UK drivers spend nearly four days per year looking for parking spaces, according to a recent survey by the British Parking Association*.

Between the time wasted, lack of spaces and badly signed-posted car parks, it’s hardly surprising that 39% of drivers of the UK’s 29 million cars say finding parking is a stressful experience. Motorists looking for parking also contribute to air pollution and city congestion.

One solution comes from Ethos’s Smart Cities team – the GEOmii Parking app. GEOmii Parking works like a sat nav for parking. Drivers tap in a destination to see parking options, spaces available and travel time. They can filter the options by price or distance. GEOmii even allows drivers to pay for parking, where available, and gives walking directions to the final destination once parked. The app accesses information from 200,000+ sensors installed in major population centres in the UK.

The app was developed following a city-scale pilot project supported by InnovateUK that turned Guildford into Britain’s ‘smartest city’. Data from a network of sensors creating the world’s largest multi-asset parking and retail monitoring system.

A key feature of the GEOmii Guildford project was an innovative mobile sensing unit. Mounted on the kerb side of a vehicle, eg a bus, it scans the roadside, collecting data from on street parking spaces. A supervised learning algorithm estimates roadside parking occupancy so GEOmii shows not only where parking is available but also predicts where parking will be available.

In a Performance Evaluation carried out by teams at Oxford Brookes and University of China, the accuracy of the system is above 90%. The results show that the mobile sensing approach can perform at the same level as fixed sensor solutions under certain conditions and substantially fewer sensors are needed compared to the fixed sensor system.

Ethos’s Martin de Heaver says, ‘With GEOmii, we aim to be the dominant provider of real time parking data in the EU and have launched the concept in Delhi and Hyderabad.’

To find out how GEOmii can help your region, contact Martin deHeaver

*BPA survey

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  • Journalist, writer, editor, fascinated by playing around with words. Editor with Time Warner, Daily Mail Group and NatMags