Automotive

Bosch sensor connects parking spaces to the Web

Bosch sensor connects parking ...
Sensors are installed either on or in the ground of each parking space to detect whether or not the space is occupied
Sensors are installed either on or in the ground of each parking space to detect whether or not the space is occupied
View 1 Image
Sensors are installed either on or in the ground of each parking space to detect whether or not the space is occupied
1/1
Sensors are installed either on or in the ground of each parking space to detect whether or not the space is occupied

Trying to find a parking space in a city center isn't just frustrating at times, but can also waste time, cost money and result in needless tailpipe emissions. We've already seen a prototype from BMW that uses data from cars to predict where free spaces can be found, and now Bosch has revealed a system where the parking spaces themselves are used to inform drivers where they can park.

Active parking lot management employs sensors that are installed either on or in the ground of each space. They regularly check whether or not the space is occupied and relay the information wirelessly to a server. Two types of detection are used so that a level of redundancy is built into the system.

The sensors, which are about the diameter of a compact disc and 3 cm (1.2 in) in height, are powered by batteries, not mains electricity, meaning that no cables are required. Bosch says that an entire car park can therefore be fitted with the system in under 24 hours.

Due to the low power consumption of the sensor, the battery will last for up to seven years. The battery level can be viewed by the parking lot operator at any time, ensuring that the system can be adequately maintained. The sensors are weather-proof and can withstand the wear and tear caused by heavy vehicles.

The system is designed to be accessed by drivers via a web portal or a mobile app. Prior to beginning a journey, drivers can view where there is parking available and filter the results by factors like space size or type (such as for people with children or the disabled). The mobile app can be used to direct drivers straight to a free space.

The system offers benefits for parking lot operators, too. It can, for example, show information about when spaces are typically filled, with statistics then used to improve the occupancy-rate of lots. A cashless payment function can also be enabled if required.

The video below provides an introduction to the active parking lot management system.

Source: Bosch

5 comments
Robert Walther
In parking garages which usually have low ceilings, if that matters, it would seem these things would last longer if installed above the parking spot. This would avoid the 'unintentional' roll over by the driving impaired.
Alien
One car park that I visit already has overhead sensors in every parking bay that show red when the bay is occupied and green when it is vacant. Presumably these are 'hard wired' and so need no batteries or wireless software. Obviously they're only visible to drivers once they are in the car park but information about a vacant space further away is probably of little help as it could be taken by the time one reaches it.
Bruce H. Anderson
These type of systems are not new, some examples from my own experience are Whole Foods in downtown Austin TX and Reagan airport in Washington DC. I guess the "new" part is that it is connected to the web. That would require that parking garages/lots have wifi. GPS could work in a parking lot, but you are toast in a multi-level garage. @ Robert Walther. The floor is generally preferable since there may be an inductive coil to detect if a car is in the space, The range of clearance under a vehicle is smaller than the range of clearance between the roof of the garage and the roof of the vehicle (think minivan vs. Miata). Inductive systems are usually installed in the floor via drilled holes and/or sawcuts and don't need batteries at the sensor location.
Bob Flint
The overhead hard wired units already used with color coded lights are much easier to find an empty spot being able to glance down an entire row before deciding to turn down rather than having to drive along searching for an empty spot. Also 1 or more levels below ground and most phones lose their signal, unless the lot employs a great wireless signal. Also the spot could be gone by the time you got there, or not show up at all with a chunk of slush sitting atop the sensor, or even someone deliberately holding a spot by covering up the sensor with some trash.
OswaldKayChisala
What incentives does Bosch have for going out of their way to develop such (presumably) expensive parking infrastructure for drivers? Sure, it's a sign of good-will which could help their brand, but could they also profit financially from their initiative? I don't get it. Thanks in advance! :)