Machine Learning to Enforce Parking

Parking is a huge problem not just in expensive urban areas, but also in rural areas as well.  Luckily, machine learning software can help.

Parking Problems Prevalent

Today, we see signs of 3 Hour Parking Only or Guest Parking Only.  But who ever pays attention to these signs? 

We drive by them each day and we go into these parking lots and squat our vehicles there all day long.  Sometimes, the driver may not have noticed the sign.  But oftentimes, they choose to just ignore it.

This occupied parking spot costs the retail store, dentist and other establishments hundreds, if not thousands of dollars each month.  But sadly, the abuse continues without any teeth to the issue.

How Machine Learning Can Help

Automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) has long been used by law enforcement to find stolen vehicles.  That same ALPR technology can be used to help fight parking violations.  One of the providers, Plate Recognizer, even claims to be able to decode license plates from blurry, dark, low-resolution images, such as those from CCTV cameras. 

Basically, you can use ALPR to monitor the vehicles coming in and out of a parking lot.  And then apply some custom alerts for parking management

This way, if the parking sign says 3 Hour Parking Only and we know that the vehicle arrived at 8:10am and has not departed by 11:10am, then we can conclude that this vehicle has violated the parking policy.

We can then take action to tow the vehicle away.  The best thing is that we now have solid proof from the timestamp of the ALPR images.  So if we were ever taken into court, we can easily defend our actions.

Now, finally, machine learning can help enforce all the parking lots around the globe.