There’s new research by Chi-Fang Chien, Hui-Tzu Chen and Chi-Yi Lin of Tamkang University, New Taipei City, Taiwan on A Low-Cost On-Street Parking Management System Based on Bluetooth Beacons (pdf).
Current smart parking systems are very expensive as they rely on image recognition and wireless magnetometers. The image recognition isn’t perfect and sometimes fails to acquire the identity of vehicles under poor illumination or due to obstruction of vehicle registration number plates.
Instead, a system has been developed using low-cost Bluetooth beacons. Beacons are installed in the vehicles and receivers are deployed along the roadside parking spaces.
The system uses Raspberry Pi for receivers and gateways. The Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) of beacons is processed, filtered and sent to a gateway. The system detects the occupancy of parking spaces and identifies the vehicles.
It’s unfortunate the researchers didn’t consider Bluetooth Mesh for the receivers and gateways. It’s ideal for situations such as this where nodes are within range of each other and the data is small in size and sporadic. The use of Bluetooth Mesh would have reduced the hardware requirement considerably.