Waterloo company simplifies parking process in busy cities

A Waterloo, Ontario based company is simplifying parking in crowded cities with smart parking technology. 

eleven-x, a global supplier of wireless IoT solutions, has launched eXactpark, a sensor-based smart parking solution.

“eXactpark is based on a patent-pending stall occupancy sensor. So that sensor tells you whether or not there’s a vehicle in the stall,” said Dan Mathers, chief executive officer of eleven-x.

eXactpark helps drivers find available spots, avoiding the need to circle around city streets and parking lots looking for open spaces.

The solution uses LoRaWAN®, a low-power technology that provides longer battery life for sensors and reduced maintenance costs. 

“It’s really inexpensive, and it allows you to develop devices that can run wirelessly like our small sensor, and with batteries that last for 10 years. So you can just set it and forget it,” Mathers said.

How the system works:

First, smart sensors are installed in each parking stall in the city. To accommodate snowy and rainy climates, the sensors are put beneath the surface of the asphalt. 

The stall sensor can then detect when a car comes into the parking spot and parks. The data is then sent to eleven-x’s wireless network, goes into the cloud and is uploaded to the software that the company provides the city for dashboard analytics or displayed on digital signs. 

“You’ve got signs around the city, where it basically directs you to the nearest open parking stall.”

Mathers added that the company also offers application programming interfaces (APIs), so the data can be imported into systems provided by other vendors, for example, if a city wanted to build its own custom parking app.

Several areas have already picked up the tech, including the University of British Columbia, the town of Oakville, ON and Stratford, ON.

The town of Oakville using eXactpark in its downtown area.

Apart from making the parking process easier and saving time for residents, eleven-x is also looking to create a more sustainable environment with its parking solution. 

“You don’t want to have people sitting around in their cars idling, spewing greenhouse gases into the environment. Instead [they should] not be sitting in traffic and getting their cars parked as quickly as possible to the nearest location then have their cars turned off,” he said.

According to a report from the Government of Canada, idling for over 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more carbon dioxide than shutting off and restarting the vehicle’s engine. 

In addition, an article in Park Smart said that 3.1 billion gallons of gasoline are wasted within the United States due to traffic congestion each year. Therefore, “the 30 per cent of wasted gasoline attributed to vehicles navigating for parking equates to 930 million gallons of gasoline and 18.6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.”

Mathers suggests that parking tech such as eXactpark will help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the environment by shortening the time vehicles idle and drive around searching for parking spaces, as well as helping alleviate traffic congestion.

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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