Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions
Case Study

Guided parking with parking sensors in the smart city

Bosch parking sensors shorten parking space searches and reduce emissions

It takes up to 20 minutes to search for a free parking space in big cities. 20 minutes, which are responsible for congested roads and increased particulate matter and CO2 emissions. 20 minutes, which immensely fray the nerves of residents and visitors. 20 minutes, which are drastically reduced by the use of parking sensors and the parking guidance systems based on them. In many locations, the problem is not the lack of parking spaces but the uneven, and thus poor, utilization of existing parking spaces. Dynamic parking guidance systems, which distribute the parking space search traffic evenly across parking structures, underground parking garages and parking spaces, promise a remedy. But where does a dynamic parking guidance system get its information from? While the number of free and occupied spaces in parking garages and parking lots that are equipped with barriers can be recorded precisely, the situation with free parking spaces at the roadside and open collective parking areas is significantly more difficult.

woman uses guided parking

Free parking spaces in real time

Parking sensors provide the answer to this challenge. For this purpose, a sensor is mounted on each individual parking space. Several times per minute, intelligent electronics in a saucer-sized housing check whether the particular space is occupied by a car or not. Since each parking procedure is directly recorded by the Parking Lot Sensor, the actual parking space usage, the parking time and also the speed with which the spaces fill, are known. The results are transmitted wirelessly via a city-wide wireless network (LoRaWAN) to a central authority for the control of traffic flows.

Parking sensors reduce parking search traffic

Knowledge about the utilization of parking places creates the basis for intelligent parking guidance systems, which control, and thereby reduce, the parking search traffic via interactive signs, navigation devices or apps. Modern parking guidance systems not only continuously access the actual usage determined by the parking lot sensors, but also generate predictions of future developments on the basis of statistical data. This makes it possible, for example, to control traffic flows over a large area even before the start of rush hour or during major events. The shortened search for a parking space not only avoids traffic jams, but also avoids frustration among residents and visitors, which ultimately also benefits inner-city businesses.

Sustainable environmental and climate protection thanks to parking sensors

parking lot with green trees

Up to 30 percent less CO2, noise and particulate matter emissions due to reduced parking search traffic, fewer sealed-off areas due to better utilization of existing parking spaces and the resulting absence of new construction projects, intelligently steered traffic flows, more opportunities for better networked local public transport: Guided parking solutions, based on the Bosch Parking Lot Sensor, perform not only economically, but also ecologically. The use of parking sensors thus lays the foundation for improving the quality of the visiting conditions and the quality of life in the city, as is increasingly demanded by citizens' initiatives and neighborhood groups.

Transparent planning with parking sensors

guided parking

Parking sensors create a reliable database for city and traffic planning. Political committees no longer have to decide according to gut feelings, but can refer to facts. This is an advantage that is not to be underestimated, particularly concerning the often highly emotional discussed subject of traffic. Parking sensors not only allow a snapshot, as with manual traffic counts, but also statistical data over freely selectable timeframes. In addition to the utilization of parking spaces, this also includes the number of parking procedures as well as their duration. Planners can see at a glance whether parking spaces are used for short-term or long-term parking. Moreover, planners and communities retain full control of the acquired data at Bosch. Unlike other providers, there are no licensing or usage fees for the parking sensors. The experiences of traffic planners show that investing in guided parking solutions pays off quickly. Thanks to the use of parking sensors and optimized utilization of already existing parking spaces, the costly new construction of parking spaces, underground garages and parking structures can be dispensed with.

Parking sensors in practice: persuasive pilot projects

City and traffic planners often have to do very persuasive work when introducing new technologies. Together with the IoT integrator Zenner, Bosch has therefore developed a demo kit that includes ten parking space sensors along with the accessories. This allows prototypes to be assembled in a short amount of time to demonstrate, in real time, the versatility and capability of parking sensors to local and commercial decision makers. In addition, Bosch planners provide a wide range of support, covering all project phases from planning through implementation all the way up to the installation and operation of the parking sensors.

Parking sensors open up a great potential

Guided parking solutions are an ideal introduction to the smart city, since they combine both economic and ecological advantages. Their use is not limited to the public sector: Thanks to the open approach of Bosch, the inclusion of private operators of parking areas and parking garages is just as possible as the public use of company parking spaces in the evenings and on weekends. Guided parking solutions should always be seen as part of a holistic mobility concept. For example, if free park-and-ride parking spaces on the outskirts are equipped with parking sensors, then buses and trains for local public transport can be controlled dynamically to avoid long wait times and overcrowded vehicles or even empty runs. This benefits the attractiveness of local traffic and ultimately that of the entire city.

parking lot sensor
Parking Lot Sensor (PLS) from Bosch

Find out more about the Parking Lot Sensor

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