Frustrated with current parking procedures, we decided parking lots could be smarter. So we originally wanted to make an app and/or webapp to color where cars are and aren't to help a driver find a spot. However, as we were working, we realized that humans can see a picture just fine and that this technology would work much better for autonomous vehicles that cannot easily recognize objects.

So, we used OpenCV to write a python script that takes an image of a parking lot and tells which spots are empty and which are not. This gives valuable information to all parties.

The autonomous vehicle gets:

  • Current data on the closest parking spot (which means it will not be driving around until it finds one)
  • To the spot quicker (saving fuel [whether electric, gas, etc.])

The business owner gets:

  • Data regarding how full a lot section is
  • Customers spending less time in the lot and more time in the store

The best part:

  • It can potentially use existing CCTV/security cameras already installed in the lot for the data feed
  • Cost is very little considering this can run on a RaspberryPi0

The future:

  • Once autonomous vehicles are more popular, this will encourage parking lots to be smarter. This means a car may be able to get data from multiple lots and pick the best one to park in based on spot availability and factor in parking lot prices.
  • Less movement in a parking lot means less chances for accidents (Hack-cidents?)
  • Humans getting where they need to be quicker


MIT License

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