A smart city is an urban environment able to actively improve the quality of life. Smart cities can simplify life and satisfy the needs of people, companies and organizations, partly thanks to the widespread and innovative use of TIC, especially in communications, mobility, the environment and energy efficiency.
Thanks to the employment of innovative radio technologies, it is now possible to design and produce very small wireless sensors which can either be worn, or integrated into city infrastructure, with negligible impact. These sensors can measure several parameters and send data readings remotely; alarm functions are also available on each sensor, which can also be remotely transmitted.
By installing data collectors - gateways - within a smart city, it is possible to collect data from all the sensors belonging to a well-defined sensor network, and manage them remotely.
Another feature of this product is its versatility, allowing gateways and sensors to be installed in several environments for many different applications.
The parking meter system is one of the set of systems and infrastructures that constitute a smart city.
The Smart Parking Lot System has the scope to monitor the turnover of parking spaces (vacant/occupied) by means of a magnetometer sensor. The presence of a vehicle in a certain parking space affects the magnetic field: the sensor located in that space (installed either below ground or on the surface) detects the magnetic field variation and transmits the information, via radio frequencies at 169 MHz, to the parking lot gateway.
The communication between gateway and sensors is bi-directional.
The Genova installation also includes an app for smartphones or tablets. The app shows a map of the area in which the system is installed (e.g. city districts, public/private parking lots), displaying in user-friendly format the number of free parking spaces and their locations on the map. Once the desired space is selected, the app guides the user to the destination. The app can also check parking availability in real time, notify the user in case the chosen space has been taken and, if it has, assist in making a new selection and guide the user to their new destination.
The in-ground sensor is installed under the road surface and can be used to monitor either a parking space or vehicle transit in a certain zone.
Transmission range between sensors and gateway can be quite extensive (typically 100-150 m).
The 169 MHz frequency band is particularly suitable because it guarantees an extensive transmission range, good permeability and high reliability even in the most challenging urban environments.
Two different versions of parking sensors are available:
The surface version is easier to install and more suitable for indoor or private parking lots, while the in-ground version is a better solution for long duration installations, such as new parking lots being built by municipalities, private companies, in public places, etc.
The FW has been specially developed to self-calibrate the sensor while taking account of the thermal drift, thus enabling smart management of the magnetometer.
The sensor has been developed entirely by Ste Industries. Transmission frequency is 169 MHz, with narrow channel bandwidth (12.5 kHz).
In terms of RF, both sensors are equipped with a 169 MHz radio with narrowband signal (also using Ste Industries proprietary technology), which has very high transmission power and very low power consumption. Both sensors are battery-powered: typical battery life is more than 10 years for the in-ground embedded sensor, and 5 years for the surface sensor.