Cardiff is bidding farewell to the pain of finding a parking spot as a new smart parking system that helps drivers find an available parking space using the new ‘Park Cardiff’ smartphone app will go-live this week. Working with parking technology firm Smart Parking Limited, Cardiff Council has installed 3,300 sensors in ‘paid-for’ and disabled parking bays.
Cardiff Council is the first Council in Europe to roll out this technology across its citywide road network. Councillor Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport at Cardiff Council has set out his vision to get as many people as possible to use alternative forms of transport.
Cllr Wild said: “Although our priority is for people to use public or alternative forms of transport, we accept that there will still be a requirement for people to use the private car. Given this, we want to provide the technology to make parking as easy as possible, so that people don’t have to drive around the city to find a parking space. ”
Cllr Wild continued: “Now that we have invested in this scheme, we want people that park in and around the city centre to download the free app – it is easy to use and will help both the motorist and the Council. Congestion and driving at low speeds significantly increases pollutants form cars, so we want people to find a space and park as quickly as possible.”
Vehicle detection sensors are embedded into the road and detect whether or not the parking bay is occupied using infrared technology. Populated with data collected through the sensors, drivers in Cardiff can download an app, called Park Cardiff, to search and view a real-time map of parking availability and be directed to an empty space. The Park Cardiff app is now available for iOS and Android devices on the Apple Store and Google Play store.
Park Cardiff can also connect users to Cardiff’s mobile parking payment service – provided by MiPermit – which comes with free confirmation and reminder texts. Smart Parking’s bay sensor system has already been successfully deployed in Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, South Africa and Europe. The full rollout follows a successful pilot project in which 225 sensors were installed in streets including Museum Avenue and Sophia Gardens Car Park.
Paul Gillespie, Smart Parking’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said he is delighted that Smart Parking technology is playing a key role in helping to transform the parking experience in Cardiff. “The launch of the Smart Parking system is an important step in realising Cardiff’s vision of being a high quality, liveable smart city. Through the use of this innovative technology and the information it gathers, the city now have the opportunity to better understand the dynamics of traffic and parking.”
“The Park Cardiff app will deliver major benefits for people who need to park in central Cardiff. It will make finding a parking space easier so that drivers can reach their destinations faster and more conveniently and make a contribution to reducing the congestion and pollution associated with drivers speculatively searching for a space to park.”