Thursday, June 30, 2016
30 percent of traffic in cities is caused by drivers searching for a parking space. Anyone who has circled city blocks trying to find a spot can attest to how frustrating this process can be, one that not only wastes a driver's time, but also pollutes the environment unnecessarily.
ParkHere, a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), aims to make this search easier and more efficient. It has developed the first self-powered parking sensor that provides real-time data about available parking spaces closest to a user's final destination. ParkHere's sensors are one-of-a-kind, as they can be sustainably operated for 15-20 years without requiring any maintenance.
The ultra-thin sensor sealed in pavement registers whether a car is driving over it or whether the vehicle is parked in the spot. The sensor then uses energy-harvesting technology to generate an electric impulse to send the occupancy information of the space to the second component of the system called the "Base Station." This station receives transmitted signals from the GPRS modules within a range of 200 meters and then forwards this data to a cloud server via a mobile network. The "Base Station" can easily be mounted on street lamps or parking meters.
Ingolstadt is the first city in Bavaria to use the sensor-based system by ParkHere, which was founded by Felix Harteneck, Jakob Sturm, and Clemens Techmer. These three entrepreneurs have been researching and developing their idea in cooperation with TUM since 2014. They have patented their results and at the beginning of 2015 established ParkHere as an independent company.
ParkHere is located in MakerSpace, a 1,500 square-meter high-tech workshop open to the public that provides members access to machines, tools, and software as well as to a creative community. Recently, BMW began collaborating with ParkHere as its sensor-based technology fits well with BMW's DriveNow and ChargeNow concepts.
In May 2016, ParkHere was awarded Best Mobility and Transportation Start-Up out of 3,000 companies from 94 countries at the Pioneers Festival 2016 in Vienna, Austria. The company was also recognized as one of the Festival's Top 7 Start-Ups.
To watch a video clip about ParkHere, click here (for German with English subtitles) and here (for German).
Source & Image: ParkHere