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Smart parking to make Brussels a smart city

05 November 2015

A total solution to the parking problem in Brussels thanks to a method of paying for parking by mobile phone

The proposed solution is presented as an advantageous scenario for both drivers and the communes. The communes will provide hassle-free parking for drivers while increasing their revenue and, in addition, reducing operating costs.

Having completed a fast registration process, drivers can easily activate the parking facility using their smartphone (iPhone and Android) thanks to a location application in a single activation click.

  • On-road parking
    To park on the road, drivers will have two solutions to activate their parking. They can send a one-line text message that includes the name of the town or city and the zone (commune). The second solution is to activate the parking facility by means of an Interactive Voice Response system, a voice recognition function that drivers can use to give the name of the town or city and choose the parking zone. The program will warn drivers when their parking time is over ten minutes in advance and if they wish, they will be able to renew their parking time from their smartphone without having to return to their vehicle. 
  • Off-road parking
    For off-road parking in surface and covered car parks, an Automatic Licence Plate Recognition system (ALPR) activates automatic payment via the smartphone without drivers having to look for a payment terminal. They simply have to park and when the vehicle leaves the car park, payment is made automatically. There is no need to look for a payment machine, credit card or change.
    This method saves time for drivers and earns more revenue for car park owners as drivers pay for the full time they have parked, from the moment they enter the car park until the moment they leave, without the free first 15 minutes.
    This application can also provide drivers with information about the availability of parking facilities in the zone where they want to stop. Drivers can view information maps indicating streets, parking places and car parks in the area. This is especially decisive given that 30 % of the traffic in some areas consists of people looking for parking places. Drivers can consult the parking rates, see the prices displayed on the map and compare costs. They can find the cheapest and nearest car park available. And their payment headache disappears. What colour is the zone? Do you have to pay? How much? These questions are settled automatically by the application
    The application also includes a function that enables drivers to request certain services while their vehicle is parked, such as cleaning the car, repairing a flat tyre or filling the tank. 
  • Advantages for the commune
    The proposed solution has advantages not only for drivers, but also for the communes, which can make the most of the many benefits it offers. As regards operation, the communes can put forward a flexible parking policy with appropriate rates for appropriate times. Moreover, vandalism becomes a thing of the past because the solution does not require any hardware.
    The application is highly efficient, using WAP (‘Wireless Application Protocol’) and ‘Meter Integration Technology’.
    From a financial point of view, the operating costs will fall because there is no need for costly infrastructure. The solution is risk free as it involves no start-up costs.
    On the other hand, drivers will be more willing to use both outdoor and covered car parks, enjoying the benefits of efficiency. They will make greater use of the proper parking areas and this will increase revenue for the communes.
    The municipal authorities can continue to use existing methods at the same time: parking meters and automatic payment terminals in car parks. Public opinion is also an important factor for the communes.
    Deploying this program provides an innovative, advanced and easy-to-use payment method for drivers, creating a positive attitude towards the municipal authorities and making drivers more disposed to pay for parking.
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