For the year ahead, smart parking solutions are predicted to be one of the top trends to make waves across Europe. If we look at London alone, on-street parking services could save drivers 33,000 hours in a car looking for parking—in addition to offering indirect savings of €870,000. Some cities have started parking share space service apps as a way to solve this growing problem, while others, such as Montpellier in the South of France, are looking to Internet of Things-connected systems to develop on-street smart parking spaces. Let’s take a closer look at the project underway and how it will help reduce traffic congestion and save drivers time all with the help of Montpellier’s LoRaWAN private network.-Bruno De Man
Streamlined parking solutions
The numbers alone speak for themselves. The smart parking solutions sector is estimated to be worth $1461.52 million by 2025, and by 2026, Navigant Research estimates there will be 1.1 million smart parking spaces. If you consider the fact that 30 percent of city congestion is due to parking, it’s no wonder cities are looking for solutions that will help traffic, air pollution and the overall quality of life for citizens.
In Montpellier, a city of 270,000 inhabitants, citizens face daily issues such as traffic jams and lack of parking. With the help of the French company Synox, an expert in IoT solution services, and Libelium’s technology, Montpellier launched a “Connected Parking” solution. Twenty sensors were installed in two different sections of the city—the town hall and nearby Parc Marianne district—with a goal to improve traffic and increase the rotation of parking spaces. These sensors can collect and monitor data concerning road surface temperature, alert authorities in case of issues such as ice sheets, as well as offer real-time information on available parking spaces. All of this data will be open to the public allowing both citizens, as well as start-ups, to benefit from these services.
“The smart parking project made it possible to easily deploy—on private LoRaWAN network infrastructure—an analysis of the strategic car park availability for the city mobility services, the city police and soon the citizens themselves,” explained Jérôme Fenwick, CTO at Synox. “Having a better understanding and a better management of car park availability and traffic in the city is a major key point to improve a citizen’s life.”
This is just one example of how cities can look to the IoT to develop connected, smart solutions that solve everyday problems like parking and traffic. Cities can even go a step further with the integration of a blockchain platform, setting up crypto wallets so cars can autonomously pay for parking, thereby streamlining—and shortening—the entire parking process.