Schorndorf / Germany

P​​​​​​​arking Guidance System with Sensors

Up to 40% of urban traffic is generated because road users are looking for parking spaces. However, parking search traffic not only causes full streets, it also has a significant negative impact on air quality in cities. One way to reduce parking search traffic is to use a digital parking guidance system that identifies all existing and vacant parking spaces in a city in real time and guides road users to these vacant parking spaces along the desired route.

The city of Schorndorf, near Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Württemberg, has been successfully using a digital parking guidance system from SWARCO for some time. Until recently, it included all parking garages or parking areas with access control. The city was now looking for an holistic solution to digitize its non-access controlled parking supply in order to provide its road users with real-time information on the occupancy status for these spaces as well.

Together with the company S O NAH, SWARCO now provides the city of Schorndorf with an innovative way to digitally record the marked individual parking spaces in the open parking area at the market square, 24/7 and in real-time: Three overhead sensors from sensor provider S O NAH were installed on the buildings around the market square, digitizing a total of 55 parking spaces. The sensors record the occupancy status of the spaces based on cameras and feed this information into the municipal parking guidance system provided by SWARCO. In this way, free and occupied individual spaces are detected, as well as inaccurately parked vehicles identified, and information on the overall occupancy of the parking area can be provided both on the parking guidance displays and in the city's control center. A particular challenge in this project is to correctly capture in the live data the high frequency of drive-throughs that occur in this parking area. For this reason, conventional counting via loops embedded in the ground is not used here, but instead camera-based recording.

It goes without saying that the technology used places the highest value on data protection. Since the parking space status is calculated on site in the camera (in the built-in micro-controller), no image data is transmitted. Only anonymized data ("free" or "occupied") is forwarded to the control center.

By integrating the additional parking data generated by the sensors, the occupancy status of the parking space at the market square in Schorndorf is now also listed on the digital parking guidance indicators - with success. The system has been in operation since June 2020 and impresses with the highest accuracy in recording the occupancy status, a smoothly functioning integration into SWARCO's existing parking guidance system and the additional information content gained for road users. The holistic system facilitates the search for parking spaces in the city and thus also contributes to further reducing inner-city parking search traffic.