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Connected parking

Vodafone enables the UK’s first connected parking to ease congestion in the West Midlands

Vodafone has partnered with Transport for West Midlands and West Midlands 5G to develop a new smart parking system in Birmingham – the first in the UK to determine availability in real time using 5G.

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High-bandwidth, ultra-low latency 5G network facilitates real-time scanning and rendering of street images
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5G network also supports real-time data processing using AI in the AppyParking app, which displays latest vacant spaces
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Connected parking schemes reduce congestion, improve air quality and travel experiences and make city centres more accessible to everyone

“Imagine knowing where the parking spaces are before you arrive in a busy road”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands

In a recent trial for the new smart parking system in Birmingham, working with parking technology provider AppyWay, a vehicle scans part of Stratford Road, Sparkhill using high definition cameras, looking for free kerbside spaces.  These images were then transferred and processed in real time on Vodafone’s high-speed, ultra-low latency 5G network to display live parking availability on the AppyWay app

It can be frustrating driving around looking for a car parking space, so “imagine knowing where the parking spaces are before you arrive in a busy road,” says Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, who wants his region to be at the forefront of 5G as a hub of smart cities

Arial view of a street

In the West Midlands, 1 in 3 cars circling around city centres are looking for an available spot, with local authorities struggling to increase availability and reduce traffic. Connected parking schemes powered by 5G can help solve such problems and also cut journey times, reduce congestion, improve air quality and make city centres more accessible to locals and visitors.

A 5G network is high-capacity and would be able to support a regional rollout of millions of connected roadside units.

The more images scanned and rendered in real time across the West Midlands, the more up-to-date and comprehensive the results will be.

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