Parking guidance and information

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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.

Modern parking lots utilize a variety of technologies to help motorists find unoccupied parking spaces, car location when returning to the vehicle and improve their experience. This includes adaptive lighting sensors and parking space led indicators (red for occupied, green for available and blue is reserved for the disabled; above every parking space), and indoor positioning system (IPS).

PGI systems are a product of the worldwide initiative for the development of intelligent transportation system in urban areas. PGI systems can assist in the development of safe, efficient and environmentally friendly transportation network.[1]

PGI systems are designed to aid 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 Guidance System (PGS)[edit]

Ultrasonic sensors above each lot in this indoor car park determine if a car has already taken the lot and indicate using leds; and some can send a Bluetooth/SMS message with the parking space number or code.

A Parking Guidance System (PGS) have different elements:[2]

Top Parking Guidance System (PGS) Manufacturers[edit]

  • ParkHelp is a global leader in parking and mobility solutions. Headquartered in Barcelona, ParkHelp is represented in USA by ParkSonic (located in Houston, TX) and has a regional office in Brazil. Over 90% of their projects are carried out internationally. ParkHelp has been creating and installing smart parking solutions for more than 10 years. With over 500,000 parking places in 48 countries, they are the global leaders in parking and mobility solution. Their focus is developing smarter technologies that help businesses, institutions and municipalities to create an unrivaled parking experience, while making the switch as simple as possible for their clients. Since their first project in 2004, they have grown across multiple sectors, installing our smart parking solutions in airports, hospitals, universities, retail and leisure complexes, as well as municipalities.

Top Parking Guidance System (PGS) Distributors in the United States[edit]


Operation of vehicle detection sensor and available space indicator. The indicator turns from green to red when the space becomes unavailable.

Detectors can use different technologies, such as:

  • Ultrasonic detectors
  • Forward mounting sensors.
  • Camera based detectors.[3]
  • Infrared based detectors.
  • Magnetic sensors that detect vehicles via changes in earth's magnetic field.
  • Some use combinations of above technologies to detect vehicles.

LED Indicators[edit]

LED indicators. Some manufacturers use LED indicators per space, while others either don't provide any or use one LED indicator for few spaces. The purpose of an LED indicator is to provide guidance to parkers up to the last empty space.

Zone Controllers[edit]

The Zone control unit (ZCU) (aka Node Controller), is the middle layer of parking ultrasonic detector, which is to manage a group of ultrasonic detectors, detects then loops the information of the detectors and send the relevant information to a higher element or directly to central controller. One zone / node controller can support between 16 and 100 detectors depending on the manufacturer of Parking Guidance System.

Data / Intermediate Controllers[edit]

Some manufacturers use a kind of intermediate controllers, to accumulate data and then channel it to the Central Control Unit and others connect their Zone Controllers to connect directly to the Central Control Unit.

Central Control System[edit]

Parking Guidance System management software, an electronic map of the parking space is embedded in the software, which can directly reflect the usage situation of the carpark in real time. The operators can monitor the carpark situation according to the electronic map. As for the wrongly parked vehicles, the system supports manual rewriting its parking spaces to adjust the real occupied situation of the parking space. Database supporting is usually SQL Server/Access.


  • Indoor and outdoor LED displays are used to inform drivers of the available parking spaces and guide them to empty ones.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Traffic Advisory Leaflet ITS 4/03". Parking Guidance and Information. Archived from the original on 6 February 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2007. 
  2. ^ Idris, M.Y.I.; Leng, Y.Y.; Tamil, E.M.; Noor, N.M.; Razak, Z. (1 February 2009). "Car Park System: A Review of Smart Parking System and its Technology". Information Technology Journal. 8 (2): 101–113. doi:10.3923/itj.2009.101.113. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  3. ^ Hammoudi, K.; Benhabiles, H.; Jandial, A.; Dornaika, F.; Mouzna, J. (1 August 2016). "Developing a Vision-based Adaptive Parking Space Management System". International Journal of Sensors, Wireless Communications and Control. 6: 101–113. Retrieved 5 August 2016.