The City of Stratford, Ontario reportedly is moving forward on a pilot project designed to enable it to track the usage of municipal parking spaces, and eventually make that data available to the public.
The smart parking initiative, which brings the city together with partners eleven-x, FoxNet and Canada’s Open Data Exchange (ODX), involves sensors embedded in the asphalt that will send signals to a low power wireless network indicating whether vehicles are parked in the spaces.
Following approval of the project by Stratford City Council in the fall of 2017, a total of 78 parking sensors or “pucks” were installed in spaces along three streets. The sensors will connect to the eleven-x long range wide area network (LoRaWAN) to provide real-time communication of the location of available parking spaces. The eleven-x network will securely capture and transmit the data from the sensors for collection, and software provided by FoxNet will help interpret that data and display it in a graphical interface.
The information will be used by the City to better understand parking patterns in Stratford and will also be shared with the public in an Open Data platform that will help motorists determine where parking spaces are available downtown.
“This is another example of how Stratford is on the leading edge when it comes to the innovative use of new technologies,” said Mayor Dan Mathieson.
The ODX is providing funding of $50,000 toward the $100,000 project, with the remainder coming from the city’s parking reserve fund.
“The data from the smart sensors used in this project will be open to the community online, enhancing smart connectivity,” said Kevin Tuer, Managing Director, ODX. “We’re excited to further help smart city and IoT initiatives and are happy this has been done on a framework which creates opportunities to work with open data.”
"Parking can be a major issue in urban centres. I'm sure everyone can understand the frustration of driving around in your car looking for a spot that never seems to be available," said FoxNet President Bill Fox. "We are really excited to work with the City of Stratford, eleven-X and ODX on this pilot parking project, that will use top of the line technology to help solve the problem.”
The smart parking pilot project will run until the end of 2018, and the data generated by the sensors is expected to be made available to the public online this year.
Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.
Edited by Ken Briodagh