Smart Solution for Automated Parking Space Monitoring
The companies Infraserv and Ascendo commissioned the SPS master’s degree program to evaluate different solutions to meet the technical and economic requirements of parking space surveillance. The aim of the project was to identify an optimal solution to record the parked vehicles on an open-air site as precisely as possible to determine the occupancy of the parking area.
With the help of extensive research, the students collected a wide variety of solutions. These ranged from ground-based sensors for monitoring individual parking spaces to the use of commercially available satellite images. An objective evaluation of the concepts based on criteria such as suitability, accuracy, reliability, and cost showed that an image-based system could meet the requirements.
Use of automated mobility
The concept, which is based on an image-based system, envisages a drone flying along a specified route and capturing images of the parking lot. The drone could theoretically fly the route independently; however, for legal reasons, the flight must be monitored by a person. The images captured by the drone are then processed using software for image analysis.
In the image-based system, the drone recordings are optimized in terms of alignment, as well as the brightness and contrast of the image sections. The objects or vehicles in the parking lot are then recognized. Once an object is recognized, the occupancy of the parking area is determined. Available machine learning algorithms were proposed for object recognition. For further optimization, these algorithms must be adapted to the prevailing conditions.
The use of a thermal imaging camera was also investigated; however, this option did not demonstrate an improvement in object detection and was therefore discarded as unsuitable.
Applied use of knowledge
Scientifically sound reasoning when choosing a suitable solution for the task at hand was one of the skills used in the project. Aspects of project management such as communication, structured procedures, as well as social skills, and cooperation with business partners were also deepened. “Applied praxis projects are an integral part of the Smart Products & Solutions master’s degree program and show how theoretical knowledge can be applied in practice to generate smart solutions for different tasks successfully,” says Prof. (FH) Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Schmiedinger.