car parking guidance system

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          The ever growing economy of the urban localities results in the increase of car density. To solve the subsequent car parking problem in such urban localities it has become essential to have multi-level car parking (MLCP) structures to accommodate large number of cars. In such parking lots it will be frustrating and time consuming to search for a free slot without proper, reliable and quick guidance system.

          The parking guidance system should provide for real time updation of car slots and should be shown on large displays so that it can be viewed from a long distance while on the move. It is required to have all the level’s information at the entrance itself so that the driver can plan to reach the nearest free level without having to stop in between. After reaching the level it is certainly helpful to view from a distance, available free slots so that one of the convenient free slots can be chosen and car parking can be done quickly.

The S-PARK system designed and manufactured by M/s Process Care systems makes use of infra red sensors at the entry and exit gates of every level to keep count of the number of cars present ( some could be in the process of parking and some others could be in the process of vacating) in every level. Thus collected information from all the levels is displayed on large LED displays both at the entrance of the building and at every level ( only that particular level information). The direction of vehicle travel is automatically determined to figure out whether a vehicle is driven in or pulled out of a level. This enables the management to switch the gates between Entry and Exit depending on the need. For example in a private enterprise car parking lot it may be desirable to have more entrances in the morning and more exits in the evening. While these sensors and the associated electronic modules serve the purpose of communicating the free levels the system uses another set of sensors and electronic modules for communicating free slots in a level.

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Schematic of LED Displays at main entrance and different floors is as shown in fig.
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Schematic of Ultrasonic Sensors with Data Concentrators to update & show each slot information at PC as shown in fig.

         To be able to update free parking slots in real time, ultrasonic sensors are made use of to figure out whether a slot is occupied or not. A dual colored corridor lamp deployed for every slot lights up in red if a slot is occupied and lights up in green to show the slot is vacant. This information of slot occupancy of all slots is collected by a server computer through data concentrator. Thus collected information can be made use of to show slot status super imposed on the floor plan making use of LED TVs deployed at the entrance of every level.

         The system also supports Intelligent lighting management by means of four relay contact outputs which are activated depending on the occupancy of a level. If the occupancy is below 25% only one relay is energized while all four relays get energized if occupancy is above 75%.

Following are the modules used in the system along with their specifications:

Car Presence Indicator

         This module is housed in diffused transparent plastic enclosure to evenly distribute the light. It is of Dual color LED type to show Car presence in Red and vacant slot in Green color. This is one of the main objectives of the system which helps greatly in guiding to the vacant slots. This is hung from the ceiling by means of a conduit pipe along with the cable to drive the LEDs. DIT electronics reads the sensor signal and accordingly drives the Lamp either to light up in Green or Red.   

  • Materials                  : ABS Plastic with a translucent dome.
  • Dimension               : 61x90 (Diameter and Height in mm)
  • Weight                      : 0.1 Kgs.
Cable Required
  • 4 core 7/22 cable including 1 spare core.
  • Length can be up to 15 mts from DIT module.
LED Specification
  • Wave length            : 625 nm for Red, 525nm for Green.
  • Viewing Angle         : 120 radial, 60 axial
  • Intensity                  : 2.326 Lumens for Red, 3.542 Lumens for Green.

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Car Entry Exit sensor

             At every Entry/Exit passage, two sensors are installed at a distance of 1.5 m which will help electronics to avoid counting of any moving object other than a vehicle through the passage and also to serve the direction of car movement so that Entry/Exit can be interchangeably used. For every sensor deployed, one pair of pillars are required ( one for the transmitter and the other for reflector) thus necessitating for pillars at every passage.

Technology: Infrared Deployment: Must be mounted on pillars Transmitter: 35x62x18(WxHxD in mm) Reflector: 84x84x9(WxHxD in mm) Quantity: 2 pairs at every gate mounted at a distance of 1.5m Sensing Distance: 30 feet maximum

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Sensor connecting cable

          This cable is run from the sensors to an electronic module called PARCON. The cable serves the purpose of powering up the sensor and transmitting the signal to PARCON which itself provides required power to the sensors.

  • Cable Type             : Cat6 used for LAN
  • Cable Length          : 200 meters maximum
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PARCON module

          This module is designed around a RISC based microcontroller to read a total of 16 sensors catering to 8 gates. The module also provides the required power to all the sensors through the interconnecting cable. On receiving the signals from the sensors, the module determines the direction of movement of the vehicle and accordingly updates the occupancy at a level. Thus updated information is sent both to a local large-sized LED display to show the number of vacant slots available and to a centralized Data Multiplexer so that this information can also be shown on a composite display right at the entrance of the parking lot.

The PARCON module makes use of a 128x64 pixel LCD module and four feather-touch keys for user interaction so that details like parking capacity, date, time, present occupancy, and the number of gates connected to the system can be entered to configure the system to suit a particular application.

The PARCON is designed with the following specifications:

  • Material: ABS Plastic
  • Dimension: 144x144x200 (WxHxD in mm)
  • Weight: 0.75Kgs.

Front Panel
  • Display: LCD module of 128x64 pixels with LED backlight
  • Keypad: Four feather-touch keys [Fn, ⇑, ⇓, Enter] for user interaction with the unit. Good for 10 million operations.
Rear Panel
  • No. of Sensor ports: 16 no.s terminated on phoenix connector allowing solderless connection.
  • Communication ports: 3 numbers
    • One port for Local Display on RJ 45
    • Second port for Remote Connectivity
    • Third port for Intelligent Light control module on 9 pin D-shell male connector
Power Input
  • Works on 230 VAC @ 50Hz and draws 25 watts max.

