Inspur Information is making parking lots smarter with edge AI butlers

Parking Lot
Inspur Information is making parking lots smarter with edge AI butlers
Fin is an editor at TechForge Media and University of Bristol graduate. He wields an impressive knowledge of the latest technologies and has interviewed leading industry figures from companies like CBS, Rakuten, and Spotify. You can follow his Twitter @FinStrathern or connect with him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/finstrathern/.

Inspur Information, a Chinese cloud and big data services provider, is collaborating with the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) to build a smart parking system using edge computing.

The parking system uses the EIS200 edge computing microserver from Inspur Information, a fan-less and small-size server designed for near-side applications that can adapt to most environments.

Parking poses a major challenge for urban developers, with traditional parking management systems having low performance ceilings due to relying on human attendants and basic monitoring equipment.

In fact, UK drivers spend an average of 44 hours each year looking for parking, and these times are even worse in huge cities like New York and London.

Whilst surprising at first, the solution to this problem is not to simply build more parking spaces. There are a billion parking spaces in the United States, which equates to four for every car in existence.

The issue instead lies with how parking spaces are managed and configured to be more effective, especially in multi-storey car parks.

With a population of 38 million, the Greater Tokyo Area is a worldwide model for vehicle management. It has 8 million vehicles – twice the number of New York City – and yet its parking difficulties and traffic jams are relatively minor compared to other international cities.

Tokyo has succeeded by devising a scientific approach to vehicle management that continuously optimises parking through space maximizing designs, electronic vehicle management, and other systems.

Using Inspur’s EIS200 microserver at parking lots, Tokyo Tech is deploying “AI butlers” – specially designed operation management systems – that use image recognition to process incoming and outgoing vehicles throughout the parking lot.

The data of each vehicle’s entry and exit times then allows the system to provide up-to-date parking guidance to newly arriving vehicles.

The AI butler can also help vehicle owners accurately locate their vehicles, supports cashless payments, and can improve safety by automatically sounding alarms when its camera system detects suspicious behaviour or events including smoke or fire.

Initial research suggests these improvements will save more than 40% of the costs of constructing and operating parking facilities.

Find out more about Digital Transformation Week North America, taking place on November 9-10 2021, a virtual event and conference exploring advanced DTX strategies for a ‘digital everything’ world.

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