Faced with increasing traffic congestion, Cardiff Council wanted a solution that would both provide detailed data on the use of its parking resources, and contribute to reducing the time commuters to the city centre would spend on the roads.
Rising air pollution levels were a key factor, as was recognising the frustrations that motorists were facing on a daily basis, which led the Council to start looking into a solution that would allow people to plan their journey and find a central-city parking spot with ease.
The Council was also keen to promote multi-modal forms of transport, whilst still ensuring commuters reached their destination with ease.
Smart Parking was able to provide a system that ticked all the boxes, and more.
In early March 2017, Smart Parking installed Europe’s first city-wide deployment of SmartSensor bay occupancy detecting equipment and SmartSpot technology platform in central Cardiff.
This included over 3,000 in-ground SmartSensors, as well as a network of SmartSpot gateways to relay communications into the SmartCloud platform. Smart Cloud processed this data and fed live information into variable message signage that was strategically placed around the city, as well as into the bi-lingual (English and Welsh) Park Cardiff app that Smart Parking developed.
Our priority is for people to walk, cycle or use public transport where they can, but we accept that there is still a need for people to use the private car. Congestion significantly increases pollution so we want people to find a space and park as efficiently as possible. Now that we have this technology, we encourage people who need to park in and around the city centre to download the free app.
Cardiff Council Transport Policy and Strategy Team
The combined solutions meant that a motorist, using the Park Cardiff app, could check for parking conditions before they left home, and was then afforded the ability to see real-time guidance and availability once they were in the city.
As part of the multi-modal transport integration that was core to the Council’s mission, the app also promotes Park & Ride services, so motorists can have clear options around various modes of transport to get them to their destination.
Using the SmartPark dashboard, Council officers can now view live parking events, as well as generate reports and analytics that allow insights into parking behavior, both at a broad overview as well as a granular level.
Future growth of city infrastructure was also catered for through the open connectivity of the SmartSpots and SmartCloud platform, as these will enable Cardiff Council to plug other services that can be found within a smart city environment into one system.