Digital Services

Find the closest available parking space

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24/01/2018

The pressure on parking spaces in Copenhagen causes search traffic, which contributes to CO2 emissions and air pollution. In 2016, the Citizens’ Representation decided to release the construction funds for the establishment of a smart parking solution which will make it easier for drivers in Copenhagen to find a free parking space.
Many cities have invested in expensive hardware based on camera sensors, which are now being scrapped. These include San Francisco. By conducting an early test at Street Lab, it became clear that the right solution for Copenhagen Municipality was purely data-based, and did not require setting up hardware. The initial test at Street Lab showed very early on the limitations of the existing solutions on the market.

Tests and market dialogue lead the way

After it became clear that the hardware solution did not work in practice, CSL supported TMF in implementing broad market dialogue with leading parking companies, and through this it became clear that they could rely on pure software solutions instead. This has a number of concrete advantages:

• Lower investment costs, since the solution is not dependent on large quantities of hardware and network equipment. In other words, there is no need to buy, physically install and configure at least 5000 little sensors.

• Shorter implementation times, because the solution does not require physical installation. No further requirements for establishing network connections or ensuring the necessary power for hardware

• Lower maintenance costs, as there is no need to maintain a large amount of technical equipment in urban spaces.

The solution, whose first version will be launched by the end of 2017, is a new and innovative partnership between Copenhagen Municipality and a large number of private actors. It means that the same budget can now offer a solution that covers the entire city, not just individual neighborhoods, while producing a solution that is based on real-time data.
So, Copenhagen Municipality is not developing new parking applications itself, but is instead providing data of high quality, which suppliers of digital parking payment, navigation systems etc. are free to incorporate into existing and new applications to the benefit of citizens and guests. One of the key expected effects of the solution is less congestion on the roads and diminished air pollution due to search traffic. This is an example of how the use of early testing of technology in an urban space on a small scale, in e.g. Street Lab or other Living Labs, can create better decisions and thereby help invest responsibly.