The number of vehicles on the road is rapidly outpacing the supply of available parking spots. Parking has become a widespread issue in urban development. This problem can be mitigated by introduction of smart parking. Smart parking aims to help individually match drivers to parking spots, improve parking space utilization, reduce management cots, and alleviate traffic congestion. However, the existing smart parking applications still possess a number of connectivity issues. Street parking spot information cannot be easily and efficiently collected and transmitted to the management platform. A large number of parking lots exist as information silos, and their parking spot information cannot be shared. Existing magnetic vehicle detectors deployed for street parking use short-range wireless technologies. This requires the addition of trunking gateways, which makes street parking hard to construct and maintain and impedes the large-scale promotion of smart parking. Moreover, isolated parking data cannot be connected to a unified urban parking management platform. As a result, the platform cannot obtain parking data, and the roll out of valuable applications such as urban parking guidance and parking space sharing are negatively affected.
NB-IoT Enables Smart Parking
NB-IoT is the best choice for network communications of the Smart Parking Solution. The NB-IoT vehicle detectors consume low power and have a standby life of three to five years. NB-IoT base stations provide wide and deep coverage, and signals are sufficient to cover a one-story underground parking lot.
Different from short-range wireless technologies, such as RF or ZigBee, the NB-IoT Smart Parking Solution uses operator networks and provides the following customer benefits:
Free from network construction: Wireless vehicle detectors and other parking devices are connected to public networks provided by operators. These devices can transmit parking data to the cloud management platform in one hop.
Free from maintenance: Unlike short-range wireless technologies such as RF433 and ZigBee, the NB-IoT Smart Parking Solution does not require trunking gateways. Network coverage is maintained and optimized by operators, which helps to save deployment and maintenance costs.
High reliability: NB-IoT is a high quality, stable, and secure technology, which works on licensed spectrum and is subject to low interference from other devices.
The NB-IoT Smart Parking Solution collects parking data (such as occupancy and duration), and relays this information to service providers. This improves fee collection and reduces economic losses. Drivers can obtain the real-time parking space information. For example, when only few parking spots are available, drivers can be directed to the next vacant spot. This eases traffic congestion cause by frustrated drivers searching for potential spots. Furthermore, self-help payment saves manpower and allows parking service providers to reallocate labor from toll collection to parking supervision.
In 2017, Huawei worked with China Unicom (Shanghai) and TransInfo to successfully launch a showcase project for NB-IoT smart street parking. In this project, TransInfo provided parking services and the parking management platform. Huawei offered network devices and chips. Quectel provided NB-IoT modules. SutongInfo provided vehicle detectors integrated with NB-IoT modules. And China Unicom (Shanghai) provided E2E integration services. The solution not only intellectualizes parking management, but also enables car owners to remotely query parking spaces and pay parking fees. This makes parking more convenient for drivers and more profitable for parking lot owners. By using the smart parking management cloud platform, TransInfo can effectively manage toll collectors and minimize outstanding payments. Self-help payment allows TransInfo to reallocate labor from toll collection to parking supervision and further save manpower.