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When mobility is an issue, anything that makes it easier to get around, or reduces the distance to travel once you leave your car, is important. It’s not just frustrating or inconvenient for mobility permit holders when someone else steals their spot; it can prevent them from accessing businesses and services in our city. Unfortunately, illegal parking in mobility spaces is all too common throughout New Zealand. We developed our mobility parking solution in partnership with CCS Disability Action. When complete, the full solution will include an app to help mobility permit holders find available parking spaces and report mobility parking abuse, as well as sensors on parking spaces with automatic parking validation to confirm that a vehicle is legally parked.
The ParkSense system is being developed by local company Pip IoT. It uses rugged, tamper-proof sensor units attached to the ground on each parking space, and a Bluetooth tile on the back of each valid mobility permit. When the sensor detects a parked vehicle, it checks for a valid Bluetooth tile. The sensors send their data back to a central dashboard that is accessed by the local parking team.
The AccessAware app was developed by Wellington developer Thundermaps. It shows mobility parks on a map, and shows which ones are currently free. App users can improve the map data by uploading more parking space locations, photos, and helpful details like hazards near a parking space. App users can also report damaged or inaccessible spaces, or report mobility parking abuse.
The focus of this app is not on issuing infringement notices, but rather on gathering and displaying data so that we can understand how our mobility parks are being used (and sometimes abused) by the community.
The real-time data from the mobility parking solution gives CCS Disability Action, city planners, and the parking team full visibility of the extent and nature of mobility park use and abuse. Using this data, CCS Disability Action and Council can work with the local community to implement strategies that mitigate problems.
The AccessAware app was released in October 2017. In February 2018, ParkSense sensors were installed on selected mobility parking spaces in the central city. The next phase to be implemented is an effective mechanism for permit validation, using Bluetooth tiles issued to a small group of mobility permit holders.