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parking control system

parking control system

parking control system


I just began my intern in the company, it is after second year at the technical university so I've got some knowledge about advanced maths but I still need and want to learn about automate control, computer science and so on.

At this moment I've got to do something connected with automate control, data preprocessing and so on. There is car-parking near the building where I work and during holidays there is much unused space on that parking. In other words people come to the parking about hours 7.00-8.30, then there is more or less constant number of cars, and finally people leave the parking.

My boss thinks that those free parking places can be rented for people from outside of companies which work in this building. In other words first of all I'd like to follow data preprocessing - check how many cars there are in the parking from Monday to Friday. To do it, I need to connect some kind of computer program (I know more or less C++ and Visual Basic) to already existing devices. Those devices are responsible for checking whether the card which somebody entering the parking shows to the input device is correct - whether he or she has got the privilege to enter the parking. The other device is responsible, after accepting the card, to open the crossing gate. There are also some induction loops below the asphalt but I don't know what they are used for. I guess its purpose is to notice the car exiting the parking and open other crossing gate at the end of parking.

I asked them and heard that technical documentation of those devices will be available for me later. First thing is to create database application (what development tools can you suggest me?) connected to those devices to have some knowledge about how traffic works in this parking. I guess I need to connect this database to both devices - at the entrance and exit of the parking. What data should I contain in the database? I guess the following things should be sufficient: data, time, number of card for the entrance and the same (or without number of card) for the exit. How should I construct this kind of database? Later I will need to analyse this data. My first idea is to allow people from the outside of local companies to occupy maximum half of the available at the given day of week places at the parking. (So I need to construct, I guess it would take one year, database with dates of the year and approximate number of free spaces. The other possible approach is to create somehow self-learning system, maybe with smart algorithm in software or neuron networks).

Can you give me any advices or suggest anything what can be useful for me during the process of creating this automate control system? Maybe there are some bad ideas in what I have explained above?

Thanks in advance for your help!

RE: parking control system

Given an existing card system, no one is going to allow you to connect direct to the hardware, unless the current card system is being ripped out and you are working on the replacement.

You need to find the documentation for what's there already, and figure out how to ask if for the data it collects, and maybe figure some indirect ways to get any additional data you need, i.e., without cutting anything, and maybe without even opening a box.

Given the problem's obvious analogy to ball memory systems, there's probably a lot of really old papers to search for purposes of learning about what you're trying to do.

To get a fast start, even before reading about what's already been done, you might mock up your program the Elbonian way, e.g. with paper tokens representing cars, shoeboxes representing storage, and note cards representing processes.  Cycle through the note cards just as a program would cycle through a Jacquard loom, and execute the operation written on each card.  I.e., build a paper computer, and see where it takes you.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

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