Smart Parking with CommuniThings 

Pilot in Saint-Quentin

How to use data to improve access and parking in the city centre?

 

QUICK FACTS

  • Project: Improving access and parking in the city centre
  • Location: Saint-Quentin, France, 56,000 inhabitants
  • Challenge: enhance the capacity of the city to monitor the use of parking facilities to facilitate access to the city centre and policy control.
  • Solution: A real-time solution that monitors the availability of parking spots in the city centre associated to various digital tools (application, city dashboard, a signpost) to inform the different stakeholders (citizens, police department).

THE CHALLENGE

Saint-Quentin established a top list of challenges to solve, based on the feedback of local stakeholders (city staff, city representatives, citizens) in order to see how data and digital technologies can help to address it. A top concern that emerged is the topic of parking in the city-centre with multiple interrelated needs expressed by local stakeholders. Retailers see the difficulty of parking in the city centre as a factor reducing the attractiveness of the city centre for shoppers. Citizens report difficulties in entering, driving and finding a parking place in the city centre. The police department wants a decision-making tool that provides insights, based on objective data, to schedule daily tour to control the compliance with parking rules. The challenge mainly consists of finding a kind of all-in-one solution that helps to address all these concerns simultaneously. 

SOLUTION

The start-up chosen to work in this challenge is CommuniThings, a Brussels based provider of smart-parking solutions. Its IoT platform combines LPWAN sensors and camera solutions, to generate parking guidance services for commuters, enforcement tools for parking wardens, and enriched analytics for municipalities.

CommuniThings aims a real-time solution that monitors the availability of parking spots in the city centre associated to various digital tools (application, city dashboard, a signpost) to inform the different stakeholders (citizens, police department).

PILOT STAGE

We can separate the activities linked to pilot implementation into two complementary tracks. The first one is the deployment of the CommuniThings solution in the testbed area. This part is almost completed. All the elements needed to monitor the availability of parking spots are running effectively (cameras, algorithm detection). The missing element is some sensors to test the technological mix. The various tools to inform local stakeholders are also fully functional (city dashboards for control activities and statistics, digital signpost providing parking availability to users). The guidance application for car drivers will be available soon.

The second topic is the question of the interaction of the CommuniThings solution with external systems. So it’s typically a question of interoperability between data and systems that is always the more complicated and lengthy to deal with. This part is more or less advanced depending on the item:

  • We will be able to publish real time data on parking availability on our open data portal soon
  • We integrated some of the city datasets in order to set up parking rules in the smart parking platform.

We pursue the objective to compare financial data generated by timestamps to occupation data produced by Communthings solution to refine parking analysis. The interaction between both system and merging of these two data sources is complex because of the heterogeneity issue.