Bosch has developed a pilot active parking lot management system in cooperation with Verband Region Stuttgart (Stuttgart Regional Association).

The project uses 15 park and ride facilities along the commuter train lines S2 (Schorndorf) and S3 (Backnang), with sensors from Bosch identifying unoccupied parking spaces on a minute-by-minute basis and communicating the information in real time.

The data on free parking spaces will then be available from the VVS Transit and Tariff Association Stuttgart app and website.

Eleven cities and communities in the North-East of greater Stuttgart have agreed to support the pilot project, providing internet connections and electricity for the park and ride facilities, most of which are owned and operated by local municipalities.

Verband Region Stuttgart will support the project with funding from a State-wide programme. The facilities used in the pilot do not have any gates and some have more than one entrance or exit. 

In urban parking garages, the standard for many years has been to count the number of times the gates open in order to calculate the available parking spaces inside.

"We're breaking new ground when it comes to park and ride facilities," said regional business development activity head, Jürgen Wurmthaler.

"With our sensors, we're making the parking spaces part of the internet of things," said Bosch board member, Dirk Hoheisel. "We're taking the search for free park and ride spaces off drivers' shoulders.

"By doing so, we're reducing the congestion associated with the search for parking and minimising environmental impact."

The pilot project will start at the beginning of 2016 with the installation of Bosch sensors and will continue until June 2018.

Occupancy levels will be examined and analysed to see whether real-time information on free park and ride spaces actually encourages more drivers to take buses and trains.

In the Stuttgart region, there are more than 100 park and ride facilities with 50 to 700 parking spaces.

The smallest facility in the pilot project has 49 spaces (Schorndorf), while the largest has more than 520 slots (Waiblingen).

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