• Vodafone and Ford test digital parking guidance system
  • Mobile radio technology informs motorists about free parking spaces and navigates them there
  • Motorists in large cities spend an average of 67 hours a year searching for free parking spaces

In major European cities, such as London and Frankfurt, motorists are looking for an average of 67 hours per year for free parking. The additional fuel costs incurred in the annoying search for parking space, accumulate for each motorist on average more than 1,250 euros. The other road users also feel this: Experts estimate that the search for free parking spaces is responsible for about 30 percent of city traffic. The problem is not solely caused by the lack of available parking spaces. Data from the UK shows that the available parking space is only half full in many cities.

The cooperation partners Ford and Vodafone are now testing a new mobile radio technology that will facilitate the search for parking spaces in inner cities in the future. A digital parking guidance system always informs the driver in the car about the number of free parking spaces in the car parks in the area. The technology then navigates the driver directly to the free parking spaces. That saves time. And that relieves the city traffic.

Real-time information on the display in the dashboard

Thanks to the V2X mobile technology, cars receive all the road condition and car park information from a central computer system. If there is a traffic accident on the route to the free parking lot or if a parking garage is suddenly busy, the driver receives directly on the display in the dashboard the recommendations for alternative parking spaces to drive.

Mobile radio technology enables further application

  • The cooperation partners Ford and Vodafone are researching further networked application scenarios for the KoMoD project that will relieve the burden on the roads:
  • Traffic light assistance systems inform motorists about the duration of red and green phases of traffic lights. This can avoid the sudden deceleration of red traffic lights, increase safety, reduce fuel consumption and optimize traffic flow. Because drivers can adjust the speeds ahead.
  • Tunnel information systems provide drivers with advance information about lane closures, speed limits or slow-moving vehicles in tunnels.
  • Networked Vario panels along the main arteries provide up-to-date information on major events that may affect local traffic. These include, for example, exhibitions, concerts or football matches with many spectators.
  • Intelligent traffic control systems on the highway improve the overall traffic flow by adjusting speed limits in the short term.
  • The smart traffic sign recognition sends speed and danger information via mobile phone directly to the cars. While the traffic sign recognition with cameras in many vehicles is present, the operation in bad weather or surrounded by large vehicles is restricted in question. The transfer of traffic sign information to the vehicle via a cellular connection guarantees from the sign that all drivers see important safety information.
  • The bad weather alert transmits current weather conditions (eg sudden heavy rain) automatically from one vehicle to all cars in the area. For example, if a vehicle’s automatic wipers detect rain, that information is shared directly with other vehicles.