The city of Linköping in southern Sweden has deployed a new user-friendly ALPR-based parking system. To use the system, customers need to download the SwappAccess smartphone application that is available on both Apple and Android operating systems, and register an account that is linked to their vehicle’s number plate. Parking fees are automatically deducted from the user’s account and, if requested, a receipt is emailed to the driver. At parking garages that use boom barriers, the vehicle can drive in and out without having to swipe either a card or ticket, cutting down on emissions from stationary cars, while saving both time and fuel. At garages without boom barriers, the user parks their car, opens the app, finds their parking space, and presses the ‘park’ icon. On leaving, they open the app again and press the ‘cancel parking’ icon, and the time is registered by the system and the amount is automatically deducted from the user’s account.
The app also locates and guides the user to the nearest parking garage, provides information on the availability of free parking spaces, and allows the driver to start, stop and extend the time on the parking meter. The project was initiated by the municipality of Linköping together with its parking operations company, Dukat Linköping. Swarco Traffic Systems’ Nordic division has supplied all the boom systems in Dukat’s facilities, and supplemented them with ALPR (Automatic License Plate Recognition) cameras and their supporting systems. The license plate data is then fed into Swarco’s SwappAccess back-office processing system, which links with the app to create the entire transaction and take payment from the user’s account. For use in other deployments, the SwappAccess system is also able to take payments through RFID-based (Radio Frequency Identification) KeyTags or KeyCards, and smartphones equipped with NFC (Near Field Communications) technology.