System for reliable detection of occupancy of parking spaces

Summary of the technology

The research group in “Electronic engineering applied to intelligent spaces and transport (GEINTRA)” of the University of Alcalá presents an artificial vision system with telemeter, which combines the information from a video camera and an steerable telemeter, to inform and guide reliably to the user when finding a parking space for their vehicle in large areas of surface parking such as a shopping center or train station. The combination of those data, makes it possible to easily locate vehicles in the car park regardless of their type or size and the environmental conditions / lighting (e.g. at night).

The research group looks for town halls and companies in charge of the management/administration of car parks, to reach license agreements, collaboration agreements or commercial agreements with technical assistance. There is a great added value in an application that combines the knowledge of the free spaces and the vehicles in movement through the parking so it can provide the right indications to the user guiding him to a free space.

Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI
Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

Details of the Technology Offer

Currently, there is no reliable detection system for the occupancy of parking spaces, so the combination and proper treatment of the information from a video camera and a steerable telemeter as proposed in this invention, represents an advance in obtaining the occupancy of the parking spaces.

This system proposes a device that obtains the occupation status of each of the parking spaces within the area supervised by a sensor node that is composed of a video camera, a laser telemeter on a pan-tilt platform and a processing algorithm.

Its main features are the following:

- Camera and telemeter on a pan-tilt movement platform, as a single set of remote sensing for the detection of the occupation status of the parking spaces.

- Calibration in the installation to guide the system conveniently to the different squares of the supervised parking area.

- Algorithm of data fusion and its application to the detection of occupation of parking spaces: identification of empty spaces; vehicle entry / exit detection; fusion of video and distance data to indicate the occupation status of a place.

Once the parking occupation has been detected entirely, the system can guide the driver through his mobile phone, through an application to be developed.


The novelty of the patent is mainly in the combination of the information obtained from both systems: image of the square, recognition of the space (floor) that corresponds to each parking space, detection of movement of a car in an area in the sequence of images that can mean that it occupies or leaves free a parking space close to a particular area, and the measurement of distances to the parking spaces of interest of the affected area, so that there are results of occupation of parking spaces more reliable, allowing its use in surface parking systems.

The new system includes a new distance measurement device, merging the video and distance measurements to provide an appreciable improvement in the detection of occupied spaces.

There are systems like the iDAR of the company AEye that combines a LiDAR with a camera, but its cost is much higher. The requirements of the supervision in a parking make the use of an adjustable telemeter suitable, and can be added to the supervision cameras that currently exist.


This new invention provides occupancy detection values ​​of correct spaces even in low lighting conditions, brightness, occlusions, shadows, flashing lights, night operation, etc.

In addition, compared to other methods, this system gives specific information of where there is a parking space and it could also guide the user to it.

The system does not need a fixed visual demarcation of the squares in the ground, being able to vary its structure, position and dimensions of the parking spaces.

The system has a very low installation cost per space.

It does not require civil works, which is a great advantage with respect to systems that use specific luminaires and therefore require an installation in most cases very expensive.


Experimental technologies


Technology selling

Patent licensing

Technology development

The research group looks for town halls and companies in charge of the management/administration of car parks, to reach license agreements, collaboration agreements or commercial agreements with technical assistance.


management/administration of car parks

Intellectual property status

  • Patent already applied for
  • Patent application number :The patent has been requested with reference P201700190

Related Keywords

  • Industrial manufacturing, Material and Transport Technologies
  • Transport Infrastructure
  • Measurements and Standards
  • Measurement Tools
  • Electrical Technology related to measurements
  • Mechanical Technology related to measurements
  • Optical Technology related to measurements
  • Sensor Technology related to measurements
  • Social and Economics concerns
  • Communications
  • Electronics Related Market
  • Electronics Related Equipment
  • Some other electronics related
  • Other
  • Transportation
  • Other transportation
  • vehicles
  • data fusion
  • artificial vision
  • parking
  • park
  • smart parking
  • telemeter
  • rangefinder
  • pan-tilt platform
  • detection of free spaces
  • transport technologies
  • occupancy of parking spaces

About Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

The Technology Transfer Office at Alcalá University serves as a liaison between the University and its socioeconomic environment in terms of research and innovation. It encorages collaboration between research groups from universities and companies/institutions, with the objective to promote and commercialize research results and scientific capabilities.

Some of the services offered by this office are specified in the following list:

- Promotion of R & D and improvement of the relationships with companies.
- Promote the participation in R & D projects applicants to public calls (regional, national and European).
- Advising, processing and monitoring of patents and other forms of industrial protection.
- Support in the negotiation of contracts and agreements for R&D&i

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