ABOUT THE PROJECT:
This system is a prototype of an automated parking system targeted to ease parking. The concept is initially aimed at usage at a parking lot where authorized users can park their cars. Each user is provided an RFID card for accessing the parking lot. The parking lot can be in many locations. Users can park their car in any of the parking lots.
The parking lots can be owned by a single corporate across multiple locations. It can also be a "parking management" company that provides parking lots for multiple companies that are located in an office complex. Each of the users get access to one of the parking lots in the complex.
Based on the importance or designation of the user, a company may provide privilege levels for parking. We have used "normal", "privileged" and "disabled" as the category. Similarly, slots in the parking areas can be "normal", "privileged" and "disabled". Following will be the rules used for parking:
- Normal user can park only in "normal" slots
- Privileged user can park in "Privileged" and "normal" slot
- "disabled" user can park in any available slot.
There are two components to the system
- Slot controller at the parking slots. At the normal slots, these will have a Particle core interfaced with an Ultrasonic distance sensor. At the "privileged" and "disabled" slots, these will have a Particle core interfaced with RFID interface and Ultrasonic distance sensor
- Gate Controller : This modules will allow users to get into the parking lot based on the the users privilege level and availability of slots at the privilege level. These will have a Particle core interfaced with RFID reader module.
- Privilege levels for parking
- Automated entry and exit from the parking lot
- Automatic identification of parking or taking out a car at a parking slot. This is done using an Ultrasonic distance sensor at the slot
- Access based entry into "privileged" and "disabled" parking slots using RFID cards and automated gates. The gates at these slots will open only to users with appropriate privilege levels.
- Gate opening based on availability of slots. If no slots are empty at the users privilege level, the gate will not open. For example, if no normal slots are not available, normal user will not be allowed to enter.
- Configuration of slots as "normal", "privilege" and "disabled".
- A user can reserve a slot over internet. The gate controller is contacted for this purpose. Only privileged users can reserve the slot.
Each of the users get an RFID card for parking at the parking lots. The slot controllers and gate controllers are communicated the user details whenever a new user is added.
When the user flashes his RFID card at the entry gate, the gate controller checks availability of slots for the users' privilege level. If slots are available, the gate gets opened.
When the gate gets opened, the user can proceed to the slots. A normal user can park in a normal slot. This slot does not have a gate. The slot controller detects the parking using the Ultrasonic distance sensor and communicates the event to the central controller
A privileged user uses a slot that is access protected. He/She has to flash his RFID card at the slot entrance. The slot controller opens the gate only if the users privilege matches with the slot privilege. The slot controllers at the privileged slots have an RFID reader. The slot controller detects the parking using the Ultrasonic distance sensor and communicates the event to the central controller
When the user takes the car out of the parking lot, the slot controller detects this event and communicates to the central controller.
The central controller updates the parking map of users vs parking lots. It keeps track of number of slots available at each level based on the events reported by the slot controllers.
The RFID reader is placed at the entrance of the slot . As the user is about to enter the slot, he first flashes his card close to the reader. The RFID reader reads the RFID tag no. and the data stored in the tag and sends it to the spark/particle core.
The Ultrasonic sensor is used to monitor whether the slot is empty or occupied. The sensor continuously monitors the distance of the objects placed in front of it. If the car is parked in the slot, the distance reading reduces. Based on this logic the slot controller can detect whether the car is parked or not. The distance range can be configured using the config function exposed through "Spark.function".
It is where all the processing is done.These are used in the parking lots as well as the gate.
1) ACTIVE RFID :Currently the system uses passive RFID which can be replaced by active RFID so that the reader can detect the system from a distance instead of flashing it near the reader every time.
2) GPS based parking suggestions which can show nearby empty parking spaces in real time.
3) Reservations through mobile phones
4) Accounting based on privilege, time of day and duration of parking and time of day
5) Dynamic configuration of parking slots based on time of day, season.
6) At pay and use parking lots, differential charging for slots based on location, time of day, privileges