Finding a free parking space in a busy urban area can sometimes test both your nerves and your low-carbon ambitions. As part of the 6Aika strategy and the Low Carbon Transport in Mobility Hubs project, the City of Oulu launched experiments in autumn 2021 to minimise carbon emissions from traffic.
Wapice participated in the City of Oulu’s experiments with Smart Parking, an AI solution that guides motorists directly to free parking spaces, thus reducing unnecessary driving in the city. The region chosen for the experiments is Kontinkangas, where many people, such as students and staff of educational institutions and citizens using health services, move around.
The experimental programme with its competitive bidding process has provided a good opportunity to compare the new solutions on offer. For example, Wapice’s Smart Parking solution is interesting and innovative for both the client and the users: it reduces unnecessary driving, but also allows the city to monitor the occupancy of parking spaces.
Sami Puuperä, Project Manager, City of Oulu
Knowing where to park before you leave - thanks to artificial intelligence
Wapice implemented a machine vision solution for Kontinkangas that monitors the use of curb-side parking. Artificial intelligence identifies vacant and occupied parking spaces in the street view and transmits the occupancy rate to Wapice’s IoT-TICKET® cloud solution for analysis and end user access through the map app.
“Wapice's Smart Parking solution has already been used in several cities, including Turku, Tampere and Oulu. In this experiment, we wanted to improve the end-user experience even further, and improved the solution’s map app to detect vacant spaces.
Traffic experiments have been a great opportunity for us to test the new features of our products and gain user experience. Today, the Smart Parking solution is already a production-ready app that can be scaled to cover the entire city’s parking area,” says Jari Kuusisto, Product Manager of Wapice’s Smart City Solutions.
Benefits of the Wapice Smart Parking solution:
- No unnecessary driving to find a parking space - reduces emissions
- Improved resident experience and easier access to services in urban areas
- Safer traffic in congested areas
- A cost-effective way to monitor parking occupancy
- Promotes smarter urban planning and knowledge-based urban management
“The installation of the solution in Kontinkangas went smoothly, and at Wapice we have tried to make the deployment of the Smart Parking solution as easy and cost-effective as possible. This makes it easy to scale to different areas. The people of Oulu are easy-going - we’re happy to continue helping them with their smart city goals,” says Matti Järvi, Wapice’s Project Manager.
Digital solutions drive sustainable growth
The City of Oulu’s environmental programme emphasises sustainable growth, focusing on a sustainable living environment, a vibrant city centre and multi-functional centres, and eco-friendly transportation. Participation in the joint 6Aika project between six cities and the subsequent experiments are concrete examples of how Oulu is promoting more sustainable urban life.
“In addition to the environmental benefits, the experiments aim to develop business opportunities for domestic smart traffic innovations and gain experience of how new solutions work, as rapid experiments quickly show what works and what doesn't work in a real environment. The experiment reveals things that may not have been considered at the design table.” - Pirjo Koskiniemi, Business Oulu