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Automated City Parking Enforcement with Bluetooth Beacons

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248972D
Publication Date: 2017-Jan-25
Document File: 4 page(s) / 48K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method to instrument a city to replace parking meters with a fully automated parking payment and enforcement system. The system utilizes a series of installed road sensors, equips vehicles with Bluetooth* beacons that work with the sensors and track the parking activity of registered vehicles, and automatically issues tickets or imposes fines upon detecting a parking violation.

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Automated City Parking Enforcement with Bluetooth Beacons

The process of paying for street parking in urban centers is ineffective , costly, and inconvenient. For example, for the end user (i.e., the person trying to park), the process of approaching a machine, processing payment, etc., might take several minutes, which is significant if the user is making a fast stop and has no time to spare . Paying for parking in advance, sometimes leads to paying for more parking than is used. In addition, a user that is out for a meal or shopping often has no idea how much time is needed on the meter, and might have to pay for more time than is used. This is obviously a negative experience for the user. Further, if users pay for set time increments (e.g., 30-minute segments), then users might actually occupy the space for more time than is necessary, which leads to more contention for parking spots and increases congestion.

For the municipality, a parking enforcement model that requires a human to catch someone who did not pay imposes huge enforcement costs. It also encourages consumers to avoid payment when enforcement is not extremely strict . Either way, the costs to the city are increased. Parking enforcement officers need to be regularly checking for valid payment on every parked car on every street on the city. This is a huge investment in terms of human resources, equipment, legal processes, etc. Any parking fees not paid that are not caught are obviously lost revenue for the city as well .

Disclosed is a method to instrument a city to replace parking meters with a fully automated parking payment and enforcement system.

Prior art covers automation of payment in parking lots and touches on replacement of traditional parking meters , but it relies on the use of a user's mobile device instead of existing vehicle registration systems. The prior art does not cover enforcement and ticketing.

The municipality installs beacon sensors at regularly spaced intervals on both sides of all streets with available parking. To allow accurate triangulation of the vehicles' positions, the approach is to place beacons directly opposite each other with a distance between each that does not exceed the square root of (R^2 + w^2) where R is the effective range of the sensors and w is the width of the street. For example, assuming a 30m effective range of the beacons and a 16m wide, four-lane street, a beacon is installed every 25.37m on each side of the street). This provides the most cost effective layout such that the embodiment is possible , but the approach can accommodate other arrangements of sensors . The solution can also use a similar formula to adjust the spacing to implement more/less powerful beacons/sensors.

The municipality provides vehicle owners with a Bluetooth* beacon with a unique user identification (UUID) number, which is

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assigned to the associated vehicle identification number (VIN). This beacon connects to the car's battery, under the hood, so...