Australian capital trials smart parking technology


The Manuka district of Australia’s capital city, Canberra, is to commence a trial of a smart parking system that has already been successfully deployed in several cities across the globe, including London and Cardiff (UK), and Cape Town (South Africa), with the deployment of over 3,500 sensors shortly to commence in Wellington (New Zealand) as well.

The ACT (Australian Capital Territory) government, in partnership with Anglo-Australian parking technology company Smart Parking has launched SmartPark, the real-time bay sensor parking system, alongside the new ParkCBR smartphone application, which is designed to make finding and paying for parking even easier in the city.

The Manuka district will host the 12-month trial that comprises Smart Parking’s RFID-equipped SmartEye sensors, which use infrared technology to detect when a vehicle has occupied a parking space. The real-time data is then used to populate the ParkCBR parking availability app and five new dynamic LED on-street signs with changes to parking space occupancy on a minute-by-minute basis.

Drivers parking in the Furneaux multi-story car park will also be greeted with SmartGuide, the overhead guidance system that uses green and red lighting to guide them to available parking spots. The free ParkCBR app is available for Apple and Android devices and can be downloaded and accessed via smartphone or tablets to view a current picture of parking spaces nearby. Once a space has been selected, drivers will be given the option for GPS navigation and payment, meaning no more paper tickets or top-up trips to the meter.

“This smart city initiative will actively support the ACT government’s goal of using technology to develop urban renewal and a solid digital infrastructure,” said ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr. “It will support residents, local businesses and inter-state visitors to move in and out of Manuka more easily. This investment is about tailoring solutions to Canberra, and developing technology which addresses the ACT community.”

Paul Gillespie, Smart Parking’s group chief executive officer, said, “I am delighted that our SmartPark technology will now play a key role in helping to transform the parking experience in the capital. Complementing a number of innovative digital projects in the territory, SmartPark will now make it easier for drivers in Manuka to find a parking space, leading to reduced congestion and fewer vehicle emissions, expanding on the ACT government’s commitment to ensuring the ACT is a livable city, now and into the future.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).