Nedap and Swarco improve parking for motorists with disabilities in Swedish city

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Linköping has become the first city in Sweden to introduce an innovative new system that allows motorists with disabilities to find available, designated parking bays.

Trying to find a vacant parking space is always a challenge, and this problem is even greater for mobility-impaired and elderly motorists who strongly depend on the limited designated parking facilities. Available parking spaces for motorists with disabilities are, in many cases, important for a full social integration. In Linkoping, parking spaces reserved especially for this group of motorists are marked by the international wheelchair symbol. These designated parking bays, spread over 23 parking areas across the city, are equipped with smart in-ground SENSIT sensors that process real-time occupancy information with the city’s LinPark smartphone application. Swarco Sweden has integrated Nedap’s SENSIT platform to improve the digital parking services offered by the LinPark app.

Dukaten Parking is responsible for the implementation of Linköping’s municipal parking strategy. In January 2015, the city introduced a cash-less parking service based on the LinPark app, which now has over 10,000 regular users. The digital system makes it much easier and faster to park, removing the need to queue at ticket machines, with the app also providing information about rates, opening hours and the availability of parking spaces in on-street and off-street facilities. The app also differentiates between the different types of parking areas, indicating those for private cars, motorcycles, e-charging bays, and spaces where disabled parking permits apply. Swarco integrated Nedap’s SENSIT platform to improve the LinPark app’s performance. The SENSIT system consists of in-ground parking sensors that detect the occupancy status of each individual parking bay and the parking duration. The system uses the fastest wireless network in the parking industry and processes occupancy data in real time, which is essential in on-street parking applications.

European municipalities are working on initiatives to improve mobility for elderly and impaired motorists. Linköping is the first city in Sweden offering a mobility service to guide drivers to the wheelchair-marked parking areas, monitor space availability, and enforce legitimate usage. With the new system implemented, the city’s available handicapped parking bays become more visible and easier to find for mobility-impaired and elderly drivers. The system reduces ‘search traffic’ and vehicle emissions, and improves mobility for all types of motorist, with parking facilities used more efficiently. By monitoring the real-time usage of designated parking bays, the city is able to enforce the legitimate use of disabled parking spaces more effectively. With the additional parking data, Linköping will be able to better anticipate how many handicapped spaces are used, providing the basis for future decisions on improved enforcement and the number of special parking facilities required.

“This innovative parking service for motorists with disabilities is a benchmark for all municipalities in Sweden,” explained Thony Rysjö, sales and product manager for Swarco Sweden. “It allows optimal usage of the limited capacity, and optionally can monitor remotely with an electronic parking license (EPL) if the designated parking bay is occupied by a permit holder. The Nedap patented EPL solution makes the total SENSIT platform unique in the parking industry.” 

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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