How often have you been to a car park that you know is not full, and then driven around and around looking for the elusive parking space. Even if you manage to find one of the vacant spaces, it might be too small for your car, or be larger than is needed for your car.
Consider the possibility of a car park patron driving to the car park gate and having the dimensions of his or her car automatically measured (perhaps by light and photocell combinations, or by CCD array imaging). Once the dimensions are known, the patron is told the location (number, identity) of a parking space suited to the patron’s vehicle. Communication between the patron’s mobile telephone, smart card or toll-card enables payment, and also serves to identify the patron to the specific parking space. Entry to each parking space is controlled and would normally be prevented. Following identification of the vehicle or patron to the parking space, the vehicle will be able to enter. Variations could include a radio-frequency identifier (RFID) in the car being recognized on entry and the ID conveyed to the appropriate parking space which would only be unlocked in the presence of the car’s RFID. The parking space would also be “cleared” when the vehicle is recognized as having exited the carpark.
Contributors: Mark R. Diamond, Daniel D. Reidpath, Angela O’Brien-Malone