Smart City has fast become one of the hot topics in the industry. Cities are becoming smarter through the use of more efficient means of data gathering, allowing them to improve many aspects ranging from environmental to safety and convenience.
In the latest edition of Parking Talks we discussed the topic Smart City. We were lucky to have Nikki Eylon, Managing Director ANZ of ParKam on hand to join our discussion and share her knowledge and experience on the subject.
Firstly we were interested in how Nikki thought smart city parking would evolve.
"One of the biggest questions is ‘what is Smart City?’ We’ve been showing at the Smart City Conference for many years now in Barcelona and we see many different definitions of Smart City. I think the one thing that defines (Smart City), that everyone agrees on, is that Smart City solutions have to be IoT based and easy to integrate to each other. Cities don’t want to have many dashboards but want to have all the data in one place. That brings us to ParKam’s solution, which is IoT based".
We asked Nikki to explain what IoT is.
"IoT is ‘Internet of Things’ and basically it means that the city gets access to data from many different devices and gathers all the data in one dashboard. That gives them a better tool to understand what is really happening in the city in real-time so they are able to improve on that".
We were interested in important aspects for building smart cities.
"I think what is important is how we can actually utilise tools, so not giving the city just one dimension of solution but different ones. Shifting into camera-based solutions, for example, you have multiple streaming in a camera and you can use the same camera as a tool for parking but you can also use it for CCTV solutions, waste management, traffic management….There are so many different solutions today that are imaging processing based and they are all coming from the same camera so we want to give a variety of solutions, not just one (set of) data".
We wanted to know how smart city parking benefits the industry and the consumer.
"I think the aim of the new smart parking solution is to reduce congestion. We know that today every major city, and there is so much research in this area, is suffering from the same situation where people are on the look (out) for parking and creating traffic. This is also very bad for pollution. The new solution has to be able to guide the driver all the way to the available bay and it has to be accurate because the end-user is so frustrated as it is, they don’t want solutions that might be right they want ones that are based on real-time on real data and that’s what we are aiming for.
Our solution is creating a new layer of mapping and we show the availability to the end-user, navigating all the way to the available space. For the city of course, that’s the real tool. Without real-time data, they can not plan for the future. We meet with so many clients and they have assumptions about what is happening in their city. Once they install the system and get the real-time availability and they know what’s happening really in the bays, they can then start planning properly the future of their parking.
We need to move forward and start understanding that planning needs to be based on real data. It is no longer good enough to make an assumption, use large investments and design changes without real data. Another necessary tool for the city is to be able to control what is happening in the city center. Because a camera overlooks an area and not just a bay, we can alert on what we call ‘severe parking violations’, such as double parking, stopping in a bus stop or no-stop zone. We cover all these areas and alert in real-time and help the city manage what is happening".
Finally we were curious as to what developments we could expect from ParKam.
"There is a lot happening in ParKam and the project we are most proud of is with Curtin University WA. It’s actually the biggest project in the world of bay finding for camera technology. We are talking over 6000 bays in 29 car parks with over 30,000 students and staff navigating between these car parks and we are going to navigate them all the way to the available bays. ParKam navigation system actually navigates turn by turn inside the car park and not just to the car park. That is the biggest project we are working on now. Aside from that we have some other exciting projects in Europe. The city of Eindhoven is a great example of how we connect to the city IoT platform, which is very exciting. Also coming is the Mall of the Netherlands where we are focusing on the end-user experience and how we can reduce frustration and help the mall get the shoppers more quickly into the shops".
We appreciate the shared knowledge from ParKam and look forward to seeing their new projects as they develop.
Watch the first part of the Smart City discussion in full here:
ParKam was formed to resolve the worldwide problem of finding reliable parking on the go. It is known that 30% of inner-city traffic is created by people who are looking for available parking spots.
On the other side of the spectrum, parking lots lose customers and money as finding parking is still an exhausting and frustrating process. In addition, parking lots are losing money as they lack the data to utilize maximum capacity and rely on unnecessary manpower
Our unique, innovative solution is based on Real Time Computer vision. To find the best available parking spot we use our innovative proprietary algorithms which process footage from cameras that are already installed or will be installed by ParKam where necessary. Unlike other solutions, we only need one simple camera for up to 100 parking spots.
From the same streaming, we also operate a state of the art enforcement system.
ParKam offers a holistic, fully automated, very accurate, patented solution, second to none, for your smart city, parking lots of shopping centers, stadiums, airports, universities etc.
ParKam’s state of the art navigation system guarantees you always arrive at an available parking spot.