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Encyclopedia > Parking Guidance and Information
Parking Guidance and Information variable-message sign

Parking Guidance and Information (PGI) systems, or Car Park Guidance Systems, present drivers with dynamic information on parking within controlled areas. The systems combine traffic monitoring, communication, processing and variable-message sign technologies to provide the service. PGI systems are a product of the worldwide initiative for the development of Intelligent Transport Systems in urban areas. PGI systems can assist in the development of safe, efficient and environmentally friendly transportation network [1]. Underground parking garage at the University of Minnesota. ... The Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) program is an initiative of the United States Department of Transportation to add information technology to transportation infrastructure and vehicles. ... Crowded Shibuya, Tokyo shopping district An urban area is an area with an increased density of human-created structures in comparison to the areas surrounding it. ...

PGI systems are designed to aid the in the search for vacant parking spaces by directing drivers to car parks where occupancy levels are low. The objective is to reduce search time, which in turn reduces congestion on the surrounding roads for other traffic with related benefits to air pollution with the ultimate aim of enhancement of the urban area. Parking lot is the American English term that refers to a cleared area that is more or less level and is intended for parking vehicles. ... Congestion is a state of excessive accumulation or overfilling or overcrowding. ... Nighttime traffic captured by a camera over several seconds. ... Air pollution is a chemical, physical (e. ...


Reported benefits

Parking guidance and information can improve network efficiency significantly, reported benefits include:

  • Time spent searching for a parking space is reduced[2]
  • Drivers’ parking destinations are influenced
  • Utilisation of off-street parking is increased, therefore improving accessibility to short-stay on-street parking
  • Changes in pollutant emissions due to PGI are most closely related to changes in overall travel time, for example, annual pollutant emissions are reported to have been reduced due to a PGI system in Munich[3]
  • Efficiency and accessibility benefits from reduced searching can also result in some reductions in accidents due to reduced driver frustration[4].
  • The unquantifiable antecedents of improved parking information from PGI systems is a raised public image of the area, which in turn can lead to improved revenue generation within that area[5].

System design

Example software used to control PGI systems

A Parking Guidance and Information system has four essential elements:

Monitoring equipment must be installed at parking areas to establish the flow into and out of the car parks in order to calculate the number of available spaces. Vehicles entering and exiting car parks are often monitored through activation of existing barrier equipment, infrared, radar detector or by underground inductive loop. Real-time vehicle counts within car parks are held on count-stations or out-stations made up of firmware capable of handling the count data. An induction loop is a simple coil wire transceiver. ... In computing, firmware is software that is embedded in a hardware device. ...

Car park count data are transmitted back to a central location or in-station, and processed through PGI software on a standard PC . PGI software is often capable of producing occupancy statistic and flow rates for traffic analysis. Variable-message signs are located at suitable decision points on the network present the information, so that a driver’s journey time to a vacant space is minimised. VMS generally show the number of vacant spaces or information such as “Spaces”, “Full” and “Closed”. Car parks are often grouped into zones to reduce the information that has to be presented on a single sign. Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... The Altair 8800 was among the first microcomputers to be affordable by an individual, although it initially lacked peripherals and memory. ...

Communication systems between out-station and in-station, and then in-station to VMS also required. Systems can be hard-wired, however, for city wide projects wireless communication including GPRS may be suitable. General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a mobile data service available to users of GSM mobile phones. ...

Importance of integrated systems

Integrated systems allow the user to exchange information between applications more easily avoiding duplication and potentially reducing communication costs. The UTMC Specifications [6] offer a means of achieving integration efficiently, while allowing the adoption of the latest technological developments.

Alternative applications

Multi-storey car park application of a PGI system

Multi-storey car parks

As well as city-wide applications, PGI systems can also be used for internal multi-storey car park applications with entrance signs and level-by level signs. Parking garage redirects here. ...

Protective parking schemes

Parking Guidance and Information Systems have been used within protective parking schemes. These schemes are designed to minimise disruption and discourage visitors driving to major events in residential areas. Under such schemes, only eligible residents, their visitors and local businesses would be able to hold Event Day Permits, allowing them to park in the roads in the Event Day Zone when major sporting or music events are held. One such scheme is now employed by Brent Council at Wembley Stadium. This means any visitors driving to events at Wembley Stadium without a pre-booked parking space, will not be able to park in the surrounding streets [7]. A Parking Information System consisting of VMS and a control in-station is used to inform residents and visitors alike of the Event Days when parking restrictions apply. Wembley Stadium (often called Wembley or New Wembley) is a football stadium in Wembley, London, England. ...


  1. ^ Template:Department for Transport
  2. ^ Chatterjee, K (2000). "VMS in Urban Areas – Results of Cross Project Collaborative Study.". TAP – Transport Sector CONVERGE: D.3.3.1. 
  3. ^ Huber (1995). "Dynamic P&R Information". Proceedings for the European Conference on Advanced Telematics. 
  4. ^ UTMC03. UTMC Final Report 2, Issue 3. Retrieved on April 20, 2007.
  5. ^ Young, W (1990). "Parking guidance and information systems: performance and capability". Traffic Engineering and Control 31 (10): 519 - 524. 
  6. ^ UTMC specifications. Urban Traffic Management and Control. Retrieved on April 20, 2007.
  7. ^ Wembley Stadium Protective Parking Scheme. Brent Council. Retrieved on April 20, 2007.



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