Using Ultrasonic Sensors in Smart Parking Applications

If you’ve read our articles on Smart Farming and Smart Waste Management, you can see the potential to make jobs more effective, save resources, and connect in a way that makes everyday life easier.  We have spent years developing and testing our sensors for use with automobile detection. Along with sensors used in smart waste management and precision agriculture, we’re being used in smart parking solutions across the world.

Goals:

  • To reduce parking and traffic congestion.
  • To build a scalable solution.
  • To reduce the impact of emissions on human health.

 

What is Smart Parking?

Smart Parking is a parking strategy that combines technology and human innovation in an effort to use as few resources as possible—like fuel, time and space—to achieve faster, easier and denser parking of vehicles for the majority of the time they remain idle. – Parksmart

 

How Parking Sensors for Vehicle Detection Work

Information about parking spaces in a certain area is collected and processed in real-time by sensors to place vehicles in those available parking spaces. Like smart waste management, it allows the optimization of workforce management and makes it easier for drivers to park.

Parking meters are also developed with sensors. They automatically expire what time is left on a meter when the vehicle departs the stall. It forces the next driver to have to put more money in the meter, no time is rolled over.

In parking structures, sensors are used at kiosks, booths, and drive-thrus to track the entrance and departure of vehicles.

 

For these types of applications, we offer two options for vehicle detection.

 

ParkSonar-EZ

Our ParkSonar-EZ line is mainly used in indoor parking or covered environments.  It’s designed to be in a protected indoor application. It’s a low cost, a high-performance sensor that also allows the integration of several sensors into one system with little to no effect from sensor interference.

The ParkSonar-EZ sensor is designed for the simultaneous operation of multiple sensors in one environment.  

Each ParkSonar-EZ sensor is tolerant of approximately 14 or more nearby sensors, depending on sensor mounting and environment.  

The graph below shows the minimum operating voltage of the sensor versus temperature.

voltage vs temperature

Using Multiple Sensors in a Parking System

The ParkSonar-EZ sensor is designed to function alongside other sensors operating in the same space, at the same time, on the same frequency.  Each Parksonar-EZ sensor is tolerant of approximately 14 or more nearby sensors, depending on the environment and mounting. 

The main applications this sensor is used in include:

  • Parked car detection
  • Proximity zone detection
  • Sheltered drive-thrus (fast-food restaurants, banks, etc.)
  • Non-condensing environments only
  • Designed for protected indoor environments.

To review this sensor line – Download the Datasheet

ParkSonar-EZ Sensor Line 

Offers stable proximity information in multi-sensor environments. 

Includes:

  • 2.5V to 5.5V supply with 2mA typical current draw
  • One-inch resolution
  • Offers both proximity and range information to nearest detectable target.
  • Various output options: high/low logic level and RS232 serial

 

MB8450- USB- Car Detection Sensor

We designed the Car Detection Sensor as a weather-resistant, low-cost USB option to detect the side of a vehicle in a drive-through. Multiple sensors can be used together in one system with little effect from the sensor to sensor interference.  The sensors use a USB Micro-B connector for interfacing.  Each sensor is small in size with holes on the PCB for easy mounting. 

Mounting Height of the MB8450

When mounting the MB8450 USB-CarSonar-WR, the recommended placement height of the transducer is between 46.5 cm and 70.5 cm above the ground. 

This range in mounting height helps to ensure that the sensor will be pointed at the side panel of most vehicle makes and models for more accurate detection information. Mountings lower than 46 cm may cause the sensor to fail to detect vehicles with high ground clearance such as trucks, and mountings that place the transducer higher than 71 cm may cause the sensor to fail to detect lower profile vehicles such as sports cars.

MB8450 mounting

The main applications this sensor is used in include:

  • Drive-thru ATMs
  • Drive-thrus
  • Automated displays and advertising
  • Proximity zone detection
  • Kiosks and booths
  • Multi-sensor arrays
  • Car park signs
  • Smart parking meters
  • Parked car detection

To review this sensor – Download the Datasheet

MB8450

Weather-resistant, car detection sensor.

Includes:

  • Centimeter resolution
  • Short to long distance detection
  • Ranges from 500mm - 5000mm for nearest detectable target
  • USB interface

Advancements in Parking Technology

Smart parking solutions data processing and sensor technology to optimize urban parking solutions.

The smart parking framework has a few essential components to the success of its operation.

  • Sensors, like our ParkSonar, will provide the data of whether the parking space is occupied or not.
  • A Software solution – to collect data and process on the backend. 
  • Data Delivery – To display the information on available space in the parking structure, made visible to drivers and operators.

Other aspects to consider are payment methods, real-time parking maps, etc.

Companies like Barcelona based Parkimeter, rely on accurate information when booking parking spaces for customers.  An accurate count of spaces allows Parkimeter to book parking spaces via an online booking system. All of the information is collected by sensors and a database to ensure there is no double booking and your space is available when you show up to park.

Who Benefits Most From Smart Parking?

According to this article written on Leverege, those that benefit most from smart parking solutions includes drivers and cities.

How Smart Parking Helps Drivers

Limited parking spaces in certain areas is a common problem for all drivers.  A smart parking system helps drivers efficiently find a parking space without the inconvenience of circling blocks, wasting fuel, and wasting valuable time.

How Smart Parking Helps Cities

Smart parking solutions can produce data showing the trends in parking lots and users.  Lot owners and city planners can use the data collected to make improvements for parking and traffic flow.

Our Goal in Parking System OEM Applications

  • Provide a competitively priced product to be integrated into OEM parking systems.
  • Simplify Operations
  • Maximize Profits

If you have a parking project or an application where a vehicle needs to be detected, click the button below to get help selecting your sensor!

Featured Sensors for Smart Parking:

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Smart Parking, Sensors For Vehicle Detection
Article Name
Smart Parking, Sensors For Vehicle Detection
Description
Vehicle detection is the backbone of Smart Parking Solutions. Find the right sensors for your vehicle detection application with us.
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MaxBotix Inc.
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