Aiming to ensure that Cardiff in Wales is a high quality, attractive and liveable smart city, Cardiff City Council is using innovative technology to deliver tangible service improvements in city management, with a wide range of applications across council functions.
One of these innovations is the introduction of smart parking technology.
Cardiff is the most highly populated Welsh Local Authority, with around 346,100 inhabitants. The city’s population is growing rapidly and by 2026 is predicted to grow between 14 and 19% to 395,000-413,000.
Delivered by Smart Parking Ltd, Europe’s first citywide deployment of bay sensor technology is designed to transform the parking experience through a combination of the following technologies:
- the installation of more than 3,000 infrared vehicle detection sensors in on and off street locations;
- the use of ANPR technology at off-street car parks across the city;
- variable message signage strategically placed throughout the city, directing motorists to available parking; and,
- the introduction of SmartApp, the real-time parking availability and guidance smartphone app.
Cllr Ramesh Patel, cabinet member for Planning, Transport and Sustainability, said: “The City Council’s primary focus is to encourage public transport, cycling and walking and encouraging people to leave their cars at home. We do understand that sometimes travelling by car is necessary, either because public transport routes are not available or viable.
This technology will ensure that people travelling by private car are able to find their car parking space quickly and easily. This will have a number of benefits, notably helping in our aim to reduce congestion and improve air quality levels in the city centre.”
Through Smart Parking’s back office processing and analysis platform, SmartRep and Cardiff City Council will gain better intelligence on parking activity in its parking facilities.
Paul Gillespie, Smart Parking CEO, commented: “The launch of Smart Parking technology in Cardiff highlights the growing importance of smart city technology to not only manage parking but to also equip city operators who perform smart city IoT planning with accurate data and insight in order to radically change the way cities operate.”
Gillespie added: “In today’s fast changing sustainable and technological environment, success belongs to the Cities who are continually innovating and see opportunity where others do not. This exciting citywide deployment, between the City of Cardiff Council and Smart Parking, will help the Council to address the strategic and operational aspects of parking operations.
This will help the Council to achieve its goal of ensuring the City is clean and sustainable by making sure that parking behavior does not negatively impact on the city and the people who live, work and visit it. We look forward to working with the City of Cardiff Council in achieving its vision to become Europe’s most liveable capital city“
The City of Cardiff’s 2015 sensor pilot initially covered 275 bays across the city. Drivers can download SmartApp, to see when parking spaces are available in real time. It comprises Smart Parking’s flush mounted, anti-slip profile RFID-equipped SmartEye sensors, which use advanced sensing technology to detect when a vehicle has occupied a parking space.
Real time data is then communicated to the back office system SmartRep, regarding changes to parking space occupancy on a second-by-second basis. Drivers are able to access SmartApp to view an accurate live map of available parking spaces nearby or at a location that they plan to travel to.
The initial pilot looked to assessed the operational capacity and usefulness of the system including providing customers with the real time parking availability via a smartphone app.
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