Finding An Optimal Parking Spot
Original Publication Date: 2001-Feb-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Feb-27
Jheroen Dorenbosch: AUTHOR [+3]
Finding An Optimal Parking Spot
Finding an Optimal Parking Spot
Jheroen Dorenbosch, R. Louis Breeden, Kate Morgan
A traditional Parking Localizer System, like the one described in US patent 5,748,107 of Bosch GmbH, allows a user to specify a location or a district. The localizer system then returns the location of a nearby free parking spot. The system may also return a map and directions for the spot.
However, to better meet the needs of the customer, we propose an Optimizing Parking Localizer System. Rather than requiring the input of a specific destination location, we allow the input of the goals of a trip. This could be a single goal, like buying drill bits, or a set of goals, like buying drill bits and chicken and also getting a hair cut. The goals might not be easily satisfied in a single store. A user may input further constraints, such as the type of parking (handicapped, shaded, well lit, guarded, etc.) or the cost (e.g. free, low-cost).
Figure 1. The Optimizing Parking Localizer System will find the best parking spot to meet the goals of the user. For example, if a user needs to buy drill bits and chicken and needs a hair cut, the system will try to find a single parking spot that is near the stores that meet all goals.
The localizer system will take the specified goals, together with the current location of the user, and access various databases. The databases contain information about the stores where various products and services can be obtained, the locations of free parking spots, the local geography, and road and traffic conditions. The system then selects a set of parking locations that minimize the number of times the user has to park, the distance the user has to walk, and the time the user needs for the overall trip. The location system typically returns a map that indicates the stores to be visited, the parking spot and the way to get there (Figure 1).
The Optimizing Parking Localizer System may be connected to Parking Control Systems. In that case it can reserve parking spots for its users. A reservation may only be possible if the user is relatively close to the parking, or if the user is a preferred customer of one of the stores associated with the parking lot.
The interaction of the user with the Optimizing Parking Localizer System would typically be via wireless means. Normally, the system will be integrated, via a Personal Area Network, with the electronics in the car and with the user's PDA. Integration with a PDA enables very interesting implementations. For example, the specification of the goals may be based on the user's shopping lists and to-do lists in the PDA. The PDA takes all urgent items from the list and collaborates with the GPS location device in the car and with the Optimizing Parking Localizer System to see how the items can be met in an expedient way. The PDA will further collaborate with the system to see which other list items can satisfied without much extra effort.