Technology Solves Curb Management Issues
If you are a regular reader of this fine publication, you may remember seeing articles over the last couple of years describing our exploration of a curb management system.
To give a bit more context to our story, you may want to review three great articles from the July 2022 Parking Today:
• New Technologies Can Save Time, Decrease Congestion and Improve Road Use
By David Roberts (Page 29)
• Managing the Curb with Technology
By Chris Shepperman (Page 38)
• How do you Enforce Drop off Rules
By JVH, (May 2021 page 40)
And now our story:
As with most municipalities and college campuses, we had been struggling with the issue of TNCs, food deliveries, etc. creating a great deal of congestion not only at the curb, but also along adjacent streets and roadways. Having a Parking Enforcement Officer posted at these curb “hot-spots” is simply not a sustainable solution, so we began looking at different technologies that could help reduce the impact at the curb.
After several months of investigation, we chose to partner with Cox 2M to develop a system. Cox merged several technologies to develop what we have today.
Essentially, we paired a 6-foot, 2-sided video kiosk with cameras, Wi-Fi, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). As a vehicle pulls up to the curb the AI identifies the vehicle and a photo of the vehicle and license plate is displayed on the kiosk. The photo is accompanied by a countdown clock allowing the driver five minutes at the curb. Once the five minutes has expired, the clock starts to count up letting the driver know how long they have been in violation.
At ten minutes a text is sent to our Parking Enforcement Supervisor on duty, including vehicle photo with license plate, announcing the violation. Our supervisor can then make the decision on whether to dispatch an Officer or not.
The system doesn’t just capture parking violations, but also provides us with great deal of information and opportunities:
1- Parking in Roadway (double parking) - Violation alerts are provided for double parked vehicles.
2- TNC Capture - The system identifies if the vehicle is an Uber or a Lyft.
3- Taxi Capture - The system identifies if the vehicle is a taxi and captures cab numbers for identification.
4- Pedestrian counts
5- Full Reporting - As well as ADHOC reporting capabilities
6- Advertising - To offset the cost of the system, Cox 2M displays advertising on the pedestrian facing side of the kiosk. Sensors on the kiosk capture dwell time (time spent looking at advertising), engagement (does the observer like what their looking at?), and approximate age of the observer. Our city can also use the platform for PSA’s or wayfinding/mapping, etc.
And there are other capabilities of the system that we are not using at this time:
7- Vehicle counts - Not just along the curb, we get vehicle counts for both directions of traffic.
8- Photo Enforcement
So, does the system work? YES!
We have reporting going back over 14 months now. I admit I was worried that drivers would not understand the directions that we were giving them. But that’s not what happened, the success of the system has been nothing short of incredible (see table 1).
“Cox 2M has been a great partner in developing this one-of-a-kind system. The results have been spectacular,” said Brandy Stanley, Manager of City of Las Vegas Parking Services.
“We appreciate the City of Las Vegas’ support during the long road of development. I am so happy that this project is a success and demonstrates Cox’s commitment to providing sound business solutions,” said Steve Rusche, Sr. Director Smart Communities, Cox 2M. Stephen.Rusche@cox.com
The success of the program can be attributed to two factors: Cox 2M’s vast expertise and ability to bring several technologies together to solve a problem, and the advanced AI system provided to Cox by Sensen Networks LTD.
Sensen’s (Info@sensen.ai) AI is the “brain” that identifies the information that we need to capture. Sensen’s proprietary AI is designed for quick machine learning, which made development of our Curb Management System move faster as we often asked for new monitoring requirements.
The system, as we’ve created it in Vegas, is not a cure for all things curb management. This is a niche product that only makes sense in high-volume areas where space is limited and some order must be maintained. As an example, the current system we have in place monitors only five stalls. However, we park 800-1,000 vehicles every day in those five spaces (we know that because the system told us). The system is also configurable. You may not need all of the components or capabilities, which will allow for deployment in different scenarios and may save costs.
So, if you’re in Vegas, stop by and take a look. A curb management system is installed in Downtown Las Vegas on Main Street in front of the Plaza Hotel. We also plan to install a second system in our Arts District in the near future.
Luis Maldonado has been in the parking industry for over 38 years at locations within the University of California, Cal State University, and the City of Long Beach, California. He currently works with Parking Services for the City of Las Vegas, Nevada. Luis can be reached at email@example.com