A Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC) research team has developed a way to locate available parking spaces using optical and magnetic sensors. The system uses two sensors housed in a small casing that is embedded in the pavement of each parking space. The optical sensor detects a sudden change in the amount of light reaching the pavement, which results from a vehicle passing over it. This triggers the magnetic sensor to confirm that the shadow is that of a vehicle. The two sensors are linked to a system that uses an algorithm to analyze the data from the sensors. The researchers plan to make the information available on luminous panels in public parking areas, according to UPC researcher Ramon Pallas.
The system is always on and consumes little power because the optical sensor is the only part that operates continuously. The new system can monitor vehicles in public and private areas, and is designed to work in urban settings. The researchers say the system also could lead to other parking applications, such as the reservation of parking spaces for handicapped drivers and payment based on the actual time spent in a parking space.
From Universitat Politenica de Catalunya
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