Smarter-parking project in Pisa kicks off
‘Intelligent’ parking guidance system installed to avoid traffic jams and reduce CO2 emissions.
‘Big data’ service analyzes historical traffic data.
The lengthy search for a parking spot will soon be a thing of the past in Pisa, Italy: A smart-city pilot project, announced in February, was launched in late June to test an “intelligent” parking system and analyze historical traffic data via a “big data” service. The system will help motorists in Pisa to find a parking space more easily and faster than before, as well as pay for it via their smartphone.
The city has joined forces with Deutsche Telekom and its partner firm Kiunsys to install the new smart-city service on Piazza Carrara, on the banks of the river Arno in center city.
Sensors on the floor of each parking spot detect whether they are vacant or occupied. Several data units collect the information and send it over the mobile network to the city’s server infrastructure. The information is then displayed on “indication panels” that guide drivers to an unoccupied space.
The solution is also integrated into Pisa’s existing Tap&Park app, which drivers can choose to download to take them directly to a vacant parking space and even pay for it via the app.
“The new parking system integrates seamlessly into [the city’s] intelligent transport system,” Pisa’s Mayor Marco Filippeschi said. “It eases the flow of traffic and helps to cut CO2 emissions.”
Pisa has been working rigorously for many years to implement a smart-mobility policy as part of its Sustainable Energy Action Plan. Filippeschi underscored its importance, saying that “the pilot project is a big stride for Pisa toward improving its traffic situation over the long term. Indeed, drivers looking for a parking space make up some 30% of inner-city traffic. So the easier it is for them to find a spot, the less traffic there will be.”
Pisa is not only one of the main tourist destinations of Italy, but also an important university and public services city, with three universities, an important hospital at European level, and the main airport of Tuscany.
Pisa attracts about 90,000 vehicles per day on its roads.
“We firmly believe that the right way to becoming a ‘smart city’ is to have open standards and take a collaborative approach,” said Jürgen Hase, Vice President, M2M Competence Center at Deutsche Telekom. “That’s why we are particularly pleased to be part of this joint project with our partner company Kiunsys and the city of Pisa.”
Pisa has been using a range of modules from Kiunsys for several years. These include the Tap&Park app for mobile payment of parking charges; 30,000 RFID parking badges (known as “PisaPass”); and INeS Cloud management software.
“The modular solution can digitally map all processes relating to parking facility management and traffic in the city,” said Tiziano Di Sciullo, Sales Director at Kiunsys.
As a result, Pisa has been collecting traffic-related data over the past few years, which will now be analyzed as part of the pilot project. The partners hope to gain a deeper insight into how the traffic infrastructure is used, which will benefit traffic planning in future.
Pisa’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan
In November 2010, the Municipality of Pisa, Italy, agreed at the Covenant of European Union Mayors to achieve the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by more than 20% within 2020. The Sustainable Energy Action Plan is the document adopted by the Municipal Assembly in May 2012 to reach this objective. It foresees several different areas of action, including:
Effective energy standards in new buildings - higher than those foreseen at national level.
Mobility policies directed to increase public transport.
Development of studies and analyses concerning river navigation.
Use of renewable energies.
Approval of Sustainable Building Municipal Regulation shared with other municipalities of “Area Pisana” (Cascina, Calci, San Giuliano Terme, Vecchiano, Vicopisano and Pisa itself).
A policy of “green purchasing.”
The increase of locally based electric energy production, as well the use of geothermic energy.
Increased involvement of citizens through awareness campaigns.