SPIE Belgium, a subsidiary of the SPIE group, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, has teamed up with the start-up company Communithings to improve parking and ease congestion in the Belgian city of Mons, in order to support local traders.
arking in built-up areas is an age-old problem, and is now posing an increasingly serious challenge to many towns and cities. Consumers are starting to lose patience, and local traders are suffering as a result. To remedy this situation, the Brussels-based start-up company Communithings has come up with a solution that involves placing sensors in the road surface. A mobile app has been created, which is available in three versions (one for consumers/citizens, another for traders, and the third for car park operators), together with signs for reserving a certain number of spaces for users of the app.
The battery-powered sensors installed in Mons by SPIE Belgium have a lifetime of 5 to 7 years. They detect the presence of a vehicle in a parking space and transmit the data to a central system, through the new communication technology LoRa. The team tasked with monitoring the use of these spaces accesses the collected data in order to check that drivers are not exceeding their time allowance. Local traders are able to grant free extra minutes to their customers. The app, which can be downloaded onto smartphones, allows the user to identify a free parking space and then guides them to it via GPS. This will prove to be a major time-saver for anyone looking to park in Mons city centre from now on!
“Studies show that 30% of the traffic in the city is generated by drivers looking for a parking space,” explains Christian Deleener, Business Development Manager at SPIE Belgium. “Thanks to the sensors installed by SPIE Belgium in the streets of Mons and the app developed by our partner Communithings, it will be much easier and quicker from now on to find a parking space. We are both hoping that this scheme will not only ease congestion in the city, but also improve air quality as vehicles will be running for less time. The initiative has been very well received, and it goes without saying that we now want to introduce it into other town and city centres, in order to boost local trade.”
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