Wrocław was the first city in Poland to carry out a research project to develop a solution to enable guiding coaches to the nearest vacant parking space. The system is a result of research conducted by the city in cooperation with Emitel, ReviveMachines and NaviParking.

It is widely estimated that one third of all vehicular traffic in cities is generated by drivers looking for a vacant parking space, which also results in a reduction of the efficiency of car parks, disruption in the flow of traffic on the roads and increased exhaust emissions. This issue also concerns coaches, which are present in Wrocław all year round.

“As a city, we are constantly looking for solutions that improve the quality of life, often by using modern infrastructure and innovative technologies. As part of the CityLab programme, we carried out a research project together with ReviveMachines, NaviParking and Emitel, which ran for 7 months. As a result, we developed and tested a parking space occupancy detection system, which we are releasing now,” said Jakub Mazur, deputy mayor of Wrocław

The testing involved installation of 52 sensors in kiss-and-go parking zones, where coaches can park for up to 15 minutes, as well as in standard parking lots with unlimited parking times.

The scope of the project covered nearly half of all available parking lots for coaches located in the area of the biggest tourist attractions in the city centre and in the neighbourhood of the Zoological Garden, including on Ofiar Oświęcimskich, Łaciarska, Świętokrzyska, Purkyniego and Wybrzeże Słowackiego Streets.

“Thanks to employing the LoRa Wan technology, which enables devices to connect to the Internet while ensuring minimal power consumption, we managed to connect the sensors to a base station, creating a network that allows us to oversee the use of parking spaces. Emitel takes advantage of this solution not only for that purpose, but also to check the status of trash cans in the city or to create urban heat maps”, said Maciej Staszak, Vice-President of the Management Board of Emitel S.A.

The cooperation resulted in the development of a useful and clean mobile application, which enables the drivers to find the nearest kiss-and-go zone or a parking lot, as well as finding out the price and distance to go.

“Our goal is to develop future mobility and provide user-friendly solutions using open data. The interest of the city of Wrocław in innovative technologies has contributed to the implementation of a solution that facilitates the management of coach traffic. Based on the collected data, the application aggregates information about all car parks in the city. Coach drivers can see the current occupancy status of the parking lots, and the built-in navigation system can guide them directly to the car park of their choice. By reducing unnecessary traffic, the solution supports the flow of traffic in the city for the benefit of drivers, residents and tourists living there”, Marek Stawiński, President of NaviParking, explained.

The research project aimed at looking for solutions to facilitate work in the tourism sector by making the flow of traffic generated by coaches smoother and by shortening the time needed to find a parking space. Additionally, its actual implementation will bring benefits to the residents of Wrocław, in particular by limiting the traffic of coaches driving around the city while waiting for tourists and – by extension – cutting down emissions.