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Know which commuter parking space will be free when you start your journey

Many commuters know the daily problem of finding a parking space. Everyone wants to know in advance whether a parking space will still be available upon arrival or not. Thanks to the pilot project "P+R-Aktuell", which was funded by the BMVI as part of the mFund initiative, this wish has now been realized with the support of several partners under the consortium leadership of [ui!] Urban Mobility Innovations.

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For this purpose, a total of 330 ground sensors have been affixed to the stations Eschborn Süd, Eschborn Bahnhof and Eschborn-Niederhöchstadt in recent weeks in order to display the parking space occupancy using the corresponding app or web application.

The sensors detect whether a parking space is free or occupied and send this information to a central data platform, where the data is collected, analyzed and processed into utilization information. This information is visualized for the person looking for a parking space and can be accessed free of charge via the "CityPilot" app.

The highlight - the exact location of the currently free parking spaces can be viewed on the app.  This means that road users can already see whether and where exactly a parking space is free before they leave, so that no additional parking search times are incurred.

The ever-increasing commuter traffic makes some traffic optimization necessary. "Intelligent traffic control will only be possible in the future if appropriate data is available. Parking sensors are a building block for digitalization in the field of mobility and for the path to a smart city," says Mayor Adnan Shaikh. "The Park+Ride facilities in Eschborn are very well received due to their proximity to Frankfurt. The Eschborn Süd station is even part of the Frankfurt tariff area and is therefore particularly attractive for commuters. By equipping the parking spaces with parking sensors, we are improving the service for road users and thus also aiming to strengthen public transport."

IMG 4336There are around 28,000 Park+Ride parking spaces at rail stations in the Frankfurt RhineMain region. The recording and forecasting of parking space occupancy at Park+Ride sites using artificial intelligence is provided by [ui!] Urban Mobility Innovations as a consortium partner and supplier of FCD data (Floating Car Data - real data from vehicles). In the future, the current occupancy information will additionally be provided at P+R facilities in mobility information services, such as the P+R platform of the state of Hesse

Other partners in the project are Smart City System GmbH, the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (FRA-UAS) and the Gesellschaft für Integriertes Verkehrs- und Mobilitätsmanagement Region Frankfurt RheinMain (ivm) investigated.

"The majority of P+R facilities in the region are owned by communities. With this project, the ivm would like to provide the communities with an efficient tool for providing up-to-date occupancy information on P+R facilities on a larger scale in the future," explains Heike Mühlhans, Managing Director of the ivm, on participating in the project as a regional company.

The lessons learned will be evaluated for transferability to other facilities and may help other communities with similar projects in the future.
The project will run until November 2021, and the city of Eschborn has already announced its intention to offer the service permanently.

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