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Innovative parking management piloted by a Finnish technology concept

13.06.2007
The P-Innovations research project lead by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is piloting automatic vehicle recognition and dynamic guidance in a parking structure. This innovative parking concept takes place in the city of Tampere. The concept, which utilises RFID remote identification and optical license plate recognition, enables floor specific vehicle amount calculation and vehicle-specific parking guidance. This is the first European parking application that uses passive long-range RFID remote identification for vehicle identification.
VTT and six Finnish companies are together piloting innovative technological and service concepts in the parking structure located in downtown Tampere. The project tests and compares the applicability of UHF RFID identification and optical registration plate recognition for automatic vehicle identification using fifty pilot users. In addition, the project is researching the use of variable signals, both signposts and audible signals for situation sensitive guidance and notification in parking structures. The experiment, which started in late April, will continue until the end of the year 2007.

The objective of the project is to identify products and technologies in the portfolios of the involved companies that can be combined to generate new and feasible concepts for parking management. Through development of these concepts the aim is also to generate new business between the involved companies and improve their market position. The plan is to offer parking customers improved services by alleviating the parking experience and supplementing the signalling.

For the pilot project, floor-specific vehicle monitoring and passage monitoring for contract customers for comparison was implemented using both passive RFID identification and registration plate recognition. In addition, guidance for the automatic cashier used to pay for the parking was implemented using smart speakers that react to a presence and an FM radio channel that is limited to the inside of the parking structure was installed. The radio channel can be used to distribute notifications related to parking and, in practice, advertising time for local entrepreneurs could be sold.

In past years Finland has shifted increasingly towards a professional service business in the management of public parking, which includes expansive utilisation of technology, high-quality customer service and efficient business operations. The customer is offered wider service entities where parking is part of a service chain. In the past few years technologies that automate different stages of parking have been actively sought to make parking management and the actual parking experience easier.

There is an increasing need for parking spaces and competition is tightening. Parking companies are seeking ways to manage their operations more efficiently and professionally. The targets are lower costs, faster information flow, automation, safety and an increased offering of auxiliary services. Better service also includes flexible pricing whose enabling concepts include, for instance, the automatic identification of vehicles and dynamic signalling that are being piloted.

In addition to VTT and Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation), Tampereen Pysäköintitalo Oy, Idesco Oy, Audio Riders Oy, Vidamin Oy, Finnish LED-Signs Oy and Ramboll Finland Oy are funding the project.

Further information:
VTT
Senior Research Scientist, Team Leader Ali Lattunen
Tel. +358 20 722 3348
ali.lattunen@vtt.fi

Vocabulary:

Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) refers to the identification of a vehicle’s identity when it passes or stops at a certain point.

Automatic Vehicle Monitoring (AVM) refers to external vehicle identification and determination of a vehicle’s position at desired precision or point in time using AVI.

License Plate Recognition (LPR) refers to automatic deduction of a vehicle's registration number based on a digital photo.

Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) is a method for distance reading of information using specialised RFID identifiers or tags and scanners. There are both passive and active identifiers. Active identifiers have their own battery while passive identifiers use the energy that radiates from the scanner. A passive identifier only costs a fraction of the cost of an active identifier.

VTT

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is the biggest contract research organisation in Northern Europe. VTT provides high-end technology solutions and innovation services. From its wide knowledge base, VTT can combine different technologies, create new innovations and a substantial range of world class technologies and applied research services thus improving its clients' competitiveness and competence. Through its international scientific and technology network, VTT can produce information, upgrade technology knowledge, create business intelligence and value added to its stakeholders. (www.vtt.fi/?lang=en)

Further information on VTT:

Senior Vice President
Olli Ernvall
Tel. +358 20 722 6747
olli.ernvall@vtt.fi
VTT’s partners:

Tekes

Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, funds and activates challenging research and development projects initiated by companies and public research units. (www.tekes.fi)

Further information: Hannu Nurmi, Technology Expert, Tekes, tel. +358 10 605 5771
hannu.nurmi@tekes.fi

Tampere Parking Houses Ltd

Tampere Parking Houses Ltd and its subsidiary Parking Equipment in Tampere Ltd represent world-class expertise in parking-related business. The companies have a strong position at the forefront of the field and are proactively developing their activities. (www.p-yhtiot.fi)

Further information: Tami Koivuniemi, Development Manager, Tampere Parking Houses Ltd, tel. +358 40 832 8323
tami.koivuniemi@pvaruste.com

Idesco Oy

Idesco Oy specialises in readers, reader modules, cards and tags based on RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. Idesco was founded in 1989 and it is one of the oldest RFID companies in the world. Idesco’s competitive advantages lie in its versatile technologies, product design, flexible deliveries and customer orientation. Their products are widely used all over the world in, among others, access control, industrial automation, product tagging, ticketing systems of public transport and explosive environments. (www.idesco.fi)

Further information: Anu-Leena Annala, Business Unit Manager, Idesco Oy, tel. +358 40 706 6546
anu-leena.annala@idesco.fi

Audio Riders Oy

Audio Riders Oy is a Finnish high-tech service company. The business concentrates on providing value-added audio services to customers at business and service points. Audio Riders Oy’s expertise is based on combining marketing and behavioural science with audio communications and information technology. (www.audioriders.fi)

Further information: Arvo Laitinen, Managing Director, Audio Riders Oy, tel. +358 9 2766 8217
arvo.laitinen@audioriders.fi

Vidamin Oy

Vidamin Ltd is a Finnish high-tech software company that provides software products and services for the documentation of different customer processes and the visual verification of important events. Vidamin’s products are used for traffic control locations such as car parks, logistics centres and industrial environments. Vidamin supports the automation and documentation of activities by means of different tags. It also offers a comprehensive software solution for controlling, analysing and storing tags and related events, as well as for collecting visual evidence. (www.vidamin.com)

Further information: Ville Mikkonen, Chief Technology Officer, Vidamin Oy, tel. +358 50 406 0016
ville.mikkonen@vidamin.com

Finnish LED-Signs Oy

Finnish LED-Signs Oy is the leading LED display manufacturer in Finland, which exports a significant part of its products. FLS’ key products are LED price display units used at filling stations and graphical LED matrix displays. Major international companies have chosen the easy-to-use FLS displays because of good user experience, as well as the display’s reliability, brightness and service-free design. (www.finnishled-signs.com)

Further information: Jyrki Löf, Technical Director, Finnish LED-Signs Oy, tel. +358 40 585 2068
jyrki.lof@finnishled-signs.com

Ramboll Finland Ltd

The Ramboll Group is the leading Nordic consulting group, which offers versatile expert services in the fields of construction, environment, information technology and business. The Group employs over 4,200 people in about 70 offices in Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and it also operates in 50 permanent or project offices in different parts of the world. The Ramboll Group provides end-to-end consulting and knowledge in the fields of infrastructure, communications, construction, healthcare, industry, oil and gas industry, energy, environment, information technology and business. (www.ramboll.fi)

Further information: Janne Koskinen, Project Manager, Ramboll Finland Oy, tel. +358 20 755 6832

janne.koskinen@ramboll.fi

Ali Lattunen | VTT Technical Research Centre of
Further information:
http://www.vtt.fi
http://www.vtt.fi/kuvat/uutta/pysakointihalli_englanti.JPG

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