Everyone knows the pain of reaching office 30 minutes early to find a parking space for your vehicle, only to find the parking lot full. By the time you eventually find a place and get into the office precious time is wasted.
Car parking is a major challenge in urban cities because of the exponential growth in the number of vehicles on the road and lack of adequate parking facilities in urban centers and office campuses. According to industry data, approximately 30 percent of traffic congestion in India occurs due to vehicle drivers struggling to find parking space.
Searching for a parking in the office campus was a frustrating daily activity for the employees of IT consulting and product engineering company, KPIT Technologies. To alleviate this problem, the company set up focused teams from its business IT and engineering domains, and developed a mobile application platform, known as Smart Commute Application or Smart Parking System, for its employees.
Smart parking system is the most innovative step the company has taken towards a congestion free parking process. It uses image recognition technology and real-time data collection to provide employees updated information about parking situation in advance.
So when employees of Pune based KPIT Technologies drive to work, the company's smart parking system gives them information about current parking situation in the company campus and also assigns them a parking spot near to their work building, without any human intervention.
Chief Information Officer of KPIT, Mandar Marulkar explained that the motive behind this initiative was to create experiences and not just provide services. He said that the intention behind smart parking system was to give a real time visibility of parking situation in the company, encourage employees to do more carpooling and provide them information about all other public transport options available.
"We realized that we have more number of employees and less number of parking slots, and that is the reason our employees take a lot of time to reach their workplace. Also, there is difficulty in parking on the sides of the public roads of Hinjewadi, near our organization. So if somebody comes in a little late to work, he will have difficulty in finding a parking space in the campus or in the nearby areas. So we wanted to provide real time visibility before the employee starts approaching the office," explained Marulkar.
Explaining the whole process he said, "As an employee's vehicle enters our campus, the cameras placed at the entrance capture the vehicle number with the help of automatic number plate recognition technology. It applies optical character recognition (OCR) i.e to convert the image of the number plate to a machine encoded text for recognizing it-and connects with the database to know whether it is a trusted vehicle or not. Once that process is done, an available parking spot is flashed on the display at the entrance and also on their mobile app."
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