The City of Nijmegen built a grand new bicycle parking facility in the city centre called the “Verloren Toren”. This translates to “Lost Tower” (it contains the fundament of an old guarding tower which was part of the city defensive wall from the 15th century):
The facility has space for 1000 bicycles. This includes space for off-sized bicycles. These non-regular bicycles don’t fit in the normal parking racks so they have to be parked on specially marked places on the floor.
The city needs this facility to be optimally used so it asked the market for a system which would guide cyclists to available places to park their bicycle. This would both provide a great service to cyclists and allow hard to find places to be more easily found thus increasing the Return-On-Investment for the city.
LumiGuide installed its detection system based on optical sensors and its line of digital displays. The optical sensors are mounted to the ceiling far away from moving and dirty bicycle parts which could otherwise damage the equipement. The sensors are connected to a wired network and get their power from PoE (Power over Ethernet). So there’s no need to install a wireless network in a facility or replace batteries periodically which is the case for other systems.
One sensor detects between 40 and 60 bicycles at the same time every few seconds. Since the sensors use an optical detection technique, the system can not only measure places in single and two tier bicycle racks but also parking places which don’t have a rack at all like can be seen in the next screenshot:
The measurements are send to a central server located within in the facility which in turn controls the indoor digital displays. The information is also send to LumiGuide’s cloud service. This cloud service allows facility operators and city officials to use a web-based application to inspect the current state of the facility and to see historical statistics.