The main goal of SmartPark is to collect information about parking space availability and to coordinate drivers in order to guide them to free parking spots.
To this extend, at every parking spot a wireless mote is deployed which tracks the occupancy and communicates with other nearby motes and vehicles. Each vehicle
is equipped with a wireless communication device that provides a driver with information about parking space availability and guides them eventually by
SmartPark is an instance of a distributed control system supported by wireless ad hoc sensor and actuator network (WSAN). The idea is to leverage several new
networking technologies to solve the parking problem in a completely decentralized fashion by exploiting the mobility of system's elements. We belive that SmartPark
leads to the establishments of standards and practices.
The SmartPark application requires cutting-edge technologies that are currently the subject of a lot of scientific research, but that have not made it into
real-world applications yet. As such, SmartPark is a promising demonstrator application with real-world benefits that may draw upon and fuel research in mobile,
wireless, and sensor/actuator networking and in the principles of self-organization. We strive for a symbiotic relationship with several research projects in the School of Computer and Communication Sciences
at EPFL and within the National Center for Competence in
Research on Mobile Information and Communication Systems (NCCR-MICS).
We specify the following research challenges that are essential for the design of high-mobility applications of WSANs such as SmartPark:
Bandwidth Efficient Information Dissemination
Heterogeneity of System Elements
Complex Mobility Pattern
Radio Channel Uncertainty
Efficient Conflict Resolution
In the longer term, the SmartPark system also has obvious commercial benefits, as there is a clear value proposition to drivers and both
to private and public operators of parking systems, cities and communities.