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Cardiff plans smart car parking roll out



Programme includes sensors at parking bays and mobile app to assist drivers

Cardiff City Council is preparing to install infrared sensors on its parking bays and roll out a mobile app to help drivers find vacant spaces around the city.

It has confirmed the green light for a programme with parking technology company Smart Parking to install more than 3,000 detection sensors in on- and off-street parking spots, and introduce the SmartApp mobile app.

The council is also planning to make more use of automatic number plate recognition technology in off-street car parks and place variable message signage around the city to direct motorists to available parking.

Under the programme, parking bays will be fitted with flush mounted, anti-slip profile SmartEye sensors, equipped with radio frequency identification technology, to detect when a vehicle has occupied a space.

The data will be sent real time to the SmartRep back office system, then fed to the SmartApp. Drivers will be able to see where spaces are available on a map or by checking on the location they are travelling to.

The council also expects to obtain better intelligence on its parking facilities.

Car travel necessity

Councillor Ramesh Patel, Cardiff’s 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.”

Paul Gillespie, Smart Parking’s chief executive officer, said the roll out will help the council manage the strategic and operational aspects of parking.

“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,” he said.

The move follows a pilot conducted during 2015 that covered 275 parking bays across the city and assessed the operational capability of the sensors and the app.

Cardiff has also upgraded its Metric Elite LS parking machines with new payment options, including credit card and pay-by-phone options.

Image from Smart Parking

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