There is a technology evolution happening in our parking spaces. Solutions for access control, solutions to manage vacancies, and solutions to promote safer environments are now a reality. In the past, these sophisticated technologies could only be found in the underground garages of large commercial buildings. But today these technologies can be found in smaller lots, including condominiums and gated communities.
Understanding which options are available is important to defining an overall parking management solution. The systems you choose are important, but so is the processes you deploy to manage those systems, and the people you hire to operate those systems.
Intelligent Parking Spaces: Available Technologies
Some of the main technologies for parking spaces control the entry and exit of vehicles. In some cases, access control systems can also help to define capacity, automatically calculating the quantity of present vehicles and available vacancies. A solution that manages vacancies can help reduce labour costs. They may optimize vehicle circulation, preventing long lines and traffic jams. They may also increase safety, decreasing the risks of unauthorized access.
RFID Readers – Identification by radiofrequency
A reading system, based on identification by radiofrequency, communicates with the gate by way of an RFID tag that is present in the car. By identifying the vehicle data when it approaches the gate, and determining if is authorized to access the parking space, the gates automatically release or deny entry, registering this access in the system.
Cameras with LCR/OCR
Intelligent cameras with face, voice and object recognition, are becoming increasingly popular. The applications are many, from door viewer peep holes to full access control systems.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and LPR (License Plate Recognition) are technologies that are integrated with cameras and software to enable the reading of plates, to identify the vehicle, and to control access to the parking space. With this type of equipment, it is possible to identify an unauthorized vehicle or suspect behavior of a vehicle (such as high speeds and wrong-way transit). These systems can be set to alert the security team.
No matter the choice, it is important for the system to be integrated to the Control and/or Monitoring Center. Both plate recognition and the reading of the RFID tag operate best when they are associated with data records. Data records may contain information, for example, about the periods of authorized access for each vehicle. This is a useful solution to control the place that receives vehicles for loading and unloading. Systems can be set to control access to a specific period of time.
Even with autonomous technologies, it is essential to continue to care for the security team. The control center should be prepared to offer support when an alert is activated. And of course it is always helpful to have someone available in case a user requires assistance.
Carlos Plaza is a Project Manager at G4S Brazil. With a vast experience in development of Electronic Security, BMS and Telecommunications projects.