It’s a frustrating situation.
You’re aimlessly circling the blocks, hoping to stumble across a free parking space, but with no clue as to where such a space might be. Well, as we so often like to say here at Gizmag – “A new invention could change that.” Researchers from Spain’s Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have helped develop a system that detects free parking spots, then guides drivers to the closest ones using a process that’s reportedly better than GPS.
The system is known as XALOC, which stands for (are you ready?) Xarxes de sensors per a la gestió d’Aparcaments públics i LOCalització. For those two or three readers not fluent in Catalan, that translates to “sensor networks for the management of public parking and location.”
Each parking spot in the system has a wireless sensor on the ground, in the middle of the space. These sensors can tell whether or not their space is occupied, and transmit that information to a central data station via the Internet. This information is processed, then sent to display panels on the streets, that indicate the locations of the current free parking spaces.