Building a Cloud-Connected Smart Parking

Smart remote monitoring and management

Success stories, solutions and services >> Intelligent Transportation System Solutions

Building a Cloud-Connected Smart Parking

Project Introduction

Driven by the trend towards IoT and cloud services, parking lots are changing from manual systems to smart remote monitoring and management. In doing so, operators are hoping to solve the traditional problems of inefficiency and parking fee loopholes. Guidance and car-searching technology have increased the fluidity of parking spaces, while intelligent lighting helps make better use of energy.

A complete cloud-based connected smart parking lot management system must include several things: the underlying hardware devices, the middle-layer cloud platform responsible for the connection between the cloud platforms and bottom layers, and the upper-layer SaaS application. Development and integration work by system integrators requires a significant amount of time and effort. Coupled with the pressure to meet the needs of different cases and ensure the stable operation of the system, project completion often faces severe delays that can adversely affect the overall competitiveness of a company.

Advantech's Solution Ready Packages (SRP) for cloud connected services provide a wide range of hardware products for Edge Intelligence, required sensing and wireless communication products in field environments, and a ready-to-use PaaS IoT cloud platform. In addition to allowing system integrators to focus on the development of SaaS application services, they also meet the requirements of different cases and eliminate the need for equipment-to-cloud re-integration.

System Requirements

A system integration company that provides cloud-based smart IoT services to traditional parking lot management companies in Taiwan had recently undertaken an underground parking lot project for a boutique department store located in the Taipei Xinyi Shopping District. According to the requirements of the project owner, the new system needed to manage 400 parking spaces while providing a high-quality user experience and taking into account the needs of different customers who wished to pay by various methods: third-party payment, EasyCard, credit card, and cash. The project also needed to minimize labor and management costs.

The system integrator needed to develop three SaaS applications for this project: a parking guidance and car-searching system, a toll collection management system, and a smart lighting control system. In conjunction with these three sets of software, it was necessary to install a license plate recognition gateway machine, a smart car-searching kiosk, an automatic toll collection machine, wireless sensing devices for each parking lot, and parking guidance signs. 

Facing intense time constraints, the company hoped to focus the project’s manpower on the development of SaaS application services. Under the circumstances, it was necessary to purchase a complete solution that covered edge devices and cloud platforms. At the same time, the company hoped the device-to-cloud architecture could be applied to various kinds of parking lots so only device configuration adjustments and a new management interface design were needed to complete the cloud connected smart parking service and achieve remote monitoring and management.

System Overview

Advantech divided this project's cloud connected smart parking service into four parts: the bottom layer was for the smart edge application, the gateway system that handled vehicle entry and exit; the second layer was responsible for parking spot guidance after entering the parking lot, as well as parking grid sensing and automatic lighting control; the third layer was the WISE-PaaS cloud platform that acted as a bridge between devices and applications; and the top layer was the three SaaS applications developed by the system integrator.

Advantech's SRP for this project was a complete edge-to-cloud solution, including the adoption of three industrial computers—MIC-7700, ITA-1711, and PPC-3150—by the bottom layer. These computers provided a high-performance edge computing hardware platform with their compact sizes that took up minimal space and offered good heat dissipation due to the fanless wide-temperature design. The Wzzard sensor node and the WISE-6610 gateway on the second layer installed in the parking spots could be configured as wireless to save on wiring costs.

The third layer was the WISE-PaaS cloud platform which allowed developers to easily design their own SaaS applications through the WISE-PaaS/EnSaaS database, IoT hub, and dashboard features. Through the help of the cloud message and remote control features of WISE-Pass/EdgeSense in managing the underlying devices, users could diagnose, restore, and restart the Advantech hardware products remotely without having to visit the site. This made system maintenance more immediate and convenient while also reducing costs.

The operating process of the system was as follows: Data collected by the bottom-layer devices was sent to the WISE-PaaS cloud platform via Ethernet and the relevant data was provided to the three SaaS applications of the top layer. When a vehicle entered the parking lot, the gate opened automatically and the LED signs in the parking lot guided the car towards empty parking spots. The parking spots activated the lighting facilities according to the sensing results. The monitoring center received information from field devices in real time so that when an anomaly occurred (such as the gate not closing), the control room received an alert immediately and could resolve the problem as soon as possible.

This Advantech SRP met a range of parking lot requirements: vehicle access sensing, a toll collection mechanism, parking space detection, a human-machine interface, and connection to other cloud platforms. For example, the MIC-7700, which provided four PCIe expansion slots, allowed the license plate recognition gateway to receive RFID signals like eTag. The ITA-1711 provided up to 14 COM ports so that the automated pay machine could collect bills, coins, or credit cards. For wireless technology, Advantech offered options besides LoRa. If the site needed to integrate the parking lot management system with a third-party system (such as the parking space inquiry system of the Taipei City Government), it benefited from the seamless connection of various public and private clouds with the WISE-PaaS cloud platform; making it easy to provide parking information to third-party systems..

Project Implementation

  • ITA-1711: Self-service controller with multiple COM ports 
  • MIC-7700: Compact fanless system
  • PPC-3150: 15" fanless tablet computer 
  • WISE-6610: LoRaWAN gateway
  • WISE-PaaS Cloud Platform: Industrial IoT Cloud Platform

System Diagram

Conclusion

Cloud-based smart IoT services save on labor costs, increase revenue, and reduce management costs for parking lot operators. At the same time, customer satisfaction can be improved by providing a multi-payment mechanism and offering the convenience of finding empty parking spots quickly. For system integrators that provide this service, Advantech SRPs can reduce the burden of development manpower and significantly reduce the cost of after-sales maintenance.

Advantech SRPs offer flexible expansion and configurations. They are not only suitable for commercial parking lots, but also for parking lots located in office buildings. One system integrator has used this architecture to provide a smart parking system for the Advantech Linkou Campus with features including conference room reservation, visitor parking reservation, welcome signage, parking guidance, car search, and energy-saving lighting.Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. 

Based on this and other successful case studies, system integrators continue adopting Advantech SRPs to develop parking lot management systems that provide comprehensive cloud-based smart IoT services for more and more of their customers.