Every day, we always struggle to find an open parking spot next to our events. Minutes accumulate, and we usually become frustrated and have to settle for a parking spot miles away. The time spent cruising for a parking spot adds to air pollution and depletion of fuels as well. Sometime over the summer, one of our teammates visited a Buckhead shopping plaza and was impressed by the parking deck. It was high-tech and had many sensors to display if a spot was available and that's when the idea was born. By the beauty and inspiration of a parking deck, our hackathon idea became a mini-reality.
What it does
It makes finding a parking spot a thing of the past. We find the closest parking spot based on your desired destination and mark the parking spots for you. No more stress, no more rage.
How we built it
We built it by the concept of Internet of Things (IoT). Using an Arduino to run a wifi module, we were able to sense our data and send it straight to the web to read and parse. The sensors in use were a force sensor as well as three photocells to represent four parking spots.
Challenges we ran into
As a team of Computer Engineers, we were more focused on hardware. Nearly 80% of our project was software and was a stressful experience to learn in just 2-3 days fully. Coding in Swift was the biggest problem. Only one of our teammates had the knowledge, and the rest were set to do the pity work.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of everything we've done. A team of two first hackers and a two-year hacker made a product that could eventually ease the minds of commuters. We are proud of sticking to our guns and not giving up when it was tough. Spending all-nighters fixing dumb bugs was great. The most impressive accomplishment was getting all the data to synchronize together and autonomously update on their own. IoT rocks!
What we learned
This was the first time all of us utilized the concept of IoT. We were able to find new tutorials and services that made this project one step closer to being accomplished. Even though we were friends before this hackathon, We learned how to work as a team and encourage each other to work hard and play hard.
What's next for Kimochi Parking Services
Although we didn't finish our iPhone app, we would like to implement this idea on any phone app fully! We will expand and have more devices, more sensors, and more motivation to make parking easier. Getting sponsorship for implementing in a commercial or industry setting would be a challenge, but if we wanted to scale this higher, UGA parking services would be our first contact. Lastly, since this is an IoT concept, we could reuse the idea for security surveillance or a valet reservation service. The possibilities are endless!