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Parking: Finding an empty spot made easy

2015-06-24 10:34

STRUGGLING TO FIND PARKING? The new Parking Map system, created by two Spanish students, could curb the stress of finding parking in cities. Image: TheNewsMarket

BARCELONA, Spain - Two students have created an innovative system that could reduce the time it takes to locate a parking bay.

Eduard Fontdevilla and Miguel Ruiz, engineering students at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Spain, participated in a Creative Lab project, an initiative promoted by the university, the VW Group and SEAT to develop projects to aid urban mobility.

The system, Parking Map, uses satnav to find an empty spot. It will even notify you which bays are free of charge.


According to the students: "This intuitive system enables drivers to choose the best parking option. The information is obtained by interpreting GPS data input generated by cars leaving or entering parking bays and is displayed on the windscreen, superimposed on the road.

VIDEO: Parking Map project (Video in Spanish with English sub-titles)

"If the bay is not free of charge the system will offer the driver the possibility of paying directly or with a mobile device. That will help to reduce driving time and fuel expenses and contribute toward preserving the environment since they will be spending much less time driving around looking for a bay."


Of the 83 students who applied, the university selected the 30 to form part of its six interdisciplinary groups.

SEAT's head of electro-mobility projects, Santi Castella, said: "For us it's a good way to stay in tune with the world of higher education and also benefit from the creativity of young engineers. The experience has been very positive and the results have exceeded our initial expectations"

Other projects in the works:

Get in contact: Drivers using this system enable their vehicles to communicate with others in a way similar to WhatsApp, with integrated controls in the vehicle, allowed users to create "groups of cars", share media and location data.

Cascade networking: A vehicle is able to detect obstacles, danger, alternative routes and parking bay along the way. It can transmit information to other vehicles. The cascading information covers the area of influence and interest for any vehicle that might need it.

VW points: This system evaluates the quality of a driver’s performance by assigning "social points". As long as drivers implement good road behaviour they will be rewarded with points they can use for discounted fuel and OED parts, and climb the ranks in social media.

Modular car: A modular vehicle will constantly adapt itself to the driver’s needs throughout its service life. By establishing a system of distribution, storage and rental of modules, drivers will carry out a routine of adapting their vehicle characteristics to their daily needs.


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