Slow traffic can be frustrating...and in bigger cities like London, Munich, or San Francisco it can really test your patience. I wanted to share this article written by Rob Sheppard, IoT Marketing Manager for Smart Cities, Smart Buildings, Smart Home, and Smart Transportation at Intel in EMEA.
Smarter parking in smart cities
By Rob Sheppard
For most of us who own a car, inner-city traffic ranks high in our top ten of everyday nightmares. In London, the average speed in traffic during the day is less than 20mph and even less than 9mph across the city centre. Whilst it might be worse in larger cities, congestion is a common experience for city drivers. It not only quickly exhausts our experience; air pollution worsens, with residents particular in inner city areas having to cope with it.
Traffic hiccups are often the result of building works and inefficient traffic flow management. But an analysis of several studies also found that on average, a third of the cars in congested downtown traffic are, in fact, cruising for parking. In other words: many traffic jams are created by people simply looking to find a space to park their cars.
The good news for city planners and drivers alike is that in the future, at least some of this “cruising traffic” will be avoided. Intel, together with the Siemens Innovation Lab, is currently trialling a smart parking application in Munich/Germany. Once live, the app will direct drivers to free parking spots from where they quickly get to their destinations, either by foot or public transport.
This intelligent system analyses traffic data and parking space availability in real time, by collecting data from street lamps fitted with intelligent sensors. It is then able to calculate the best possible route and allocate parking slots. The brain to make this happen is a technology which translates different technology languages so that a range of services can work alongside and with each other.
All drivers need to do, when the app is available, is download the app to their smartphones, tablets or car Sat Nav. This will not only make parking easier, but reduce stress levels. The more pleasant driving experience may also lower accident rates. In addition, the app can be opened to retailers offering free parking outside their shops, or to payments processors adding solutions which make it easy for drivers to pay for parking fees, by tapping their smartphones. With these additional features, driving in the city will become more enjoyable - and city authorities have an opportunity to share cost.
Smart parking is one aspect of a smart city, which aims to create an environment for residents where they enjoy a high quality of life. The collection and analysis of data is vital for this, as it defines new ways for approaching environmental issues. Over the last few years, cities have already started to become smarter. Now, a better understanding of the potential combined with the availability of intelligent technology can substantially accelerate this process.
Rob Sheppard is the IoT Marketing Manager for Smart Cities, Smart Buildings, Smart Home and Smart Transportation at Intel in EMEA.
Rob joined Intel in 1982 and has held various technical and marketing management roles during that time.
Most recently he was responsible for Business Client Marketing, including the launch and ramp of Intel’s vPro™ Technology in EMEA, addressing the impact of Consumerisation on IT, and driving to the innovation of personal computing with Ultrabooks and Tablet devices.
Rob has a joint honours degree in Computer Science and Electronic Engineering from the University of Birmingham, England.
He is based in the UK.