Bicycle parking space assured in Utrecht

LumiGuide digital bicycle parking guidance system and Axis network cameras make life easier for cyclists

“We chose Axis because we want to be able to use our cameras for ten years. They are also very discreet. You might miss them completely if someone didn’t point them out to you. They completely blend into the landscape of smoke detectors and tube lighting. We consider that a desirable characteristic.” Roel van Dijk, CEO LumiGuide BV.

Mission

The city of Utrecht wanted a digital bicycle parking guidance system to help cyclists find empty bike parking spaces in the numerous parking facilities in the greater Central Station area and the inner city. The Nijmegen city center wanted to get a better view of ‘abandoned bicycles’ and increase its bicycle parking capacity.

Solution

A smart camera system from Axis partner LumiGuide was installed inside the bicycle parking facilities. In contrast to traditional systems that monitor occupied spaces, this solution detects empty spaces in the bike racks. Two Axis cameras installed on the ceiling work like human eyes, scanning for open spaces several times a minute. The system also ‘sees’ if there is not enough room to park a bike in a particular slot: for example, next to a bicycle with panniers on both sides. Compared to other solutions, this system has a minimal margin of error and is much cheaper to install.

Result

The newest LumiGuide system is being used in bicycle stations in the greater Central Station area and the inner city of Utrecht, as well as at the newest bicycle parking station in the Nijmegen city center. What started out as a pilot has expanded into a full-blown solution within a year. This is important to Utrecht, a city whose ambition is to become a “Global Velo City” in 2016. The 21 digital parking guidance displays will help by ensuring that available bike parking spaces in the designated areas will be better utilized. In addition, the system provides the city government with management information that is easier to access and that can also be supplied using open data formats. This means that not only can the city respond quickly when parking stations are filled to capacity by providing pop-up bike racks but it can also allow third parties to come up with solutions.

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Government