Something Interesting at the IPI – It could change everything


Something Interesting at the IPI – It could change everything

I must have met 100 people today and have no room to go into it all — much will be coming out in the blog, and in PT over the next few months, however there was one interesting meeting, Bern Grush with Skymeter.

You have met Bern before on the blog. Check it entry out here.

I didn’t really understand what he did until we spoke this PM — He makes a gizmo that is put in a car and enables the local authorities to understand where ever the car has been and charge it for parking or road usage if applicable. For instance — If you park on the street for 20 minutes the thing knows where you parked and how long – if you are on the toll road, you are tracked. If you park off street it knows where and when. Then  the time and location data is sent back to central where its sorted out and your are billed and the appropriate agency is given your money.

My first reaction — I don’t want  Big Brother knowing where I’m going all the time. His answer. Its completely anonymous. That is, the location data is kept in the gizmo in your car and only the charges are send outward. If you want to contest a charge, you have to agree to allow them to look into your unit.

Its a GPS based system.

If you think about it, the possibilities are endless. No more meters, no more revenue system, no more citations, no more toll booths. And of course the coming congestion charges could be charged automatically.

Bern claims its works.; May be vaporware. However the concept is right out there on the edge of technology. This one really could change the way we run parking.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

4 Responses

  1. Interesting, but does GPS have enough accuracy to determine street parking from the adjacent surface lot, especially if selective availability ever gets turned back on. Or, what happens when losing GPS signal within structures, much less any malicious blocking of the signal.
    If the box is calculating charges, how does it get updated info when rates or zones change?
    As with any system with the potential to track and report on movements, it needs to be open source, so that the true operating modes can be visible to users and prove the advertised functioning is correct.

  2. Damned if I know — But the vendor told me that they take the possiblity of being off by two meters into consideration… whatever that means. I asked all the questions you do and frankly I’m not really convinced. Just something interesting. There may be a fatal flaw. I was interested but not enough to get into it too deeply.
    If and when it gets a field test we can see what’s what.

  3. Scott Johnson is right: GPS navigation positioning does NOT have the accuracy needed. That is why we don’t use it. Skymeter DOES have the requisite accuracy, however. We don’t lose signals in structures for reasons of high-sensitivity, additional sensors and specialized signal processing. (It wasn’t easy.) We do lose signals deep into long tunnels, but we have solved that, too. We detect both shielding and jamming and deny service to malicious users (which subjects them to payment by current methods, including your least favorite: citation.
    All updates are handled at the rating engine, with which the devices have either a secure, private connection or an ANONYMOUS connection. Hence when rates change it is handled there. We do not track, rather we develop a non-refutable evidentiary record, which the motorist has secure access to, but no-one else can access.
    We believe there is no fatal flaw. You can read much more about it in our proposal to New York City:

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