A problem that one of our teammates ran into was being able to find a parking spot during busy times of day. During football games his spot was very likely to be taken, causing extra travel time and exhaustion. Also, when visitors come to visit and are unfamiliar with the area they may have no idea where to park and waste time traveling.
What it does
Our solution is to implement a sensor network that would be able to determine where empty parking spots may be located on campus. The sensor network would route this information to a server that would connect the sensors to a mobile app that would allow people to view open spots and reserve a selected spot. The server would also provide information to a monitor that could be placed at the entrance of a parking lot to help direct people to open parking spots.
How I built it
The sensors that would determine if a spot is open were built using a raspberry pi, an ultrasonic sensor to determine if a car is close to the sensor, and an LCD screen to display if the spot is open or in use. A python script was written to handle receiving input and displaying the status to the LCD screen. Three sensors were built and then connected to a server that uses MySQL and PHP. This server would connect to a mobile app written using Objective-C that allows people to reserve a spot from the app. The server also displays a webpage of available spots in a parking lot that could be displayed at the entrance.
Challenges I ran into
When working with the hardware to build the sensors, a few different options were tried before using a raspberry pi and python.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
After working over the weekend, a working system was developed that could implement the solution that we had originally envisioned.
What I learned
Our team learned about many different technologies and programming languages as well as how our solution could provide value by learning how to write a business plan.
What's next for FindParking
In the future our team would like to design a kit that could hold the sensors in place in a parking lot. Then to provide easy parking at ASU, we would want to continue evaluating how to install and deploy the sensor network as well as meet with any organizations that are charge of parking and transit. If implemented in a parking lot, we would like to continue to scale to other campuses and parking lots.