Purchasing new hardware? Read our latest product comparisons

Sensor system alerts drivers to free parking spots


July 8, 2010

The XALOC system, incorporating the ARID Navigator, helps drivers find free parking spaces

The XALOC system, incorporating the ARID Navigator, helps drivers find free parking spaces

Image Gallery (3 images)

It’s a frustrating situation. You’re aimlessly circling the blocks, hoping to stumble across a free parking space, but with no clue as to where such a space might be. Well, as we so often like to say here at Gizmag – “A new invention could change that.” Researchers from Spain’s Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have helped develop a system that detects free parking spots, then guides drivers to the closest ones using a process that’s reportedly better than GPS.

The system is known as XALOC, which stands for (are you ready?) Xarxes de sensors per a la gestió d’Aparcaments públics i LOCalització. For those two or three readers not fluent in Catalan, that translates to “sensor networks for the management of public parking and location.”

Each parking spot in the system has a wireless sensor on the ground, in the middle of the space. These sensors can tell whether or not their space is occupied, and transmit that information to a central data station via the Internet. This information is processed, then sent to display panels on the streets, that indicate the locations of the current free parking spaces.

XALOC also caters to individual users, using something called the ARID Navigator system. Not unlike GPS uses satellites to triangulate the location of a user, ARID uses the signals from the sensors to determine where a particular driver is in relation to the closest open parking spaces. This information is then sent directly to the driver. The UAB team claim that ARID offers more precise urban location techniques, reduced positioning time, and better coverage than GPS systems.

Not only would XALOC make life easier for drivers looking for a place to park, say the researchers, but it would also reduce the traffic congestion caused by those drivers, and thereby reduce carbon emissions.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

HAI Delivers Wireless Driveway Sensor

The wireless aspect means cable won't have to be trenched for the sensor to be added to your automation system.

It sounds like science fiction, but the technology is real and New Orleans-based control manufacturer Home Automation Inc. (HAI) is using it for its latest product: the HAI wireless Driveway Sensor (63A00-1).

The technology is of course the earth's magnetic field, and in the case of this new driveway sensor the company is utilizing it as a means to detect metal objects like cars to help alert homeowners when a visitor has driven onto their property.

Custom electronics pros can set the sensor up to turn on outdoor lighting or it can be used as part of a home security system when it's combined with a video surveillance system.

HAI says that because the unit is wireless, installers won't have to dig a channel to run underground cable, and through its industrial design, the company has provided installation options for post or wall mounting applications. Check with your local CE pro to see how it can be incorporated into your home automation or security systems.


I am amazed and bold over with the features and the sleek look of this car. I would like to know the role of parking sensors. I have installed one for my car recently. So it would be great, if some one can give me a user manual for Parking Sensors

madison roberts
Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles