German automobile association ADAC reports that most truckers struggle to find parking up to six times a week, with just 14 percent driving straight into a space first time. This unwelcome complication of the job brings with it stress, additional costs and, not least, serious risks for drivers. Now, though, help is at hand with the new truck parking information system: data on parking space occupancy at rest areas gathered in real time using laser scanners and sensors is made available to long-distance drivers to help them plan ahead and aim for a specific parking location, reducing the need for emergency parking in unsuitable locations.
The first pilot project in Germany went live on the A9 autobahn between Nuremberg and Munich in May. Siemens installed the intelligent truck parking information system at 14 of a total of 21 rest areas, providing almost 600 parking spaces, on behalf of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, for Building and Transport.
The system delivers information about available parking spaces at rest areas and truck stops into the cab. Laser scanners installed adjacent to the road at the entrance to and exit from rest areas measure the height and width of passing vehicles. Additional sensors incorporated into the road surface determine speed, length and direction of travel and the information collected from the two different types of device can then be combined to count and classify the vehicles concerned precisely.
A control software package transmits occupancy data to the freeway management traffic and operations centers continuously via Siemens link stations. Truckers can then access the information they need over the radio or using free apps and the www.bayerninfo.de
traffic information portal.