SmartPark : an intelligent and dynamic parking system
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Parking garages have remained fairly outdated even as embedded systems have been introduced virtually everywhere to improve the human existence. Some provide information about whether they are full or not, but that does not offer a better parking experience, it only informs people once they are already there and is inconvenient. This causes people to circle the parking lot numerous times, making the process inefficient and wasteful. The SmartPark parking system fills that gap by providing an automated infrastructure that collects information regarding the availability of parking spaces in a garage. As modern technology grows and expands the connectivity available on automobiles, it would be even possible to interface with the car itself to provide parking information. Each space has an ultrasonic sensor attached to a microcontroller that communicates with a master, who keeps and displays the overall count of spaces available. The purpose of this paper is to provide the capability of dynamically adding and removing slaves, without requiring individual configuration for each slave prior to its deployment. A sequence of communication exchanges will be described in order for a slave to register itself with its master. Through a series of messages, the slave will be able to identify its location and begin reporting the state of its space, and the master will continue to keep track of existing slaves and their states. The result of the research is a protocol that allows successful pairing of a new slave with its master without previous static configuration, which allows an easy deployment of the system without dependence on its original configuration. This functionality will make the system more scalable, allowing the parking system to be extended by connecting new slaves wherever they are needed. It will also make it more maintainable, since slave replacement or relocation will become an easy task. SmartPark can easily be adapted to existing parking structures with only the installation of the master and slave nodes, due to its limited resource requirements. Related work is also discussed and an insight into how this methodology can be used to modernize current automated parking systems is provided.