On-Street Parking System
The On-Street Parking System consist of Electro-Magnetic Sensors and ZigBee/Lora-GSM Gateway for parking guidance, handheld device for parking access control, and CMS installed at parking operations control center. The vehicle occupancy sensing is achieved by using Electro-Magnetic Sensors. The sensor information is sent by the Gateway over GSM to the CMS. The Gateway has built-in battery backup and hence can work even in the event of a power failure.
The handheld device consists of mobile POS. It communicates to the Central Management System, in realtime, using its built-in GSM module. The Handheld Devices have enough battery power to last more than eight hours. It can also store up to six months of transactions in case there is no connectivity to the CMS.
The following sections describe the various components of the system, its work-flow and the unique features of the solution.
Parking Management System
iRam’s Parking Management System consists of a ruggedized Mobile POS Device. It has an integrated Credit/Debit card Reader, QR Scanner and Thermal Receipt Printer. It also comes with serial & USB port for external connectivity. It provides distinct audible and visual feedback upon successful completion of transactions or when encountered with card / ticket reading error. The handheld comes in a durable pouch with a long handle that can be hung over the neck. It is light weight (less than 500gm) and can be worn over the neck throughout the day. Upon continuous usage, the device battery lasts for more than eight hours and it can be recharged quickly to full capacity in less than four hours. The standby time of the battery is more than five days.
It gets parking lot timings, fees, reservations etc. from the CMS through wireless connection. Any future-dated parking fees are stored locally and automatically activated on the due date. All logged transactions contain the Parking Location, Parking Operator, Timestamp, Device Id, Employee Id, Ticket no., Duration, Fare, Payment Type, Card No., etc.
The handheld POS is used for both entry ticketing and exit payment. Upon vehicle entry, a paper ticket is generated for the commuter. If the commuter has done prior reservation, then the QR code of the reservation is read and then a ticket is generated. At the time of leaving the parking lot, the commuter shows the ticket generated at entry. It scans the ticket and calculates the parking fare based on the duration. The commuter can make the payment either through Credit/Debit card, cash, e-wallet etc. Once the payment is done, payment receipt is generated for the commuter and a “transaction complete” message along with audible sound is produced.
The solution is designed to work both in online and offline modes. In the online mode, the POS can connect to the CMS and all the entry/exits transactions are immediately recorded in the central servers. In the offline mode, the POS operates independently due to communication issues with the CMS. In this mode, it records all the transactions locally and when the communication is restored to CMS, it transfers all the transaction logs to the CMS. It deletes the stored transactions only when the transactions are successfully transmitted to the CMS. It has enough storage (both internal & external included) to log the transactions for more than a week. This greatly enhances the usability of the solution even in the event of network outage. It gives a warning when the storage reaches the admin configured threshold limit. Once the storage is full, it stops storing any new transactions until all the stored transactions are uploaded to the CMS.
Parking Guidance System
Parking Guidance System is designed to make it very easy for users to discover the nearest available parking lot, and guide them to the selected parking lot using online maps and to the available parking aisle. Due to the simplicity of the mobile app, more users park vehicles in the designated areas instead of in unauthorized areas.
The Parking Guidance System consists of Underground Magnetic Sensors, Network Gateway and Mobile app for citizens. It works independent of Parking Management System. It connects directly with the Central Management Server and provides and updates the occupancy status based on real occupancy. This helps in detecting any intentional or accidentally missed payments, under-charging etc.
The magnetic sensors for an outdoor parking lot are installed on the ground. These sensor modules come with battery and a transceiver. Upon occupancy, the sensor updates the gateway, which is few meters away, wirelessly. The sensor gets wake up trigger during an event; either car coming in or going out. When the trigger comes, the sensor comes out of sleep mode to capture the data. Thus, the hardware is extremely low power giving a battery life of at least 5 years depending on usage.