In a recent release, Q-Free and Silicon Labs announced a collaboration on a new outdoor parking IoT sensor solution designed to make it faster and easier for automotive drivers in urban areas to locate open parking spots. The companies have worked together to create Q-Free’s ParQSense Smart Parking Sensor, which uses the Silicon Labs’ Wonder Gecko wireless microcontroller (MCU) for control and Sub-GHz connectivity. The Q-Free solution was deployed as a pilot this year in the EU (UK, Netherlands, Sweden and Norway) and North America, and will be released for commercial use on Sept. 17.
“The Q-Free ParQSense Smart Parking Sensor is a great example of how IoT ingenuity can improve our lives and the overall urban experience,” said Dennis Natale, VP and GM of IoT Products, Silicon Labs. “As the demand for smart city solutions accelerates, IoT innovators like Q-Free are choosing Silicon Labs’ low-power wireless connectivity technologies for their solutions.”
With more than 30 years in the intelligent transportation market, Q-Free has focused its resources on developing ways to reduce traffic flows. Q-Free provides a wide range of transportation technologies including electronic tolling, vehicle counters, surveillance technologies and parking management solutions. The ParQSense Smart Parking Sensor is one of the company’s first sensor products to support outdoor parking needs. According to an INRIX study, 20 percent of traffic in urban areas can be attributed to drivers searching for parking spots.
“To develop an IoT sensor solution for outdoor parking that would succeed in today’s market, we had to deliver a combination of low-power, long-range wireless connectivity and high performance,” said Brage Blekken, a project manager in Q-Free’s R&D department. “Silicon Labs helped us overcome this challenge by providing best-in-class wireless technology capable of transmitting data over long distances in the sub-GHz band. The EZR32WG Wonder Gecko wireless MCU was the perfect fit for our application needs.”
The Q-Free ParQSense solution uses dual radar and magnetic field technology to sense with 99+ percent accuracy whether a vehicle is present in a parking space. The application transmits data to centralized base stations over ultra-long distances using narrowband sub-GHz wireless connectivity.
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