Smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT) are two interwoven elements of future infrastructure. IoT devices are anything – sprinklers, street lights, rubbish bins, buildings, parking machines – that communicate with each other and a back-end management system wirelessly via the internet.
The number of interconnected devices is increasing every year. According to Statista, the projected number of IoT devices globally in 2020 will surpass 50 billion – there were 8.7 billion connected devices in 2012, and 22.9 billion last year. While these figures show the popularity of IoT devices, where are the noticeable changes in our lives we would expect from the technology?
Enhancing city parking with PEMS
Although we seem no closer to flying cars or automated lifestyles, smart cities and IoT devices are already revolutionising the way humans navigate, explore and park in a city. For those in charge of managing a city's resources, connected devices offer a far greater access to data than before – allowing them to better allocate resources and direct stakeholders to where they need to go.
The Parking Enterprise Management System (PEMS) is an integrated parking platform unique to Duncan Solutions. PEMS collects, analyses and sends real-time data to and from a number of managed devices, including parking meters, in-ground sensors, license plate recognition cameras, inground loops, guidance applications and infringement issuance devices. This information can then be used to direct and assist drivers, parking enforcement officers, car park managers, traffic engineers, field surface technicians and more.
Below, we'll look at how PEMS helps drivers and compliance staff.
Navigating your way through a busy commercial district can be quite challenging – avoiding hazards such as motorcycles, cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles is stressful enough, and that's before you've begun to look for a convenient parking space. PEMS provides an accurate, real-time feed of sensor and/or parking transaction data to the integrated guidance application on your mobile phone or in-car dashboard. The application displays unoccupied spaces and block-fronts, and the in-phone voice guide will allow you to locate the nearest vacant spot and park easily and safely.
Once you're parked, you can pay using your smartphone and top up later to the maximum time allowed without revisiting your car, or the meter.
Parking enforcement officers
PEMS is a powerful and unique solution that seamlessly integrates paid parking and vehicle monitoring technologies to deliver an all-in-one 'smart city' enforcement package. For compliance teams, this is vitally important. Live, highly accurate data is fed into PEMS from vehicle sensors and parking meters in the field, and is then transmitted to infringement issuance devices.
Enforcement officers look at the GIS map on their devices to view current overstay and non-compliant parking events across the local area, and throughout the whole CBD. Providing data like this completely changes the way parking inspections teams operate, as the enforcement process changes from looking at every car to establish if it is non-compliant or not, to being guided to them quickly and efficiently.
Craig Ion, Coordinator Parking & Local Laws at Maribyrnong City Council, spoke about this integration capability and why it led to Maribyrnong choosing to partner with Duncan Solutions for their system upgrade. "With an enforcement tool like this, you've got everything there. It's a lot easier, there's a lot less chance of making mistakes, and it's professional."
A more effective and efficient enforcement team will result in increased compliance, increased parking availability, more parking turnover, a better driver experience, and a smarter civic operation.