Singapore's first smart carpark at NTU automatically captures plate numbers and bills users

The Smart carpark system works with an app called GoParkin.
PHOTO: Nanyang Technological University

SINGAPORE - After registering on an app, visitors to Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) Jurong campus will no longer have to think about where or how to pay their parking fees.

Even without parking gantries, their car plates are captured upon entry and exit by video technology. The correct fee is then automatically calculated and billed to their credit or debit card, without the need for additional input of information in an app or a CashCard in the in-vehicle unit.

The vision is of a more seamless and hassle-free parking experience than currently offered elsewhere. Launched on Monday (Sept 14), Singapore's "first barrier-free smart" carpark is now operational at three locations in the university. All 59 of NTU's carparks, covering more than 4,000 parking spaces, are set to turn "smart" by the end of 2021.

"Smart carparks are integral to the smart cities of the future," said Mr Ravinder Singh, president of ST Engineering's electronics arm, which developed the new system.

The smart carpark system works with an app called GoParkin which, in addition to tapping technology such as automatic number plate recognition, also gives users real-time information on the closest available parking spots and their rates.

Apart from the convenience, the system also helps to reduce operational and maintenance costs.

For instance, the system has a cloud-based platform which can identify equipment in the carpark that requires preventive maintenance, saving the university costs that would have been incurred later if the equipment had broken down.

With remote paying, the university is also able to do away with physical payment stations or gantries at the carparks.

The smart system is also equipped to collect data, which can be analysed to give operators a better sense of how the carparks are used and where improvements can be made.

With remote paying, the university is also able to do away with physical payment stations or gantries at the carparks. PHOTO: Nanyang Technological University

Mr Singh, whose company is managing all NTU carparks, said the data collected on carpark usage could "potentially generate new value-added services for motorists and transform business models for carpark operators".

This article was first published in The Straits TimesPermission required for reproduction.