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[inOut] Did you say smart parking?

11 mars 2019

InOut 2019 took place from 28 to 31 March, in Rennes. This annual flagship event dedicated to the mobility of the future is an opportunity to assess the progress made and look at the integration of autonomous vehicles within urban public transport and even at the issues affecting sustainable urban mobility around the world. But what about parking? This was the subject of an animated pitch by Pierre-Julien Harbonnier, CEO of Parkki.

Intelligent, connected parking

What exactly does that mean? Pierre-Julien Harbonnier explains: “the idea is to connect parking spaces in order to obtain data.” This means installing intelligent infrastructures to analyse onsite practices and better manage the day-to-day running of car parks in towns and cities, traffic-heavy areas, such as airports, and even businesses.
This way, drivers can be directed to the space nearest to their destination. “Here, several solutions can be deployed, dynamic parking guidance via mobile app, providing various types of information, in particular relating to intermodality.” He states: “We include additional data, such as weather, traffic and scheduled events, to fluidify and optimise parking at car parks.”
Several types of sensors can be used, from a simple barrier to more complex installations, such as in-ground sensors or video analysis. Moreover, Parkki has designed its own sensor, Sense, the patent for which was filed in September 2017. So what makes it stand out? “It is installed at height, on existing public lighting installations.”

Tomorrow… is here today!

In 2005, smart parking took its first steps, with the emergence of green and red in-ground lights in underground car parks. However, in 2015, the market saw explosive growth, just a short time before the creation of the Lille start-up in 2016. In order to begin marketing its intelligent parking solution, Parkki raised funds in 2017. Today, the team comprises nine employees and is active throughout France, in the public and private sectors. In 2018, it took part in inOut, enabling it to secure a contract with Airbus Saint-Nazaire and to meet one of its future recruits.
“The issues are immense”, highlights Pierre-Julien Harbonnier. “With the arrival of new types of mobility, the role of cars inside and outside of towns and cities will be completely different.” The arrival of autonomous vehicles has a big hand to play here, as do the policies of towns and cities on the intermodality of transport, which must be inclusive, even for inhabitants of rural areas.
It was in this context that, in 2018, Parkki carried out an experiment at the La Poterie car park south of Rennes, which serves as a car-sharing area and park-and-ride for other modes of transports (bike, bus, metro). “We signposted these parking areas to try to understand and analyse how the car park is being used by drivers. Afterwards, we were able to provide the operator, Rennes Métropole, with some avenues for improvement and optimisation.

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