoid cruising around the city, searching for a parking spot. For paid parking, there should be one account where all parking payments can be made.
"So, being able to plan your parking before your journey, and being able to pay for parking through one account, are two major things, which would make life easier for the driver.
"It is crucial for the user to need only one account. For example, most of the times that I travel to different countries, and I hire a rental car, for instance, it can be difficult to pay for parking. So it would be convenient to have one app, the Uber app is a good example, that will work in whichever country I visit. This is a convenience factor that makes life very easy; it shouldn’t matter which country I visit, I should need only one app with one payment system."
Do You Feel That the Right Infrastructure and Technology Is in Place to Support Smart City Parking?
"In the industry, there is a need for technical services, such as devices which help you to identify parking spots and make paid parking easier. With such devices and services in place, there should be no need for a ticket or even an app, instead, license plates should be certified and used as the parking ticket, that is from my point of view the easiest way."
What Solutions Do You Have For Locating Empty Parking Spaces?
"We have already introduced many solutions and we very much specialize and pioneer in mobile reading anything. What I mean by this, is that it should be possible to read number plates on any mobile device, including the mobile phone of the end user, so that they can scan their license plate and use it as a payment method.
"It is also useful to be able to read the plates by a bike or scooter or any vehicles on the move, because this way you can know who is parking where so that we can determine the empty spaces. This is just one way that parking management could be made easier."
Can You Share Some Solutions That Ekin Is Working on at the Moment?
"So we will have some new solutions for parking management based on city scanners, which scan the road.
"There is another thing we must consider when we talk about seamless parking in the city; if I can reserve my parking area in the city I need to be sure that nobody else is parking in this area, so everything should be controlled through payment. If I reserve my parking spot earlier, but somebody else is occupying this area it should be much more expensive, because actually, this car is using a reserved parking space for somebody else. If you don’t monitor who is parking where I don’t understand how you can make parking management work. So you will need to read the plates of this area, so there should be ways to link the license plate with the place and the payment system."
For more insights from Akif, and to see the contributions of Parquery and Urbiotica, watch the video in full:
Founded in 1998, Ekin is the leading provider of safe city technologies worldwide. The company’s state-of-the-art products enable law enforcement and private corporations to more efficiently and effectively protect the public. An integrated operating system that centrally manages all of Ekin’s products, Ekin Red Eagle (OS) features automatic facial and license plate recognition, speed and parking violation detection and smart intersection and system control software. With a focus on mobile, versatile security technology, Ekin’s easily implementable security systems are available for cities, airports, shopping centers, universities and arenas around the world. Known for its sleek design and innovative approach to security, Ekin has received a number of prestigious awards for their work in the safe city field like German Design, CES Innovation Award, A Design and Golden Bridge, European Business Awards ‘One to Watch’ and the prestigious Red Dot. To learn more about Ekin, visit www.ekin.com.