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PARKMESH Project proposal:

We will create a cost effective system to detect parked cars using new wireless sensor network technolog The system is suitable to detect cars parked in roadside parking places in city centres and small parking lots that do not have a gate to control access. The system will inform the city's parking authority of the amount of cars parked and the amount of time to a car has been parked. This will allow parking enforcement personnel to be directed towards the parking places that most likely contain violating vehicles.

  • The system can detect that more cars are parked than there are paid for.
  • The system can detect a car is parked for longer than the permitted time in zones with a parking time restriction (e.g. blue zones in the Netherlands).
  • The system can detect a parking spot that is not used even though most other parking places are occupied, which may indicate an incorrectly parked vehicle using two parking places.

The advantage of directing parking management is twofold:

  1. The effectiveness of the patrols will increase, which could allow a reduction of patrols to reduce cost.
  2. The likelyhood of getting fined for unlawfull parking will increase, which should eventually result in less unlawfull parking.

The information that the system collects can also be used to provide parking navigation services. E.g. one could navigate toward a free parking place.THis can be extended with a reservation mechanism: In a parking space where the reservation system is osed, parking is only permitted with a reservation made via internet (e.g. using a smartphone).

The obvious advantage of this system is that all traffic towards parking places is directed and excess traffic due to cars searching for a spot will be avoided as will the pollution that is a result of this.This can be an interesting option for small cities that want to ban most of the traffic from the city center. The main objective of the proposal is to build a complete solution including services that will detect parked cars. The secondary objective of the proposal is to extend the sensor mechanism so it can also detect parked bicycles and ships in harbour berths.

Technological background:

SallandElectronics has recently made significant advances in the development of extremely low power wireless sensor network technology. The new technology allows for low cost sensornodes that run their lifetime on a single battery. To allow the sensor to run without maintenance the sensor should be very robust and not be effected by dirt or general outdoor conditions. This is a challenge for many sensor technologies such as optical or accoustic sensors. The radio communication itself is not affected much by dirt and weather conditions, but is affected by large objects, especially when they contain a lot of metal.We have conducted a small experiment that seems to indicate that the effect of a car parked directly above a sensor node is measurable and can be distuingished from other sources that have effect on the radio signal.

Compatitive technology:

Other techniques of detecting parked cars are based on vision systems. These require cameras.

The downsides of cameras are:

  • Cables or relatively large solar panels required for power
  • Cables or relatively large mobile bandwidth require for tranferring images
  • High installation point with line of sight required
  • Public privacy concerns, negative public emotions.

The advantages of WSN technology:

  • No cables required: very limited installation cost
  • Maintenance interval limited to once per decade (limitations of battery chemistry).
  • invisible or hardly visible installation possible


SallandElectronics, Dutch SME.


  • Project lead.
  • Design and implementation of sensor network hardware and software. Will participate in experiments.

TU Twente, Dutch University.


  • Project administration support.
  • Research, design, implementation and validation of models for the detection of object by their effect on the RF signals of the wireless mesh network.

..., Non-Dutch SME in a eurostars country.


  • Design and implementation of smartphone apps and or webservices and/or backend for payment and/or navigation and/or parking use information.

Project budget and timeframe:

Requested budget per partner is (at most) 250K euro (The Non-Dutch SME may be within legal right to request more budget). Project timeframe is 24 months, but may be extended to 36 months. Product should be on market 24 months after the project ends.

We are looking for the last member of the consortium, please respond to this mail if you are interested in joining the consortium.

Kind regards,

Joost van Velzen

SallandElectronics bv

Katwolderweg 15

8041 AC Zwolle


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