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Aki Illikainen
April 01, 2020

Parking made easy

A new ball was thrown at us in late 2018...


"Would you be able to track our outdoor parking areas with your technology?"


We weren’t sure but were very eager to see...


Just before our beloved Finland was covered by snow and ice, and people were taking off for their 2018 Christmas holidays, we agreed a two phase project with University Properties of Finland Ltd (SYK, Suomen Yliopistokiinteistöt) and LUT University where we would:

  1. test if it is possible to handle large quantity of data from outdoor parking areas by using our core technology built on top of security cameras and machine learning.
  2. be able to build a working infrastructure for parking guidance which would help people to locate available outdoor parking space more easily and quickler than ever before.

LUT ilmakuva


Customer interest


Our customers original reason to look out solutions like ParkPlus was to manage their outdoor parking area more efficiently.


LUT University wanted to help people who arrive at the campus area to find parking space more easily and quicker than before. They have had noticed the typical thing were people are driving around the most popular parts of the area for quite long periods of times without luck to find a place for themselves.


LUT was challenged by a very typical problem. It was a common problem, like many huge building complexes have when parking space are scattered around the real estate. And, a big number of different types of parking lots didn’t make the management job any easier. So, the customer was interested to know which parts of the whole parking space were under high demand and are there ones which utilization levels could be increased.


Finnish weather conditions


In the beginning of the project we needed to see how well our system would work in a new environment.


We have had some good experience from classrooms. Therefore, we had some high hopes. Eventually our software engineers did some astonishing code crunching and were able to fit new models in a totally new environment. We were able to achieve confidence levels of 95% which would great be enough for availability guidance and utilization management.



Another big, and a scary, thing for us to confront was the hazards of the Finnish climate. We expected to see four seasons with all the heat, water in all forms, wind and darkness. Again, Indoorian software wizards were able to fulfill project expectations and the hardware of our system was designed to be weatherproof.



Scaling up


This demo project with SYK and LUT was agreed to be held in two parts. First, we wanted to make sure our solution works on a small scale. And surely it did. Then we were able to proceed to part two. Initially tracking was started from the main parking area for university visitors.


In the second phase we added cameras to cover four other parking areas too. All together we were monitoring over 700 individual parking slots! In addition to widening the coverage, we installed two new info screens on the side of the main entry point road. In the end, we were able to deliver ParkPlus API for the customers use so they could share the availability information on their own website.


ParkPlus current-1


Overall, this one-year project with people from LUT and SYK was a huge success. We delivered what we promised and the customer was happy and willing to continue the cooperation further with us.


What next? 


ParkPlus Mobile PageJust after the end of the initial project we started preparing thenext steps of ParkPlus. We are planning more flexible content for info screens, a mobile site for sharing the availability information to motorists and last but not least a totally new web-based management tool for customers to control their screens and be able to get every bit of knowledge out from the data collected.


If you got interested in or want to learn more about this example case, please don’t hesitate to contact us. A small chat can’t be bad. Sometimes it even can boost the whole business 😉


Written by Aki Illikainen, CEO & Co-Founder of Indoor Informatics.

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