In sight: Hectronic launches pilot operation of a car park surveillance system
New solution helps locate parking spaces and makes life difficult for parking offenders.
A conventional camera coupled with a cloud-based server with algorithmic processing, integrated in Hectronic’s management software CityLine – the basis for added-value service! Free and occupied parking spaces can be identified via live transmission and the target/actual length of stay simultaneously compared.
We’ve all been there: the long and frustrating search for a free parking space. In big cities, it can take anything up to 10 minutes to find one. Hectronic wants to help eliminate this problem, with a promising solution, currently in the pilot phase and being thoroughly put to the test. The test object is the company’s own employee car park. Each parking space has been labelled with a number, and a camera has been installed facing the direction of escape. This was all that was basically required to get the project underway.
Smart system in simple terms
How the car park surveillance system works is easy: a low-tech surveillance camera sends “snapshots” to a cloud-based server at predefined intervals. The relevant data is processed on this server using an algorithm and is transferred to the Hectronic software. Free and occupied parking spaces are identified and the length of stay is displayed. The information generated can then be interconnected with another, external system, such as a parking space info display or a city app, which can display the number of free parking spaces, just like in a multi-storey car park, thereby putting an end to the time-consuming search for a parking space.
But the system can do much more than display free and occupied parking spaces. A target/actual comparison can also be carried out to determine which users have run over the time on their ticket or don’t even have a valid ticket. This information is transmitted in real time to the parking enforcement authority, which then intervenes accordingly. Information is transmitted by Hectronic’s bay enforcement software, which draws on the information output by the parking ticket machine or mobile app. Each car park user must first specify which parking space they’re in and buy a ticket for a specific parking time; all the target data needed for the comparison is thereby recorded.
Further modules planned
The first few test weeks have already yielded positive results. The camera-based surveillance system significantly helps improve parking management and offers further potential. In the foreseeable future, it will also be possible to monitor no-parking zones, for instance, whereby a special marker in the software will emit an acoustic signal as soon as a car parks in a parking space marked with a stopping restriction.
Hectronic sees the key function of the camera as the main advantage. A solution with ground sensors has been worked on in the past, but this resulted in high installation and maintenance costs; poor weather conditions also impaired the results.
No invasion of privacy
Many people take a very negative view of cameras. The technology used here, however, will ensure that individuals’ privacy is not invaded. The camera images used are of a very low resolution, which renders it almost impossible to make out facial features and number plates. All images are also deleted once they’ve been processed.
Full speed ahead
The Hectronic team is currently working at full speed to launch the car park surveillance system onto the market as soon as possible. However, the priority is currently the test phase, as part of which all functions are being thoroughly tested, subsequently offering customers a complete system in every sense of the word.
“We’re well on the way to a smart system that will move parking management a considerable step forward.” – Dominik Burger, Project Manager Parking.