Every year, everyone on average spends 60 hours, € 120 of fuel and 240 kg of CO2 looking for parking. The challenge we have embraced is to try to reduce these wastes, thanks to a collective and shared solution that simplifies the search for free parking in the areas where it is difficult to find one.
The user must be able to view parking spaces available nearby and go straight with his own car, avoiding to generate parasitic traffic. Each one of us, when leaving a free parking space, has access to valuable information, which is not currently being exploited. The goal is to collect crowdsourced information that a parking slot is free and reward users who provide this valuable information.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF SMARTPHONE
Taking advantage of smartphones, which are full of sensors and that we always carry with us, it is possible to create a mobile solution without infrastructure, therefore also good for on street parking, without the need for hardware of any kind. The app must have an extremely intuitive UX and an essential graphics, as the use case scenario is particularly delicate.
The solution we propose is Leafbay, a matchmaking platform for those looking for parking and those who are freeing one. This application allows to receive a virtual reward to whoever leaves the parking slot and to reserve a parking slot with a virtual token for those looking for a place.
The technical solution consists in the design and implementation of a system composed of:
- mobile app for iOS, Android and webapp for browser usage
- server-side system instructed with the data of the territory for the calculation of routes and Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA)
- server-side system for processing and management of user data, as well as the recognition of events and the consequent delivery of notifications to interested users
- non-relational database for storing the data produced
The app allows the user to:
- see on the map and on a list the free parking slots near them, with an estimate of distance and ETA
- open an external navigation app with the exact destination
- receive push notifications through APN (iOS) and FCM (Android) services that inform users interested in an event
- see the availability both for on-street and structured parking
- book your slot in advance, thanks to the optimized matchmaking system we created, which optimizes the match of supply and demand for parking
- receive a reward when you share the information that the slot is free and a successful matchmaking takes place
IMPLEMENTATION OF GEOGRAPHICAL DATA
The server-side system for route planning has been instructed with the geographical data of the territory and all the data necessary to comply with driving laws, such as speed limits, daily road closures and driving direction, in order to obtain estimates as precise as possible. The server-side system, in charge of recognizing events between users, plays a crucial role, using constantly updated GPS position of users also if the app is in background mode.
The main advantage of the solution is the reduction of parasitic traffic due to cars looking for parking. The simplification of the search for parking slots leads to users saving time and money and a better life experience in the city, with the certainty of booking a parking slot and reaching it in certain times.
TOTALLY FREE SOLUTION
Leafbay is a free solution for virtuous users. The paradigm is the shopping cart: insert 1 token to use it, and take it back when you leave it.
The philosophy of information crowdsourcing is a paradigm that is emerging in many use case scenarios and that takes advantage of the huge number of smartphones already connected to the Internet, without additional costs for the Public Administration.
Users are encouraged to help the community with a reward for helping other drivers to easily find a parking slot. Further advantages in using Leafbay app are to remind the user where they have parked the car and show the user useful information on the parking areas, such as hourly rate, need of parking disc or not, etc.