The Mobile Webpage, smartparking.tech

Inspiration

Our inspiration was to improve quality of life when commuting places.

What it does

The smart parking meter system contains multiple components.

  1. The DragonBoard 410C acts as the driver for the physical meter. It utilizes ultrasonic sensors to detect when a car has occupied the parking space, and notifies the server. Additionally, it connects to an LCD screen to provide the user with time remaining, time elapsed, and a meter number for the meter to identify itself by.
  2. The android application allows the user to locate free parking spaces, both immediately around them as well as around a specific search point. It also provides easy access to the web application, streamlining the process of paying for parking.
  3. The web application was chosen over a purely native interface so that any user would be able to pay via mobile phone, even those who do not live in the city and would have no reason to have installed the app. This web application allows the user to input their lot or meter number and pay via PayPal.

How we built it

Before the Hackathon started, a general idea was planned, as well as some preliminary thoughts on how different parts of the system would interface with each other. There were 4 main systems, so it was decided for each person to primarily work on one of the systems. We communicated through Slack to keep organized in order to effectively delegate tasks and relay information. The 3 components interact with each other and the database via the use of a RESTful API.

Challenges we ran into

Some challenges we ran into were the new operating system, environment, language, and hardware that were chosen to be optimal in order to solve the problem that we had mapped out. The DragonBoard was something that none of us had worked with before, so it presented some challenges we had not been faced with previously. All of us were working at least in part on systems or interfaces unfamiliar to us, which dramatically increased development time. As a result, there were several features scaled back from the original project vision.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Completing a fully working product, even if it fell short of our original goals.

What we learned

We have learned the importance of time management, communication, team work, and picking each other up when we were down. Additionally, each person learned a great deal about the specific task they were working on during the Hackathon.

What's next for Smart Parking Meter

Implementing the features we did not have time to:

  • Location services on the DragonBoard
  • Better app & mobile site integration
  • A more robust Node implementation
  • Better visuals overall
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