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Cardiff Set To Lead The Way In Smart City Parking

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

More than 3000 infrared vehicle detection sensors will be installed across the city

Cardiff City Council is preparing to unveil Europe’s first citywide deployment of bay sensor technology to ease congestion and improve the city’s air quality.

The introduction of smart parking technology is part of the Council’s aim to deliver service improvements in city management through the use of innovative technologies and comes after a pilot trial in 2015 which covered 275 bays across the city.

The technology, delivered by Smart Parking Limited, will involved the installation of over 3000 infrared vehicle detection sensors and the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology at off-street car parks.

Parking sensor Cardiff

Parking tech

Variable message signage will also be placed strategically throughout the city to direct motorists to available parking and a real-time parking availability and guidance smartphone app called SmartApp will be introduced.

“The City Council’s primary focus is to encourage public transport, cycling and walking and encouraging people to leave their cars at home,” said Cllr Ramesh Patel, Cabinet Member for Planning, Transport and Sustainability. “We do understand that sometimes travelling by car is necessary, either because public transport routes are not available or viable.

“This technology will ensure that people travelling by private car are able to find their car parking space quickly and easily. This will have a number of benefits, notably helping in our aim to reduce congestion and improve air quality levels in the city centre.”

Flush mounted RFID-equipped sensors will detect when a vehicle has occupied a space and send this information in real time to Smart Parking’s back office system SmartRep, providing changes to parking space occupancy on a second-by-second basis.

Data analytics will play a key role as, through Smart Parking’s analysis platform, Cardiff City Council will gain valuable intelligence on parking activities in facilities across the city.

Paul Gillespie, Smart Parking CEO, said: “The launch of Smart Parking technology in Cardiff highlights the growing importance of smart city technology to not only manage parking but to also equip city operators who perform smart city IoT planning with accurate data and insight in order to radically change the way cities operate.”

Wales was recently declared as having the fastest growing digital economy outside London, as
the total number of digital and technology businesses operating in Wales jumped by 9.2 percent in 2015.

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