Real-time parking search service launched in Austria

By Claus Köllinger / Updated: 25 Feb 2019

Cars already make use of navigation systems to find their way, including using real time data to avoid congestion as much as possible. Now, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Viennese start-up “Parkbob” have teamed up to develop satellite-based services for traffic management and urban planning. One of the aims of the cooperation is to transfer well-developed trip navigation approaches, which have been proven to work, to the search for a parking space.

Parkbob will combine real-time parking data from more than 1200 sources with a database on parking regulations and rules. The result is a system that constantly keeps track of where parking is allowed, how much it costs and where unoccupied parking spaces are available. Taking this information, and combining it with existing trip-based navigation, allows for the provision of complete real-time trip information from any starting point to an available parking space directly at, or in near to, the trip destination.

The benefits of the service are evident: for car drivers, their trips will be easier and less stressful, while for cities, their districts and neighbourhoods the number of cars searching for parking spaces will be reduced, thus reducing traffic volumes and emissions levels, while delivering benefits for road safety.

The ESA-Parkbob cooperation is the result of ESA’s kick-start call “People Mobility”. Within the frame of the cooperation, Parkbob will be able to perform feasibility and market studies for several possible applications using a unique level of detail to create software architecture that can process satellite pictures using artificial intelligence. Possible applications are in the area of last-mile solutions, such as the parking search example, that are of interest to both the public and to private transport actors.

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Article published first at on 13th of February 2019.

Traffic and demand management