The City of Fredericksburg, VA, has improved the way it manages parking by adopting a vision-based, automated parking system known as autoChalk from Tannery Creek Systems (Concord, ON, Canada; www.tannerycreeksystems.com). The system has helped generate greater revenues, improved efficiency, and fewer complaints and repeat offenders.
AutoChalk is built with four Sony (Park Ridge, NJ, USA; www.sony.com/videocameras) XCD-V90CR color cameras encased in weatherproof housings and mounted on the parking enforcement officer’s vehicle. As the car drives through the parking area, the cameras scan each car and transfer the image data to a Panasonic Toughbook mobile computer where it is processed by the Matrox Imaging Library (MIL; Dorval, QC, Canada; www.matrox.com/imaging). Tannery Creek’s custom software analyzes the image for the vehicle’s size, shape, and color, and time-stamps the image.
The image data are internally mapped to coordinates obtained by the parking vehicle’s GPS. When the vehicle makes a second pass in the parking zone, perhaps two hours later, the cameras take a second group of images and compare the results to the first set. If the images and GPS coordinates match, the car is violating the parking terms and the parking enforcement officers issues a ticket.