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LED Display Modules

          The Display Modules are designed with character height of 6" and with LED's suitable for outdoor application. The segments are constructed with discrete LEDs of wide viewing angle and of super bright intensity to be visible in sunlight.

The Display meets the following specifications:
LED type
  • Wave length of 605 nm
  • Intensity 1.122 Lumens
  • Shape - 5mm Oval.
  • MS powder coated with polycarbonate front panel
  • 540x190x75 (WxHxD in mm) dimension
  • Draws 30 watts from 230 VAC @ 50Hz wall outlet of 3A.
No. of Digits
  • 4 of 6 inches Height.

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Data Multiplexer

          The Data Multiplexer collects information from all the PARCON modules deployed at different levels [Floors] and combines all the data to be made available on all the ports. This combined data can be tapped by different display clusters which can be deployed at many vantage points. The Data Multiplexers also provide for an exclusive port to be connected through a serial Hub to PC so that PC can collect information from several such Data Multiplexers. This scheme of communication makes the system expandable to larger parking lots.

The Data Multiplexer is designed with following specifications:
  • Material : MS powder coated
  • Dimension : 245x50x200 (WxHxD in mm)
  • Weight : 2.0 Kgs.
  • 230 VAC @50Hz, 50 watts
Communication Ports
  • No. of sub channels -- 20
  • Main channel -- 1
Front Panel
  • Seven segment LED display to show the set self address
  • LED indicators for activity on main port

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Serial Hub - 4 ports

          This communication interface device enables four Data Multiplexers to be connected to a PC for logging data and to be retrieved later for generating MIS reports

  • Material : MS powder coated.
  • Dimension : 197.4x47.4x130 (WxHxD in mm)).
  • Weight : 1.25 Kgs.
Rear panel
  • Four RJ 45 connectors for Data Multiplexers connectivity
  • One D shell 9 pin male connectors for PC connectivity.
Power supply
  • 230 VAC @50Hz, 50 watts

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Ultra Sonic Sensor Module

          This module is made use of for sensing presence of a car in the slot. This sensor is fixed to DIT enclosure explained in subsequent sections of this document which in turn is fixed to the ceiling right above a car parking slot located in geographical centre of the slot. The sensor gives an output if any object comes closer to its proximity of 2mts. This output is read by DIT for further processing.

Sensor Type: Ultra sonic
Sensing distance: 2 mts
Power supply: 50 mA @ 24VDC
Enclosure: IP65 ABS Plastic
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Digital Input Transmitter (DIT)

          This module is designed to route power to the Ultra sonic sensor module and read the sensor output. Thus read sensor signal is transmitted to the Data Concentrator when it is addressed. DIT allows for sensor module to be mounted on itself which in turn is mounted on to the ceiling. It makes use of cascaded Cat 6 cable to draw power from Data Concentrator and to transmit sensor data whenever it is interrogated. The DIT design confirms to the following specifications:

  • Material : MS powder coated
  • Dimension : 165x131x90 (WxHxD in mm)
  • Weight : 0.8 Kgs.
  • Works on 24VDC and draws 75mA.
  • Makes use of one pair of Cat 6 cable for power supply.
  • Routes power to both sensor module and Indicating Lamp.
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Data Concentrator

          The Data Concentrator is designed to power up 64 DITS and to collect parking slot information from all 64 slots. Thus collected information is transmitted to a centralized server on interrogation.

The Data concentrator is designed to meet following specifications:
  • Material : MS powder coated
  • Dimension :245x65x200(WxHxD in mm)
  • Weight : 1.5 Kgs.
Power Requirement
  • Works on 230 VAC @ 50Hz consumes - 250 watts.
  • Sucks power from wall outlet of 3A socket
Communication Ports
  • Four RJ 45 ports to connect to 16 DITS on every port.[Total capacity 64 DITS]
  • One 6 way Phoenix 3.81" pitch connector to get interfaced with Centralized PC through Serial Hub.
  • LED indicators are provided for activity indicator and to show self ID.
Sensor scan time
  • All 64 sensors can be scanned in less than 50 seconds

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Serial Hub 422 - 16

          The Serial Hub gets interfaced with the server PC communication port [Rs 232 port] and provides for up to sixteen Rs 422 ports to be connected to as many Data concentrators. This architecture allows for managing large parking lots. This module acts like a port multiplier and makes communication more reliable and maintenance free.

  • Material : MS powder coated
  • Dimension :350x65x180(WxHxD in mm)
  • Weight : 2 Kgs.
Power Requirement
  • Works on 230 VAC @ 50Hz.
  • Consumes 30 Watts and sucks power from 3A wall outlet.
Communication Ports
  • Sixteen RS422 ports terminated on RJ 45 connectors.
  • One RS232C port terminated on D shell 9 pin connector.
  • LED indicator for powered ON and Data activity status.
Distance supported
  • Can work up to 1 Km on RS422
  • Can work up to 15 mtr on RS232

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S-PARK Software

          PC running S-Park soft receives the parking information from PARCONS & Slot free/ occupied information from Data Concentrators as shown in the diagrams. LED TV displays each parking zone/ Floor Information, the parking slots state and corresponding information is also updated in database periodically.

  • Real time parking status update.
  • Parking Statistics from MIS Reports.
  • Parking monitoring GUI on LED TV.
Benefits for the customers
  • Provides information on available parking spaces.
  • Driver can know the exact place where the car can be parked.
  • Reduction in congestion.
  • Reduced anxiety for the car owners/drivers.
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