The world's first parking guidance system to dispense with wires and underground connections turned in a stellar performance during its first 100 days of operation in Munich.
The system uses GPRS transmission to transfer data and control signals among all of the German inner city's 25 parking garages. Siemens developed the system in cooperation with Setrix, and also operates the technology. The system has improved capacity utilisation at the Munich parking garages by notifying motorists of unoccupied parking spaces well in advance, and because it is relatively inexpensive, it has sparked the interest of other cities.
In the past, parking guidance systems were always difficult and expensive to install because of the numerous cables that had to be laid to transmit signals to roadside information panels and link the parking garages. In contrast, the new system in Munich uses transceivers from Setrix, a company that receives financing from Siemens Venture Capital. The transceivers use the mobile radio standard GPRS to send data via the Internet to the control centre, where a PC manages the entire system. The parking garages transmit information on occupied spaces directly to the transceivers, which then forward the data to digital information panels installed along the city's thoroughfares. The data is transmitted via radio, so the panels can be set up wherever desired.
In addition to the integration of all the parking guidance system's components, Siemens is also responsible for the system's operation. The system is very cost-efficient, and the elimination of underground work alone saved the city of Munich about 500 000 Euros.
The solution is also inexpensive to run, because it requires fewer computers than a system with wires and cables and because the data transmission fees can be invoiced on a flat-rate basis. Using the Internet to transmit data also means the operator and public agencies can quickly and easily make adjustments to the system. As a result, the city could ensure that part of a parking garage remains unoccupied for an event, without having to change any settings directly at the control centre.
Police can also use the display panels to guide traffic around accident sites, while the Internet connection also makes it possible to link the system to the Bavarian Traffic Management Centre.
For more information contact Martin Snoek, Siemens Southern Africa, +27 (0) 11 652 2000.