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ESP8266-Controlled Smart-Parking with Astro

Reporting from Shanghai, China
Apr 2, 2018

Ever wanted to find a parking spot before reaching your destination? This prospect seems to be fast-approaching. A couple of students from the University of Texas at Dallas used ESP8266 to create a smart-parking system.

Priyanka Joshi and Shubham Pradeep Kothari have created an ESP8266-based smart-parking system to avoid common problems that drivers face when searching for a parking spot, such as, wasting time and fuel, or being imposed a penalty when forgetting about the time their parking ticket expires. Astro also tackles the inefficient use of parking spaces, as it warns drivers when their parking is not conducted in an way that is considerate of other drivers. 

Apart from being more relaxed about finding and reserving a suitable parking spot before reaching one’s destination, user benefits of “Astro” include  reminders of the time a parking ticket expires, getting an analysis of parking patterns in certain regions and parking lots over a period of time, as well as better utilization of the available space, based on the data collected. 

The smart-parking app uses an OM2M platform, that is, an open-source service platform for machine-to-machine interoperability based on the oneM2M standard. The high-level architecture of the app is shown in the picture below:

Astro diagram

The following tools are required to run this demonstration:

  • JAVA 1.8
  • Arduino IDE 1.8.5 or Eclipse IDE (Version Neon along with "Eclipse C++ IDE for Arduino 2.0" plug-in)
  • NodeJS

Additionally, the prerequisite components for Astro are:

  • ESP8266EX or NodeMCU 1.0 (ESP12E Module)
  • Light sensor which determines whether a parking spot is available
  • LED and LCD (Adafruit Standard LCD - 16x2 White on Blue) indicating the availability status of a private parking lot or a public meter-parking area.
  • Servomotor which locks and unlocks the parking spot
  • NodeMCU sending sensor data to the collaborative search engine (CSE)
  • Arduino UNO providing 5 volts to power up the LCD and servomotor

To find and recreate the entire demonstration of this smart-parking mobile app, you can click on here and get all the details, code and schematics. This app will assist you in finding and reserving an available parking spot, so that others cannot beat you to it.

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