e-Parking Meter Management System

 

 

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Senior Design Project

2005-2006

 

School of Engineering and Applied Science

University of Pennsylvania

 

Authors:

 

Yizenia Mora, CSE '06

yizenia[dot]mora[at]alumni[dot]upenn[dot]edu

 

Stephen Dabideen, CTE '06

stephen[dot]dabideen[at]alumni[dot]upenn[dot]edu

 

Advisors:

 

Dr. Roch Guerin

Dr. Saleem Kassam

 

 

 

Abstract:

 

As the number of cars grow, it becomes increasingly difficult for the parking authorities of busy cities to effectively and efficiently monitor the parking resources within the city. This project presents a system to efficiently operate and monitor parking meters. The system assumes that there is a city-wide wireless network that can be used as a communication medium. It also assumes that each parking meter has sensing and communications capabilities and is able to tell us (1) whether or not there is a car currently parked in that spot and (2) how much time is left on the meter.

 

The goal was to get information about each meterís current status to some central office. At the central office, administrators can see the state of each parking meter and whether or not there are any violations. This information can then be used to dispatch officers to give those cars tickets.  Statistics can also be used by city officials to design optimal parking programs.  Other services such as advertising the location and availability of free parking spaces are other applications that the availability of such a system would make possible.  In addition to centralized management, each meter can also be programmed with extra features such as resetting to zero when it senses that there is no car parked. The main task was to design and implement a communication protocol, including packet formats and handling of errors and failures, to report monitoring/sensing information from the parking meters. This was done using Wi-Fi as the communication technology and Linux as the operating system running in the parking meters on which the communication protocol and information gathering components were developed. Evaluation metrics include reliability, energy consumption at the meters, timeliness of transmission, and ability to recover from various failures.

 

The SAFE (Synchronized Adaptive-Forwarding Efficient) Routing Protocol was developed for this purpose. This is an on-demand routing protocol takes into account the highly variable nature of wireless networks and allows the customer to decide on the best trade-off between energy efficiency and reliability. The level of reliability was increased from about 18% data loss with single-path routing to 2% with SAFEís probabilistic multi-path routing.  Although the SAFE Routing Protocol was designed for this particular application, it can be easily adapted for any multi-path wireless network where there is a trade-off between energy efficiency and reliability.