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Cardiff’s City-Wide Smart Parking System is ‘Europe’s First’

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Cardiff completes smart parking rollout in bid to ease congestion and pollution

Cardiff has rolled out smart parking technology across the city, allowing visitors and residents to find empty spaces using a smartphone application.

Smart parking has been touted as one of the most obvious smart city applications, making life easier for motorists, reducing emissions, and helping authorities understand more about traffic patterns

The Cardiff system makes use of 3,300 sensors installed in the road on paid-for and disabled parking bays, with infrared technology detecting whether a space is vacant. This data is then displayed in real time on an iOS and Android application created by Smart Parking, which also offers directions.

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.

Park Cardiff

Cardiff smart parking

“Although our priority is for people to use public or alternative forms of transport, we accept that there will still be a requirement for people to use the private car,” said Cardiff Councillor Caro Wild, who is responsible for transport in the Welsh capital.

“Given this, we want to provide the technology to make parking as easy as possible, so that people don’t have to drive around the city to find a parking space.

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“Now that we have invested in this scheme, we want people that park in and around the city centre to download the free app – it is easy to use and will help both the motorist and the Council. Congestion and driving at low speeds significantly increases pollutants form cars, so we want people to find a space and park as quickly as possible.”

Smart Parking’s technology has been used in cities in Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, South America, but it is claimed this is the first city-wide deployment of such a system in Europe.

“Through the use of this innovative technology and the information it gathers, the city now have the opportunity to better understand the dynamics of traffic and parking,” added Paul Gillespie, Smart Parking CEO.

“The Park Cardiff app will deliver major benefits for people who need to park in central Cardiff. It will make finding a parking space easier so that drivers can reach their destinations faster and more conveniently and make a contribution to reducing the congestion and pollution associated with drivers speculatively searching for a space to park.”

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