Drone can find unoccupied parking spaces, identify the shortest path to the closest free spot, and immediately guide the driver to the coveted space using a mobile app or directly via the communication system in their own vehicle
According to recent statistics, urban commuters annually spend an average of around 34 hours in standing traffic, using around 7 billion litres fuel. There has never been a greater need for revolutionary ideas to solve existing and future traffic problems. Keeping this in mind, in 2014 Siemens launched its “Mobility IDEA (Improving Design and Engineering for All) Contest” to find innovations that would improve the world of mobility. The idea to use smart drone technology to find parking spaces convinced the jury and won the inaugural competition.
His daily quest to find a parking space gave Amir Ehsani Zonouz, a student at UMass Dartmouth Dartmouth, USA, the ideal incentive to look for an effective solution. Zonouz proposed using so called quadcopters. This type of drone can find unoccupied parking spaces, identify the shortest path to the closest free spot, and immediately guide the driver to the coveted space using a mobile app or directly via the communication system in their own vehicle. The technology also makes it possible for the drones to use infra-red or thermal cameras when flying at night.
Second place went to Sakib Khan, a student at Clemson University in South Carolina, who had a clever idea for technology to keep pedestrians safe when crossing the road. Sasan Amini, a student at the Technical University of Munich, took third place with his idea to develop self-parking autonomous vehicles.
“The fact that all three prize-winners in the first Siemens competition of its kind come from universities shows just how important it is that we encourage tomorrow’s bright minds today, so that we can develop smart solutions to our most urgent challenges,” emphasised Ben Collar, Head of the Research and Development department at Siemens Road and City Mobility in the USA.