As truck parking continues to be a problem, the University of Florida’s Transportation Institute and the Florida Department of Transportation may have found an efficient solution to locating existing parking spaces. In a final report, FDOT concluded that “in-pavement detection systems” have a 95 percent or greater accuracy rate.
Last year, FDOT installed parking detection systems from three different companies at the northbound and southbound rest areas at milepost 413 on Interstate 75 in Columbia County. Each system was installed in 10 commercial truck parking spaces. Both sites have 49 parking spaces.
Using video monitoring to verify results, all three detection systems performed at a 95 percent accuracy rate or better. FDOT is exploring the possibility of using the technology alongside its SunGuide software system for truckers to use on the FL-511 app.
Although the pilot project was conducted for a short amount of time, no visual damage of the detectors was discovered.
Installation was as simple as drilling a hole in the pavement and placing the device in the hole. For 10 spots, installing any of the systems took only two to three days followed by one to two weeks of tuning and calibration.
Two systems had minor lag times of only a few seconds, relatively insignificant when drivers are searching for parking. However, one system did have issues with heavy rain, with nearly all of its incorrect readings occurring during heavy-rain periods. Another system inadvertently activated its sleep mode from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. and lost readings for one sensor for three weeks. That same system had a difference of six minutes between the sensor data and video revealing real-time data.
It’s currently unclear how FDOT will proceed with the technology. Land Line’s calls to FDOT this week for more information were not successful.