Have you ever driven around and around a mall parking lot and couldn’t find a space to park? Perhaps you’ve left early for your flight but spent over an hour circling the airport lot to finally find that one space but still missed your flight. Or what about driving aimlessly around a hospital parking lot, praying you’ll find a spot as visiting time is running out?
We’ve all been in these situations when we’ve felt like pulling our hair out and uttering every curse word in the dictionary. Those days could soon be over. EnSight Technologies has developed a technology that is guaranteed to end your parking nightmares.
EnSight is a parking technology company that has set out to simplify parking with technology. Its smart, simple and scalable technology ecosystem provides a cost-effective parking guidance alternative to parking owners and operators of all sizes.
Recently EnSight expanded its operations to Canada. The Well, a large downtown Toronto development, marks the company’s first international site to use its EnSightful Ecosystem for parking occupancy management and wayfinding.
The Well is 7.7 acres with a mix of shops, restaurants, fresh food markets, workspaces and residences in Toronto’s King West area. It has 420,000 square feet of retail and food services, one million square feet of office space and 1,700 residential units.
For The Well’s six-level garage, EnSight will install 17 cameras to count cars at each level and share parking availability data to seven interior wayfinding signs, which will have 22 sign insert displays. As part of The Well’s broader parking operations, Precise Parklink will install parking and revenue control equipment.
Chris Scheppmann, co-founder and managing director of EnSight, described how the technology took shape. “In 2012 I began running Access Professional Systems, where we installed and serviced parking technologies. Time and time again people kept asking us to provide parking guidance technology. By leveraging our experience tracking cargo, we pivoted our technology to track, scan and count cars using cameras that are driven by our proprietary software, driven off of the latest advancement in machine learning. The result is cost effective and accurate parking occupancy management and guidance.”
Scheppmann says the system counts vehicles coming in and out of each zone on each level and transmits that occupancy information to several dynamic LED signs located throughout the parking garage, offering real-time data on how many parking spaces are available, enabling drivers to find parking.
“Parkers are informed of the best available parking through signage to enable them to make intelligent parking decisions. The parker enjoys the convenience of being directed to the best available parking, so they can park faster and get to their destination sooner.”
Perhaps the most important aspect of this new technology is that it provides the facility owner with critical data, such as peak and down times and how people are using the parking facility. This allows the business to optimize pricing and services.
In addition, the data can break down level-by-level details. It can report on different specialty parking types, such as EV, valet and short-term areas. EnSightful parking reports empower businesses to grow their facility in a smart and strategic direction, the company says.
It also recently added new features to the technology. “Adding license plate recognition (LPR) to our parking occupancy management and guidance solution allows us to not only know how many cars, but who is parking,” says Scheppmann. “By identifying the cars that are parking in a facility, additional metrics can be derived for things such as dwell time (how long are people parking), Hotlist (creating lists of people who are allowed to park in the facility or the locations where they are permitted to park), using LPR to enable payment and parking enforcement.”
When Scheppmann looks towards the future he sees the new technology being multi-purpose. “Vision-based systems like ours are built for the future. Leveraging cameras and advanced machine learning software to track and scan objects is becoming the standard because of its flexibility and accuracy. Cameras can also be dual purposed for operation automations like parking guidance, but also operational awareness through video surveillance.”
EnSight says it plans to expand it services to the rest of Canada.