The Westend Carpark is the ground level car park on the former Bridge Hotel Site (197-199 Watton Street) and Toyota Site (201 Watton Street and 96 Synnot Street) which was created to offset the interim loss of car parking spaces within the Werribee City Centre while other catalyst sites are being developed.
The 180 car parking spaces at the west entrance of the Werribee City Centre are available for all community members. The creation of the car park is part of a strategy to provide for the growing current and forecast parking requirements of the Werribee City Centre.
In September 2017, an expression of interest (EoI) was sought from a range of smart parking solution providers (camera-based, in ground sensors, IoT networks). Each of these options have their advantages and disadvantages as well as price points.
The solution chosen uses intelligent cameras and video analytics to detect parking occupancy. This innovative approach has significant advantages over ground sensor based solutions. Ten cameras can achieve the same output as 180 ground sensors greatly reducing the cost of installation. Additionally, ground based technology has limited battery life and sensors often require ongoing maintenance. As the smart parking network grows, these costs begin to become significant.
A key benefit is the use of artificial intelligence, the full solution has the capability to not just inform on parking availability (occupied/not occupied) but the likelihood of finding a car park using information such as time to destination and other vehicles looking for parking spaces.
The initial purpose of the smart parking WestEnd project is to understand parking utilisation of this new site.
Installation of the smart parking technology was completed in October 2018.
The site represents the initial rollout of innovative technology for not just smart parking but a range of other smart city services such as pedestrian counters, city safety and traffic congestion. The successful delivery of this technology opens a range of possibilities across the city.
Image and Video analytics also has some unique benefits with future potential for security and artificial intelligence applications. Footage and frames can be extracted and connected to cloud offerings such as Amazon Rekognition and Google Vision to process and extract valuable data. These services use machine learning and artificial intelligence technology to analyse and process imagery to understand its content. As computing power improves and needs change, new and exciting possibilities will be available using this technology, particularly as a building block for autonomous vehicles.